It’s finally happening: The Dodge Charger and Challenger muscle machines will be no more by 2024. Motor Trend spoke with Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis about the brand’s plans for the next two years as the company tries to appease muscle fans and appeal to EV buyers.
Kuniskis is aware that a lot of people won’t be happy with the direction the brand is taking (he’s already receiving death threats for the changes). He calls it, “feeding the beast.”
I’m juggling knives because I’ve gotta keep two different huge factions happy because at some point those two factions will converge. The problem is no one knows when they will converge. My job is to provide confidence, over the next 24 months, that we’re gonna do this.
The discontinuation of the Charger and Challenger, and the start to the brand’s EV models are all a bigger part of its “Never Lift” plan. Within the 24 months of the plan,Dodge plans to release special editions of each departing model: Editions they think will get people talking like the recently introduced Jailbreak. It’s really more of a softening of the blow to muscle car fans who will soon be robbed of their Hemi fix from the brand.
So, you’re asking, “what’s replacing the Charger and Challenger?”
Those of you waiting for an EV muscle car won’t have to wait long. Kuniskis says a concept version of the “muscle EV” is coming in the next four or five months. And in a surprising nod to automotive outlets, it’ll be able to be driven and tested.
Dodge also has a plug-in hybrid expected to go into production at the end of 2022. We speculate it may be a version of the Durango, but Kuniskis didn’t say whether or not the Durango would be moving to a new platform or if the model would be around at all.
A third new model is also in the works. Kuniskis is light on details, but says “The third one is going to be a very, very, very, significant car at the end of the year.”
And in a move that should make our very own Jason Torchinsky very happy, Dodge’s made up Fratzog badge will be used exclusively on EVs.
It still means absolutely nothing and has no relevance or significance as to why we’re using it now either,” Kuniskis says. But, backlit and in 3D, “it looks cool and high-tech and modern and looks like it represents electrification.
Whatever floats your boat, or rather, charges your batteries.
So you muscle car fans who are mad about this: calm down. Chances are the power output is even better than your Hemis anyways, and it needs to be done for the planet.
You can expect these new models to take the stage at major auto shows next year, presumably in Dodge’s Detroit home, at the North American International Auto Show.