Dodge is settling into its new $52 billion merger between Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA. The French automaker has not shown a strong interest in adopting electric vehicles into its product line, but that may drastically change with the newly established corporation. The car giant, now known as Stellantis, is looking toward the future.
Currently, Dodge does not have any plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicles in its lineup. Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis recently said in a CNBC interview that this is going to change.
Many automakers have already embraced the electrification of its automobiles, and it appears Dodge may be next in joining the trend. A new greener electric vehicle line may soon become a reality for the iconic automaker.
Stellantis has ambitious goals for the future
The recent merger makes Stellantis the world’s fourth-largest auto manufacturer in the industry, with a valuation of $26.5 billion.
CEO Carlos Tavares announced ambitious goals, saying the newly formed company “plans to offer an array of all-electric or hybrid vehicles through 2025, including 10 new models in 2021.” He stated, according to CNBC, “every new model the company launches from now until 2025 will offer an ‘electrified’ variant.”
Tavares told the Detroit Free Press, “We have the technology to deliver the torque, deliver the acceleration feeling, and at the same time reduce dramatically the emissions.”
He admitted replicating the classic rumble of muscle cars will be a hurdle to jump when transitioning to electric versions of the iconic vehicles. He said Stellantis plans to “bring the brand to the next step, to the next century, with a clear vision destination.”
The Dodge product line-up may be going green
Before the merger, the Fiat Chrysler CEO predicted the Dodge Challenger and the Dodge Charger will be replaced with electrified vehicles within the next decade. He claimed, “electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future… What it isn’t going to be is a V8, supercharged, 700-horsepower engine.”
Dodge is the premier maker of American muscle cars, keeping the tradition alive more than any other brand in the industry. The company’s famous Hellcat V8 models, that push 700 hp with a top speed of more than 180 mph, have created a cult-like following among gear heads.
But, interest in these gas guzzlers might diminish as the nation trends toward electric vehicles under the current Biden administration.
How going green may impact muscle cars
The popularity of muscle cars from the ’60s began to diminish in 1972. Kuniskis credited changing fuel economy, safety standards, insurance rates, and increase in emission standards for becoming the beginning of the end of the “Golden Age.” He noted, “It’s kind of crazy to think about we’re getting close to a similar list of things right now.”
Kuniskis told CNBC, “The days of an iron block supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 are numbered.” He predicts electrification, referred to as “Performance 2.0,” will save the “Golden Age of muscle cars.” He said, “The whole world is going to shift to electrification, right? We know this is coming.”
He explained, “I’m super excited about the future of electric because I think it’s what’s going to allow us to not fall off the cliff. Without that technology, without electrification. This is 1972 right now, this thing is going to end.”
The automotive industry is experiencing growing pains as the country clings to crossover SUVs and the development of self-driving vehicles is on the horizon.
The future is uncertain for muscle cars. Automotive industry analysts are anxiously waiting to see where Dodge goes with their product lineup. For now, there is hope that the classic American brands will stay intact with only a few modifications to catapult them into the new generation of electric vehicles.