Dodge CEO Acknowledges EV Shift As Obstacle Ahead

Chargers’ Switch from Hemi V-8 Engines to Electric Faces Uphill Battle After 20 Years

Change is bound to happen, and while it may be effortless for some individuals, it has proved to be challenging for Dodge. Almost two years have passed since the introduction of the Charger Daytona SRT EV Concept, which marked a significant shift towards electrification for the company. And at last, that future has arrived with the unveiling of the 2024 Charger Daytona, touted as the first ever electric muscle car in the world.

The question of whether consumers will embrace immediate electric power over the loud V-8 engine is still uncertain. However, during the unveiling ceremony for the Charger Daytona, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis acknowledged the challenging journey that lies ahead for the company. For nearly two decades, Dodge has prided itself on its powerful Hemi engines. Kuniskis compared the brand’s transition to electric vehicles to heading towards an unavoidable barrier in a race.

“We were aware that we were approaching a wall,” he informed reporters at the event, drawing a comparison to drag racing to describe the predicament. “Therefore, we decided to go all out and deploy the chute right before reaching the finish line.”

Dodge’s recent release of Last Call Chargers and Challengers, including the highly anticipated Challenger Demon 170 with its unique factory-installed parachute, has sparked much attention. As stated by Dodge, this was all part of their plan to simultaneously introduce the Daytona SRT Concept and provide their loyal “brotherhood” with an opportunity to embrace the electric future while savoring the final chapter of the iconic Hemi engine.

According to Kuniskis, “They needed that soak time,” as he stuck with the drag racing analogy. He then added, “And [the Charger Daytona SRT Concept] was the production car, hiding in plain sight.”

Credit must be given to Dodge for not creating a mere compliance car as its first electric vehicle. The upcoming 2024 Charger Daytona in top-of-the-line Scat Pack version is expected to achieve a 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds and cover a quarter-mile in just 11.5 seconds. This bold automaker boldly proclaims that their muscle car is currently the fastest and most potent on the market, as long as your definition of a muscle car does not hinge on it having a V-8 engine.

Based on initial reactions on social media, it appears that no matter how much “soak time” is given, certain individuals will remain unconvinced. However, as demonstrated by BMW, negative feedback online does not always result in low sales. Additionally, for those dissatisfied with the electric Charger Daytona, a 2025 Dodge Charger Sixpack will be available next year, boasting a twin-turbo Hurricane straight-six engine that can deliver up to 550 horsepower.

The fate of the Charger does not solely rely on its transition to a fully electric vehicle. However, it is worth noting that this iconic car will no longer be equipped with a V-8 engine after almost twenty years. As a brand that has established its reputation on the strength of Hemi engines, one may question if this significant shift could potentially jeopardize the Charger’s existence. Share your thoughts in the comments below and tell us what you think.

Source: Dodge

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