In the coming years, roaring gas-powered muscle vehicles will be making their last Saturday night excursions.
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — In the next years, automakers will start replacing roaring gas-powered muscle cars with lightning-quick electric vehicles. These vehicles have long been a staple of American culture.
The corporation formerly known as Fiat Chrysler's Dodge brand, which has long been the performance standard-bearer, is formally transitioning to electricity. As the sun sets on some petroleum-powered cars in 2024, Dodge introduced a battery-powered Charger Daytona SRT concept car on Wednesday evening.
By the end of the following year, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, and Chrysler 300 big automobiles would no longer be produced in gasoline variants, according to Stellaris. They will be produced through an electric vehicle conversion at the Canadian facility. The same direction is being taken by other automakers or has been taken by them.
According to General Motors, an all-electric Chevrolet Corvette will be produced. Tesla claims that its Model S Plaid variant, which can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in under 2 seconds, is the quickest production car ever built. High-performance electric versions from Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, and other European automakers are already available for purchase. Additionally, a new Polestar 6 roadster for 2026 has recently been unveiled by Polestar, a Volvo subsidiary focused on electric performance.
Electric vehicles are just quicker off the line, which is one factor in the industry transition. Additionally, because of their large batteries' low center of gravity, they often have better handling.
Another factor is stricter governmental pollution regulations. Automakers in the US may have to give up some of their gas-powered muscle car models as a result of the Biden administration's stricter fuel economy regulations and increased production of EVs.
The transition to the electric Charger, according to Tim Kuniskis, CEO of the Dodge brand, was accelerated by the possibility of government fines for failing to achieve gas mileage standards. It's difficult, he remarked, to deal with compliance penalties and similar issues that come along with a powerful cast-iron supercharged V8.
However, it will still be a few years before gas-powered vintage cars disappear.
According to Sam Abuelsamid, a research analyst at Guidehouse Insights, "over the next few years, I think we'll continue to have some internal combustion issues, possibly through most of the decade." But the electric ones will come under more and more scrutiny.
The fleet of new vehicles will have to average roughly 40 miles per gallon in 2026, up from 25.4 mpg at now, according to revised gas-mileage regulations that were published in April. Future rules are likely to be considerably stricter, which will force American automakers to stop producing some gasoline-powered muscle cars to avoid penalties.
According to the EPA, Stellantis had the worst average fuel economy of all major automakers (21.3 miles per gallon) and the worst average carbon dioxide emissions. To avoid fines, the corporation will probably have to discontinue several models. Its limited-edition Charger SRT Widebody, for example, only achieves 12 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the interstate thanks to its supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat V-8.
The idea of a muscle car without noise and odors is blasphemy to many gearheads. But according to Kuniskis, Dodge is making a lot of effort to mimic the internal combustion experience with electricity. He said that the Charger will produce its airflow to match the exhaust roar of gas-performance vehicles. Additionally, the transmission will change gears.
On Wednesday night at a racetrack in Pontiac, Michigan, an electric Charger was driven through a garage door and into a building. It roared much like a gas muscle car.
According to Kuniskis, electric vehicles have the potential to perform better than gas-powered muscle cars in terms of quick acceleration. But he claimed that they are somewhat sterile. It is devoid of emotion. There isn't any drama in it. When an ICE (internal combustion engine) is loud, rumbling, shifting, and moving the automobile about, it doesn't have the same sense of danger.
The electric Charger will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph faster than the company's current petroleum performance cars, according to Kuniskis, who would not specify the exact speed. He also declined to comment on the new Challenger's range-per-charge but stressed that making it a true muscle car is more essential than range.
Rick Nelson, the proprietor of Musclecar Restoration & Design in Pleasant Plains, Illinois, a suburb of Springfield, warned that convincing old-timers who grew up around racing's sounds and smells to move from loud fuel-burning engines to silent electricity would be difficult.
According to Kuniskis, the muscle automobile is not extinct because of the switch to electricity. Just a new age.
It's alright, he said. "Let us demonstrate what the future holds for you."
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