Report: Dodge muscle cars aren’t done with gas engines


If you believed that the myriad final editions of the Challenger and Charger signaled Dodge’s final dance with internal-combustion muscle cars, you were not alone. The brand that brought you nearly two decades of tire-smokin’ good times announced in August of last year that 2023 would mark the final year of production for its Hemi-V-8-powered muscle cars. Dodge then offered a preview of its electric future: the Charger Daytona SRT Banshee concept. The writing on the wall said gas-powered Dodge muscle was dead … or so we thought.

© 2023 Stellantis

If a new report is to be believed, there might yet be hope. Speaking with an anonymous source “connected to a supplier with firsthand information of Dodge’s production plans,” The Drive writes that the next-generation of the Charger will be a two-pronged affair—one model powered by batteries, another by internal combustion.

“They’re keeping gasoline engines,” the source said to The Drive. “The official designation for the vehicle platform is LB and it will have the new GME-T6 Hurricane inline-six in RWD and AWD. It will be using the Stellantis Gen 4 transmission that’s also rolling out to Mack Assembly, Jefferson North Assembly, and Toledo North.”

Quite the claim. We reached out to Stellantis for comment and received the following from Tim Kuniskis, chief executive officer of the Dodge Brand:

“More than a year ago we revealed the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Banshee concept and announced that Dodge will build an all-electric muscle car. For the first official look at the car, and for more info, you’ll just have to wait.”

That … is certainly not an outright denial of what The Drive says.

While we hurry up and wait, let’s take it piece by piece, doing our best impersonation of a 1940s noir detective with a wall of photos and a ball of red yarn.

Stellantis Hurricane I-6 High output

When Stellantis powertrain engineers first revealed the Hurricane back in March of last year, one of the big points they were keen to highlight was the engine’s improved efficiency compared to the larger-displacement engines in the company’s portfolio. The only engines with more displacement than the three-liter Hurricane are: the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, the 5.7-liter naturally aspirated Hemi V-8, the 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat engine (which we love dearly), and the 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that will live on in Ram’s heavy-duty pickups.

2023 Grand Wagoneer L Series III hurricane twin turbo I-6 engine
Stellantis | Jeep

That six-four also powered select versions of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, but the luxury subbrand has quietly been pivoting to either the high- or standard-output versions of the Hurricane. (The 6.4 came standard in the Grandie, but not the Wagoneer, which made due the 5.7-liter Hemi.) We now know that the Hurricane seems to fit wherever a Hemi can, regardless of which displacement (5.7 or 6.4 liters) Hemi you were dealing with.

GME-T6 is the internal designation for the standard output version of the Hurricane. When it launched, engineers said that version was good for “more than 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, dependent on the application.” In the higher-spec versions of the 2023 Wagoneer, that GME-T6 is actually good for 420 hp and 468 lb-ft of torque, so we know that there’s even more twist available. The high-output version of the Hurricane, internally known as GME-T6 H.O., was initially rated for 500 hp and 475 lb-ft of twist, application dependent. We now know those figures were conservative, because in the 2023 Grand Wagoneer L, the Hurricane makes 510 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. If The Drive‘s report is indeed true, let’s hope there are also plans for the high-output Hurricane to find its way beneath a Charger’s hood.

The future of electrified muscle: Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept

What about the source’s comment about rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configuration? When the all-electric Charger Daytona SRT Banshee concept debuted, Stellantis noted that it was underpinned by the STLA Large platform, one of four new electric platforms developed by the conglomerate ahead of a massive influx of EVs slated to arrive in the coming years. On a webpage detailing its electric future, Stellantis says that the STLA group of platforms will be configurable as front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive.

What’s more, another report from The Drive published in late 2022 noted that Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis did allude to the fact that the STLA Large platform could, in theory, house a gas-powered drivetrain and all the accompanying bits. However, in the same article, Kuniskis made it clear that Dodge was going full-bore into electric muscle cars, not anything Hurricane-powered.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept rear three-quarter

That “Gen 4 transmission” is essentially an updated version of the eight-speed automatic that Stellantis uses in everything from Jeeps to Rams to the outgoing Charger and Challenger. Nothing too surprising there, though it doesn’t sound like Dodge has any plans for a manual-equipped version of this next-gen Charger. Bummer.

