Defiant: Dodge Is Not Giving Up On Supercharged V-8s Yet
MOPAR fans can rejoice as the supercharged V-8 is not going anywhere just yet; but what does it mean for Dodge as a whole?by Dim Angelov, on
The Dodge brand is in a tricky position where it has to make the transition to electricity while keeping enthusiasts happy. Dodge fans are an interesting bunch of individuals, and an EV muscle car, as exciting as it promises to be, has undoubtedly, sparked debates. With this in mind, the recent talks about Dodge killing off the supercharged V-8 may not be so true. A recent MotorTrend article spoke of upcoming, supercharged V-8 models, as confirmed by the publication’s sources. Moreover, there’s enough information indicating that Dodge is not done with gas-burning performance models. Here’s what the next-generation Hemi models could mean for the brand.
A Separate, EV Brand Could Spawn From Dodge
We all know about the upcoming Dodge EV Muscle car that’s going to be unveiled this August alongside the last Dodge Hellcat and the plug-in hybrid Hornet. The teaser for the EV Muscle from Dodge also re-introduced a logo Dodge fans haven’t seen in a while. Fratzog is the name of the logo and it was first used in 1962 on the Dodge Polara 500. The Fratzog logo was only featured on certain Dodge models, service manuals, or owner’s manuals, but never on adverts. The word ’Fratzog’ doesn’t mean anything and was a made-up word by a Dodge designer.
With that said, Dodge is still in the business of making internal-combustion-powered vehicles as the newly-developed Hurricane inline-six can attest to that. With this in mind and with the upcoming supercharged V-8 models, Dodge would need to distinguish its EV models from its ICE-powered lineup even more, which is why the return of the Fratzog logo, likely, means that Dodge’s all-electric models will be sold under the Fratzog brand.
While not yet confirmed, this is common practice with other manufacturers when they want to enter a new segment. It’s the same principle as when Hyundai created the Genesis luxury brand in order to escape the economy car image. Moreover, brands like Volvo and Maserati have also come up with their separate brands in the form of Polestar and Folgore. Hence, the reintroduction of the Fratzog logo is an undeniable hint at what Dodge is planning for the future.
An Entirely New Platform
We already know that Dodge’s EV muscle car will be underpinned by one of the four Stellantis platforms, dedicated to electrification. The same thing would go for the new supercharged V-8 Dodge models as the old LD platform has long reached its limits due to it being a revised LX platform, dating back to the 2002 W220 Mercedes E-Class. Dodge CEO, Tim Kuniskis said that “the Hellcat, as we know it, will die in 2023”. This is a clever play with words as it does not indicate the end of the supercharged V-8. But, what will underpin the next generation of Dodge Muscle cars?
While we don’t yet have an exact answer to that, the answer may hide in another iconic muscle car nameplate, slated to return – the Barracuda. Of course, the Plymouth brand is long dead so the model is scheduled to return as the Dodge Barracuda. While the model is yet to get an official release date, it reportedly has been unveiled at a dealers-only event.
The Barracuda is said to be based on a version of the Giorgio platform, which underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio models, but it will be adapted to accommodate for a V-8. With that said, we also know that Alfa Romeo is working on a BMW 5 Series rival, which will be bigger than the Giulia, which further reinforces the Giorgio platform as the go-to choice for future Dodge muscle cars.
Whether Dodge’s new Muscle car platform will be shared with Alfa Romeo remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, it will feature lightweight materials that would make the next-gen muscle cars more lightweight and likely more athletic. This likely means that the next-gen Dodge Muscle cars will be able to take corners like some of the European and Japanese high-performance offerings.
Dodge Will Pay More Government Fines
As brilliant as the Dodge Hellcat is in its insanity, it costs Dodge, and by extension us, a lot of money to keep on the road. This is due to the fact that over the last couple of years, Chrysler’s high-performance, supercharged offerings fail to cover the increasingly strict, federal emissions standards, resulting in fines in the tens or, potentially, even hundreds of millions. Naturally, the customers get to pay a lot of that through increased monthly payments, and let’s not mention the gas-guzzler tax all Hellcat owners have to endure.
While this will mostly apply to the 909-horsepower, last hurrah of the Hellcat, we are yet to learn how Stellantis (of which Chrysler is now a part) is planning to avoid paying government fines in the future. The naturally-aspirated V-8 engines will likely be replaced by the new inline-six, which is expected to come in two flavors – 400 and 500 horsepower – thus replacing the Pentastar V-6 and 392 V-8.
As for the higher performance spectrum, the 909-horsepower, E85-compatible version on the Hellcat send-off edition may return, likely accompanied by a standard Hellcat V-8 tuned for more polar-bear friendliness. The brilliant, ZF eight-speed automatic is expected to be the only transmission option. The most important takeaway from here is that, at least for a while, we get to enjoy the supercharged V-8 some more.