Future of Dodge: Electric Muscle?
There is no one familiar with the automobile industry who does not know Dodge; sheer horses and pure American muscle.
The company is known for making cars with engines that generate insane power and torque compared to any other vehicle in the segment. A sedan that delivers an eye-watering 797 horsepower from a 6.2 L Supercharged V8 is just insane. And this is not just true for the modern years, the 1915 Dodge Model 30-35 had 35 horsepower whereas the popular Ford Model T had a mere 20.
However, the world is shifting to EVs and governments around the world, especially in the US are imposing increased restrictions on emissions and fuel efficiency, This could result in Dodge becoming an endangered beast.
After its parent company, Fiat Chrysler merged with the French automaker Groupe PSA to form Stellantis N.V. the transition to electric power seems inevitable to stay in line with the company's electrification plan.
Could going electric be a nail in the coffin of Dodge?
Dodge is one company that has not wavered from its fundamental principle of generating more horsepower and trapping it inside a muscle car. The people who buy Dodge are willing to pay a premium for the driving experience and this is not the Rolls Royce kind where you don't even feel you are driving, but one where every second you are connected with the car and the road, and the battle ensues between you and the vehicle to decide who takes control of the other.
The challenge ahead for Dodge is to recreate the same experience using an electric drivetrain.
A lot of people will claim that Tesla has proven that driving an EV can be thrilling and exhilarating. There is a slight caveat to the Tesla driving experience, launching a Tesla is a thrilling and exhilarating experience, driving it is a safe and comfortable one. No offence to Tesla, I love their cars, the new Roadster with the SpaceX pack can do 0-100Kmph in just 1.1 second and ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars just cannot beat it. But it is just not the same.
Another thing Dodge fans will miss in an EV is the sound, oh the sound of an unleashed beast that Dodge cars make even when idling at a traffic signal is just heavenly. This cannot be replicated by EVs even with speakers and woofers mounted on them.
So what is the best strategy for Dodge to stay alive?
I think the best way for Dodge to stay relevant is to hold on to their supercharged V8 models for as long as they can while investing heavily in R&D to develop electric powertrains to make the switch.
And the switch should not be from ICE to BEV (Battery-Electric Vehicle) but to transition to a hybrid powertrain first with just the right amount of electric power to stay in line with the norms. With each new model, the dependency on the ICE for power should be reduced while increasing the overall horsepower using electric power.
This will ensure that those looking forward to buying a new Dodge vehicle won't miss the engine cranking so much when the Dodge Charger finally connects to a wall charger.