Our conclusion: Dodge is obviously playing coy, but a lot of the hypotheticals play out favorably for the next Charger. Consider us cautiously optimistic. Selfishly, we just want to see another round of muscle-car wars. Imagine a Hurricane H.O.–powered Charger hounding a Mustang Dark Horse around a track!

Your move, Chevy.




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    Not to get too far off topic but the stock 2.8L, 60° V-6 in a Fiero sounds really sweet. I’ll grant you it’s not a V-8, but it’s still got a nice purr.

    Hemis aren’t real hemis, just a trademarked name. Has worked great for advertising though.

    Might as well of done the same trick with this six and call them slants. The hurricane reference is a much deeper cut that precedes Chrysler, but it starts with “h” so maybe that was the reason?

    Actually the latter hemi was really closer to the LS engine in design than the Hemi. How about this car and some LS engine swap kits. I expect a kit may make it to market by the first SEMA.

    No manual, no bueno :-). An inline 6 manual sounds amazing to me (I had a couple of BMWs like that). Dodge if you offer it, I will buy it.

    I’ve never heard of the normal Wagoneer coming with the 392, only the 5.7 and, as of now, the standard output Hurricane 6.

    The Hurricane 6 has the potential to be a domestic competitor to the legendary 2JZ and RB26… as long as they don’t have the engineering-fail Achilles Heels that most recent Chrysler engines have had….

    Growing up in AMC city, I am familiar with the in-line six. I immediately associate it with oil stains in the driveway, clattering valve train, and a general lack of performance.
    Regardless of how well the Hurricane is built or of how much power it may make, I have no love for that type of engine. Especially in a car built to be fun.
    I prefer the rumble of an American V8, or the scream of a boosted in-line four cylinder. The six is the typical middle child who receives no love.

    The straight-six is Inherently balanced.
    The layout combined with its firing order leads to essentially the smoothest engine out there.
    V12s and Flat-12s are the next step in further reducing vibration, as they are two I6s matched together.
    Lower manufacturing cost – single cylinder block with all the cylinders in one orientation.
    Simple design, easy to work on much like the I4.

    No, the truth is that Stellantis changed their mind and decided to keep building ICE Chargers. This was not their original plan, but they must have heard the outcry from the masses. It’s good news overall, even though the Hemi rumble will be gone.

    I don’t care what it has under the hood (or floor in the case of batteries), if the Next Charger looks anything like the Daytona SRT Banshee they will be unable to build enough to satisfy demand.

    Stellantis owes billions in CAFE fines to the federal government, especially from the hellcat being put into the number of different models it did, from cars to SUVs to the TRX Ram. That’s after they bought CAFE credits from other manufacturers, making the hemi in more platforms not feasible. The EPA average fuel economy standards across a manufacturers fleet becoming as strict as they are will kill the V8 in just about everything other than 3/4 and 1 ton trucks.

    Battery is not right choice for America
    Looking at history in 1886 was the first of Battery cars till Henry Ford
    Put his cars on the market by the 1920 all electric cars were gone

    I have a 2011 Lincoln MKS with the 3.5L twin-turbo six (Ecoboost). It does a pretty good job of getting a 12 year-old, AWD, 4300 pound car up to speed quickly. I also have owned two Fords and two Pontiacs with factory-supercharged six’s which were both powerful for their time and very reliable. I love V-8’s but I’ll still take an ICE six over an electric anything at this point.

    Ford losing $3B on its EV investments, GM backing away from its gung-ho approach to EVs while touting its new ICE models (not to mention the multiple issues facing Chevy’s newly minted Blazer EV), and industry analysts finally starting to talk some sense into the Big 3 big wigs with respect to the realities of EV adoption over the next ten years, and it makes perfect sense for Stellantis to keep their ICE options open too.

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