Drag racing, big smokey burnouts, and turbo V-6 hybrids? That’s right, the era of Chrysler's supercharged V-8s may soon be ending. Or at least that’s what the latest report from The Detroit News is suggesting.
In a recent interview with TheNews, Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley expressed his thoughts about the muscle car segment and provided hints at the future of the Dodge Challenger. “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. 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.”
And it’s very possible that we already know what this technology will look like. Ram’s eTorque system, launching in the 2019 1500 series, utilizes a 48-volt electric motor to supplement both V-6 and V-8 variants, boosting torque figures by an additional 90 lb-ft and 130 lb-ft, respectively. Rather than increasing peak output, the Ram’s system is geared towards broadening usable power. That doesn’t mean, however, that Dodge couldn’t retune the setup to provide a more performance-oriented role for future offerings.
The News also speculates that FCA could drop V-8s altogether, opting instead for a downsized turbocharged V-6 to fill the role that the Hemi engine family currently fills. Although no official announcement has been made, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine FCA offering a twin turbo Pentastar V-6 with upwards of 400 horsepower, à la Ford’s 3.5-liter Ecoboost.
What are your thoughts on the future of muscle cars? Can a lightweight, hybridized Challenger bring as much excitement as an old-school V-8? Let us know in the Hagerty Forums.