- Stellaantis has put together a plan that spans all 16 brands under the corporate umbrella, with all cars, trucks and SUVs running on four BEV platforms, with Dodge muscle cars on what is called the STLA Large platform.
- Stellaantis will make 50% of its cars electric by 2030, including electric muscle cars.
- The current Hemi-powered crop of Dodge muscle cars will be gone by the end of next year.
Muscle car maker Dodge will continue to make muscle well into the future, even if that future goes electric.
At last week’s SEMA show, Dodge put its all-electric Charger Daytona SRT Concept car up front in an exhibit that was otherwise packed with large, traditional V8-powered gasoline breathers. The message was clear, even to the die-hard traditionalists who populate the SEMA show: Mopar and Muscle will survive in the planet’s electric future.
“We’re not designing an electric car,” said Dodge Product Director Tom Sacoman, who stood next to the Charger Daytona SRT Concept. “We’re designing a muscle car that just happens to be electric.”
Dodge’s plans are part of parent company Stellantis’ overall goals for electric conversion.
“The global automotive industry is committed to electrification and Stellantis is in full execution mode with a comprehensive electrification strategy to deliver exciting, class-leading vehicles for our iconic brands that offer cutting-edge technology at affordable prices,” Stellantis said in a statement earlier this year. .
“We are heading for 100% of sales in Europe and 50% of sales in the United States to be battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by the end of this decade,” said Stellantis earlier this year. “And we plan to offer more than 75 battery-electric vehicle models and reach global annual BEV sales of 5 million units by 2030.”
That’s not just PR and marketing language. Stellantis has a specific plan for its upcoming EVs.
“We will undergo the Hemi muscle cars in late ’23,” Sacoman said. “Done. And we’re already making (future EVs). Obviously you see this concept (the Charger Daytona SRT Concept two meters away from him on the Dodge booth at SEMA). We’re already there, moving towards electrification in the “This (the concept) is a fully electric car. It will be launched in a few years, starting in ’24. As we launch in a few years, we will introduce additional versions of electrification in the vehicle.”
Stellantis has developed a plan that includes all 16 brands currently under its corporate umbrella, from Abarth and Alfa Romeo to Ram and Vauxhall. The strategy is to use three all-electric, modular unibody platforms and one body-on-frame platform for everything. Each platform can be customized as needed. The full BEV platforms will be named STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large and STLA Frame. Battery packs provide a range of 300 miles to 500 miles. The muscle cars emerging from the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept run on the STLA Large platform and have a range of up to 500 miles. It will operate on an 800-volt system and use a multi-speed electromechanical transmission.
“We have multiple brands in our showrooms in North America,” says Sacoman. “Those multiple brands allow us to really focus each of the brands on what they’re about, right? For Aries, it’s about abilities. For Dodge, it’s about muscle and performance.”
But does Sacoman really think the traditional Dodge muscle car buyer can switch to electrification?
“I do. I do. I think some people will be early adopters just like any other technological change. For some people that (transition) will take more time. There are still horses, right? People buy them, they are very valuable “But I think overall the whole deal, from our perspective, is to make sure we make a better car than the last one we made. We’re always talking about the analogy of carburetors and fuel injection. Fuel injection was a scary technology, ‘Ah, they don’t run well, they don’t do this’, whatever. ‘We like carburetors, we can put jets in them…’ And guess what, fuel-injected cars came out that were very reliable were, they were better for performance. And the gigs were like, ‘Hey, I’ve got to have that.. Now I’ve got to have the fuel injection.’ The same is going to happen here.”
And looking at the standout Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept at SEMA, does that come close to Dodge’s plans for a transition? Can we expect something like this?
“Certainly. We want this concept to indicate, be a good indicator of what the future will be. Absolutely.”
So make the switch, Mopar aficionados – it may even be easier than going from carburetors to fuel injection. Or at least from horses to cars.
Do you think enough? Dodge fans will support the EV transition, making for a viable business case for the brand? Comment below.