- Could the next Dodge Charger be a hybrid?
- Will the Charger get a 48-volt mild hybrid first?
- Can the new STLA platform accommodate a hybrid Hellcat setup?
Is the Dodge Charger next on the list to get a hybrid powertrain? Well, we may find out very soon. Stellantis, the umbrella company that covers Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and several other automakers, is set to announce the future of its EV plans next week. Stellantis' EV Day 2021, as they're calling it, will hopefully provide insight into the company's electrification strategy and give us more information on the rumored STLA global platform, as well as the future of the Dodge Charger.
The Ram 1500 currently uses a 48-volt mild hybrid system with both its standard V6 and its available 5.7-liter V8. The iconic Jeep Wrangler was recently transformed by the addition of a plug-in hybrid system that provides 21 miles of electric-only range. And what do those two have in common with the Dodge Charger? They share the same big ol' parts bin. All three of these vehicles use some version of the same Pentastar V6, as well as the same 6.4-liter V8. The Ram TRX and the Charger Hellcat both use the same supercharged 6.2-liter V8, while the Wrangler and the 1500 both use the same 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6.
So it stands to reason that the Charger could likely use one of the powertrains that the Ram or the Wrangler already uses. Or, if the Charger were to borrow from the Stellantis-owned Chrysler Pacifica, it could use the 3.6-liter V6 plug-in hybrid system. And in the Pacifica, that system is good for an EPA estimate of 32 miles on electric power alone.
It's entirely possible that Dodge will use a completely new powertrain under the hood of the Charger — and its fraternal twin, the Dodge Challenger — especially with the global STLA platform on the way very soon. We don't know yet just how different the STLA platform is from current offerings and if it will accommodate current engines. It might also be possible that Dodge would go the high-horsepower route. It's a road the brand knows very well, and adding electrification to an existing powertrain like the 392 V8 or the supercharged Hellcat could mean a lot for pure performance — both from an acceleration and fuel economy standpoint.
With the newest F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid and all-electric Lightning models causing so much buzz, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to imagine a plug-in hybrid version of the Ram 1500 or one that goes full EV. Adapt those same hypothetically new power sources for the Charger, and suddenly things start to fall into place.
It's worth noting, however, that the 4xe plug-in hybrid system that powers the Jeep Wrangler, even though it uses a turbocharged four-cylinder, produces 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. That's more horsepower than the Charger's V6 or 5.7-liter V8 currently provides, and it's only 5 lb-ft less torque than the current 6.4-liter V8 (475 lb-ft). Clearly, just because it's a four-banger doesn't mean it's a slouch. Oh and it's already mated to four-wheel drive. So could there be an all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid version of the Charger with 375 horsepower? Sounds like a real possibility.
While we're fairly certain there's some electricity on its way into Dodge Chargers soon, we're not sure exactly how or when. It's always fun to speculate, though. We aren't likely to see electrified Chargers until at least 2022 or 2023, but with ever-increasing fuel economy standards and the extra power that electric motors can provide for high-performance vehicles, it's likely that strictly gas-powered muscle cars may soon be a thing of the past.