Dodge may be best known for its supercharged V-8s but that could soon change as the brand’s electric future is coming up fast.
Dodge has already confirmed it will launch its first electric vehicle, a battery-powered muscle car, in 2024, but we won’t have to wait until then to see an electric Dodge.
In an interview with Automotive News (subscription required) published on Saturday, Tim Kuniskis, Dodge’s CEO, said the brand’s electrification plans will be formally announced in the fourth quarter of 2021 and that an electric Dodge concept vehicle will be revealed in 2022.
That’s the same year Dodge will launch its first electrified vehicle, a plug-in hybrid likely twinned with Alfa Romeo’s upcoming Tonale compact crossover. The Dodge is tipped to be called a Hornet.
Kuniskis said Dodge intends to be transparent with its electrification plans and is making announcements early to give existing fans time to adjust while also attracting customers who may never have previously considered a Dodge.
“We hope that we draw a different type of consumer, and keep the consumer that we have today,” he said. “That’s very important to us, and that’s why we want to get our concept car out next year and explain to people exactly what we’re going to do.”
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid
Don’t expect Dodge to show up with an EV spitting out over 1,000 hp. In his interview with Automotive News, Kuniskis said the brand has the ability to launch an EV with 1,200 hp but it wouldn’t make the car any quicker than what Dodge already offers, as there would be too much wheelspin. He also hinted that a Dodge EV would need to be somewhat more affordable than something like the 1,020-hp Tesla Model S Plaid which starts at $131,190, including destination. Kuniskis didn’t reveal the price target for a Dodge EV but said the $40,000 to $50,000 bracket is the heart of the market for muscle cars.
For its future EVs, Dodge will have access to four battery-electric platforms that its Stellantis parent company is currently developing. Announced in July, the platforms will cover Stellantis’ 14 brands and in some guises deliver up to 500 miles of range on a charge.
The platforms include the STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large, and STLA Frame (for body-on-frame vehicles), and have been designed to be flexible when it comes to length and width. They’ve also been designed to fit modular drive units combining an electric motor, transmission and inverter. These drive units can be used for front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations, as well as plug-in hybrids, and up to three of them can be fitted in a vehicle. Dodge is expected to initially use the STLA Large platform.
4 dedicated EV platforms – 2021 Stellantis EV Day
The good news is that Dodge will continue to offer gas-powered cars alongside its new electric offerings, at least for a short while. Kuniskis confirmed this in an interview with Muscle Cars & Trucks published last week.
“The new platform comes in 2024; we didn’t say that the current cars are going to die in 2024,” he said. “There might be a little overlap, but you’re not going to have years and years and years of the classic and the new one at the same time.”
This suggests that we could see the Challenger and Charger we know and love continue to be sold alongside new electrified and fully electric models. Porsche plans to undertake a similar strategy with its Macan, where the current gas-powered version will be sold alongside a new electric Macan due in 2023.