Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Mike Manley says that the next-generation Challenger will use some form of electrification to reach performance and efficiency goals.
During an interview with The Detroit News at the Detroit Auto Show, the new FCA boss said that large supercharged V8 powertrains can’t continue to exist into the mid-2020s.
“I think that electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future. What it isn’t going to be is a V-8, supercharged, 700-horsepower engine.
“The reality is those platforms and that technology we used does need to move on. They can’t exist as you get into the middle-2020s,” Manley said.
“New technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of the powertrains in a different way. And we can use electrification to really supplement those vehicles.”
The muscle car is changing…
It remains to be seen what exact form FCA’s future muscle car engines will take in the future but a forced induction V8 paired to a small electric motor is certainly a possibility. Ward’s Auto says there’s a good chance Fiat Chrysler will build a twin-turbo V6 to replace the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and that this new six-cylinder could find its way into range-topping muscle cars with an electric motor.
Towards the more affordable end of the Challenger range, it’s possible that variants could use a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with 48-volt mild-hybrid assist.
While Manley evaded saying when the Challenger will be replaced, it’s unlikely that the car manufacturer is in any rush to replace the vehicle thanks to its strong sales. In 2018, the Dodge Challenger enjoyed its best year of sales since being re-introduced in 2008, shifting a total of 66,716 units, easily beating out the Chevrolet Camaro to be the second-best selling muscle car in the U.S. after the Ford Mustang.