There’s a Chance Next Dodge Charger Will Have a Gas Engine: Here’s Why
There is a lot going on at Dodge, but the biggest thing is its flip to electrification. It’s big news because of the brand’s outrageous Hellcat-powered V8s leading the charge (no pun intended) all these years for internal combustion engines or ICE. Its 2024 Charger Daytona SRT is being hailed as the first electric muscle car, inaugurating its “e-muscle.” So it’s surprising that according to its CEO, it will also have an ICE powerplant.
Dodge CEO says the next Charger could get an ICE engine
Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis sprang the news at the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Nobody was expecting that. Dodge is developing the all-electric powertrain for the next Charger now. But it could also have Dodge’s newest ICE engine in decades, the 3.0-liter twin-turbo Hurricane straight-six.
The Hurricane will replace Jeep, Ram, Dodge, and Chrysler 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engines. But the STLA Large platform, the basis for the 2024 Charger Daytona SRT, is able to support the Hurricane engine. “We said that our next-generation cars are built on the STLA Large Car Platform, Kuniskis told a group of media people. “The STLA Large Car Platform is a multi-energy platform. It has the ability to run an ICE engine.
The next Dodge Charger will have a modular platform
“I can take the floor pan out, or I can take the battery out. I can put a drive-shaft tunnel in there. The platform is made to be able to do that. It’s modular.” But then he pedaled back slightly adding, “I can put an ICE engine in it. It doesn’t mean we’re doing it.”
Prodded further, Kuniskis said, We’re certainly not launching with anything like that. We’re launching a full battery electric.” So our interpretation of this back-and-forth is that Dodge has been teasing its e-muscle switch to electric for a while. It’s signaling its EV performance pursuit to quell those who are against electrification. After all, Dodge is the poster child for fast, high-performance cars.
But there are no guarantees. Its traditional buyers are wanting the opposite of what EVs represent, except for the performance aspects. If there is a refusal to accept EVs, the STLA platform can allow Dodge to offer ICE power its traditional buyers prefer. And the DOHC Hurricane engine checks off a lot of what both ICE buyers and Dodge want, and what Dodge needs due to environmental mandates.
What is the Hurricane Six engine?
Two variants of the Hurricane inline six will be available. The standard engine has 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque at 5,800 rpm. But there’s also a high-output version. It pumps out more than 500 hp and almost 500 lb-ft of torque at 6,100 rpm. And besides these two versions, hybrid variants will also be available. And for Dodge, 96 percent of the parts used for the two Hurricane versions are common, which cuts down on production costs.
So depending on how you look at it, the Hurricane alternative is either a longshot or a plan for, say, 2026. Gasoline-powered engines will still be in demand in the 2030s. That demand may or may not be large enough to sustain its survival. But the Charger Daytona SRT gives Dodge the option of playing this card or folding on ICE engines for good.