Dodge’s plans to launch an all-electric muscle car in 2024 have unsettled the brand’s traditional customer base.
After the announcement made at Stellantis EV Day in July, many of the brand’s die-hard fans have started wondering whether the introduction of a battery-powered muscle car means that Dodge will abandon its V8 models.
The answer is no, at least not for the foreseeable future. In an interview with Muscle Cars & Trucks during Roadkill Nights 2021, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said that there might be a bit of a grace period for those seeking to buy gas-powered Charger and Challenger muscle cars beyond 2024.
“The new platform comes in 2024. The new car comes in 2024. We didn’t say that the current cars are going to die in 2024. 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.”
Gallery: Dodge Electric Muscle Car Teaser
The executive added that he understands the reluctance of some muscle car enthusiasts to go electric and acknowledges the risk of alienating them.
“The reception that I’ve gotten from customers… when you make a big change, there’s going to be people that just aren’t going to follow you, at least initially. But a lot of those people will return eventually when they see we’re serious, and we’re going to be Dodge first.”
He believes an electric muscle car can stir similar emotions to a V8-powered machine provided that the performance numbers are comparable, or even better than is available today.
“You gotta divorce yourself from the technology. When we talk about Redeyes, Hellcats, Super Stocks and Demons… we do that to sell down the range… the same thing will apply if I can get you great performance.”
Kuniskis hopes that enough customers will follow Dodge into an electric era, although he's aware that besides a lack of drama compared to traditional muscle cars, performance EVs have another disadvantage, at least at this early stage: they are more expensive.
According to Kuniskis, that may cause some Dodge customers to leave the brand, although they may be replaced by new ones.