There have been loads of rumors floating around the internet about the future of the Dodge brand, but with Roadkill Nights, Speed Week and the Woodward Dream Cruise all happening within the next month, we should soon have a good look at what is coming from the performance-minded brand in the next few years. Today, we take a look at what is likely to debut from Dodge between now and the end of August.
Dodge Speed Week
While the Dodge brand will have a big display at the Woodward Dream Cruise alongside the Modern Street Hemi Shootout exactly one week after hosting Roadkill Nights, the most important few days in August for Mopar muscle car fans are August 15th, 16th and 17th. Those dates make up the middle of Speed Week and on those days, we are likely to see the vehicles which will shape the future of the Dodge brand.
This is how the brand addressed those dates in the Speed Week press release back in June:
Monday, August 15 – Current muscle announcements
Tuesday, August 16 – Gateway muscle announcement
Wednesday, August 17 – Future muscle announcement
Based on this brief schedule, it looks as though there will be multiple announcements on August 15th, followed by a single announcement on the 16th and 17th.
Current Muscle Announcements
The most popular internet rumors focusing on the Dodge brand suggest that there will be one final super muscle car. Rumors suggest that it will run on E85 and our contacts have suggested that it will likely feature the 3.0-liter supercharger from the Hellephant crate engine, but it is unlikely to get a new engine – such as the long-rumored modern 426 Hemi. Instead, it will rely on the same basic engine architecture as the Redeye cars, measuring 6.2-liters and the odds are good that this new engine configuration will make somewhere between 850 and 950 horsepower.
Now, all of the rumors have focused on the Challenger, but with current generation of both the Challenger and Charger expected to come to an end soon, it is very possible that both models could get this monstrous engine. Seeing as how most other packages have been offered on both models, shy of the 1320 and the Demon, it seems logical that Dodge would show both the Challenger and Charger some big-power love to end the generation.
In short, our guess is that the “current muscle announcements” will pertain to some sort of final edition package for the Dodge Challenger and Charger – presumably relating to the rumors of a new variant of the Hellcat Hemi engine architecture. Since these models will likely be the same as the current cars – just with the more powerful engine and perhaps some unique badging – we would expect that we will actually see these cars in person next month.
Future Muscle Announcement
It is common knowledge that Dodge is working on electric powered vehicles for the next generation, so it seems like a sure bet that the “future muscle announcement” will be an electric vehicle. Tim Kuniskis made a comment last year about a “Charger with a charger”, so we would expect that the first Dodge EV would be based on the roomy sedan. Also, Dodge plans for their performance EV to challenge the best in the segment, which is unquestionably the Tesla Model S, so a similarly sized Charger would make perfect sense for a Tesla-fighter. Plus, if you look at all of the most popular electric vehicles, they are all four-door models, so an electric Charger seems like the most likely future announcement.
While we think that the future muscle announcement will shed some light on the future of the Dodge EV program, we don’t expect to actually see the electric vehicle in person. With that car expected to arrive for the 2024 model year, it seems unlikely that the company would already have an example to show the world – but we could be wrong. Dodge has certainly surprised us more than once in the past decade, so perhaps Kuniskis will show off a Charger with a charger in August.
Gateway Muscle Announcement
Finally, the Dodge Speed Week announcement that has gotten the least amount of attention is the “gateway muscle announcement”, because there really haven’t been any rumors to suggest that it could be. However, we know that a gateway is typically part of a path from one thing to another.
If we are talking about a gateway between muscle cars powered purely by gasoline and muscle cars powered purely by electricity, it seems that the most obvious gateway would be a gas-electric hybrid. It just so happens that back in mid-2019, then-FCA inked a deal with the transmission company ZF for a large number of their next generation 8HP transmissions. The key difference between the next generation and current generation ZF 8-speed transmissions is that the next gen models are designed for hybrid integration.
Our guess is that the gateway muscle announcement will be some sort of hybrid model of the Dodge Challenger. This could be the first introduction of the new “Hurricane” inline-six engine, which offers 510 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque in the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. That engine, mated to a hybrid transmission, could offer far greater fuel economy than the 392 Hemi while also offering more horsepower and torque. Traditionalists will hate it, but if Dodge can figure out a way to keep offering 500+ horsepower muscle cars by going to a hybrid turbocharger I6 – I will at least check it out before dismissing it.
In this case, with the promise of a singular announcement, I am guessing that we will be introduced to the new drivetrain on its own, rather than focusing on a particular vehicle with the new engine and transmission.