Possible Arrival of High-Performance Dodge Charger Plug-In Hybrid Sparks Excitement

Dodge’s Latest Muscle Car: BEV & Gas Models, Potential for Plug-in Hybrid Upgrade

Dodge caused quite a stir with the launch of their latest muscle car, the Charger Daytona, this week. Staying true to the initial concept car introduced in 2022, the finished product will hit the market as an all-electric coupe later this year, with a sedan version scheduled for release in early 2025.

“Also on tap for next year: gas-powered coupe and sedan Chargers – which forego the “Daytona” badge – using two variants of the new Stellantis inline-six Hurricane engine.” In the upcoming year, we can expect to see gas-powered versions of the Charger coupe and sedan. These models will not feature the iconic “Daytona” badge, but instead will be equipped with two variations of the newly developed Stellantis inline-six Hurricane engine.

The credit for this achievement can be attributed to the innovative STLA Large architecture, which was created by the Euro-American automaker. As described by Dodge brand manager Tim Kuniskis during a recent media briefing, this platform differs from the traditional skateboard-style layouts commonly used for new electric vehicles. Kuniskis referred to it as a “multi-energy platform,” highlighting its versatility and adaptability.

During a follow-up discussion with CarBuzz, Kuniskis and Audrey Moore, the Charger’s Chief Engineer, disclosed that there may be additional powertrain options for the new muscle car aside from the all-electric and gas versions.The duo hinted at the possibility of future iterations featuring different types of powertrains. This could potentially widen the model’s appeal to a broader range of customers.Kuniskis and Moore also mentioned that they are continuously exploring new technologies and advancements in the automotive industry. As such, they are open to introducing more powertrain choices for the Charger in the future.

Based on multiple sources from both within and outside the organization, it is highly probable that the plan will involve incorporating one or more plug-in hybrid-electric models. This PHEV model is expected to rank as the second most robust option for the Charger, following closely behind the all-electric Charger Daytona Banshee, which is anticipated to hit the market sometime in 2026.

“Anything’s possible,” stated Charger chief engineer Audrey Moore when questioned about the possibility of hybrid versions being developed. In further statements, she emphasized that this is a viable option that her team is actively exploring.

Stellantis, the parent company of several major automotive brands, has been hesitant to fully embrace “electrification,” particularly in the North American market. However, in light of increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs), the company has been actively seeking out alternative options that can appeal to a wider audience and also be more affordable.

According to recent reports, Detroit-based brands have introduced a range of battery-powered choices, beginning with what they refer to as “mild” hybrids. These models utilize 48-volt motor drive systems, offering a small amount of launch support to an otherwise gasoline-driven drivetrain. However, it appears that the company has not shown much enthusiasm for the more traditional hybrid technology seen in vehicles like the Toyota Prius.

Half a decade ago, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid marked a significant advancement in the automotive industry. Despite its moniker, this minivan is actually a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Equipped with a powerful 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, not only does it reduce fuel consumption, but it also has the ability to travel over 30 miles in electric-only mode, as confirmed by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The Jeep company has recently introduced two additional plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to their lineup, with positive reactions from customers. The most popular among them is the Wrangler 4xe, which has become America’s top-selling PHEV. Close behind is the Grand Cherokee 4xe, also receiving high sales numbers.

Jeep executives have announced their intentions to introduce hybrid options for all models in their range – with a particular focus on plug-in hybrids. Furthermore, Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares, stated in a previous interview that this is just the beginning of their plans.

According to Tavares, “If you want to go fast, you can reduce by 50% your CO2 emissions, while protecting affordability.” He emphasized the importance of protecting affordability for the middle classes, which in turn protects high-volume sales and ultimately benefits the planet.

According to Sam Fiorani, chief analyst at AutoForecast Solutions, “The potential is there” to incorporate one or more plug-in versions of the Charger “because all the parts are already there.”

While Stellantis has not yet incorporated hybrid technology into the recently introduced Hurricane inline-six engine, several sources have mentioned that it has the capability to be combined with the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission utilized by both Jeep models. This transmission differs from traditional ones by replacing the torque converter with an electric drive system. In its current state, this could potentially offer an additional 150 horsepower and a substantial amount of torque as soon as the motor begins to rotate.

“With the addition of a twin-turbo system to the already powerful Hurricane engine, which produces 550 horsepower, we could potentially see a monstrous 700 horsepower,” stated Sam Abuelsamid, the lead auto analyst at Guidehouse Insights. He further estimated that this upgrade could result in 0-60 mph launches in the low to mid-three second range.

According to Abuelsamid, “It would be the highest-performance version using a gas engine.” However, he cautioned that it may not be the most powerful version of the Charger overall. In fact, Dodge boss Kuniskis has effectively stated that this role will be reserved for the all-electric Banshee.

The muscle car company has not yet announced the specifications for this particular model – however, they have mentioned that it will transition from the 400-volt electrical system found in the Daytona R/T and Scat Pack versions to an 800-volt system. This change should enable a considerable increase in power distribution between the battery pack and the wheels. Critics anticipate that the Banshee will potentially reach up to 1,000 horsepower, making it a fierce competitor against the recently unveiled Lucid Air Sapphire and Tesla Model S Plaid, both boasting over a thousand ponies and lightning-fast acceleration times of under 2 seconds.

Fiorani warned that the exact release date for a plug-in version of the new Dodge Charger is uncertain. His charts are currently monitoring the production schedule for various versions of the high-performance vehicle until the end of 2025. However, his predictions beyond that time frame are not definite.

According to the speaker, the earliest possible date for this event would be 2026. He clarifies, “It cannot happen before that year.”

With Dodge’s current lineup already including a busy schedule of models, introducing new variants will require considerable effort. However, sources within Stellantis have revealed to CarBuzz that it may only take 18 months to two years from receiving approval for a Chrysler PHEV to actually commence production.Based on the intricate timetable for Dodge’s existing models, the addition of more variations will require significant effort. Nonetheless, insiders at Stellantis have informed CarBuzz that obtaining formal approval and bringing a Chrysler PHEV into production could potentially be achieved in as little as 18 months to two years.

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