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Dodge CEO says the V8's on its deathbed, but American muscle shouldn't be afraid

EVs and electrification will save performance cars, even though they won't be the same.

2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody
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2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody

This but minus the V8 in the future, probably.

FCA US LLC

Tim Kuniskis, CEO of the brand, knows the V8's days are numbered but he still sleeps at night. That's despite the fact the glorious Hemi helps sell tens of thousands of passenger cars per year in a market absolutely concerned with tall SUVs and three rows of seats. But he's not scared, according to a report from CNBC last Tuesday.

The CEO said Dodge will absolutely need to say goodbye to the 6.2-liter supercharged Hellcat V8 we know and love as fuel economy and emissions standards start to squeeze automakers. However, electrification and full-blown battery-electric car technologies will save American muscle car performance. As the solutions grow more affordable, it sounds like Kuniskis is ready to run with them.

Although the V8's days are "numbered," he said, "the performance that those vehicles generate is not numbered." He also affirmed that within newly formed Stellantis' (the merged automaker of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group) brand portfolio, Dodge will be allowed to thrive as a performance brand in the age of electrification. Whether that means hybrid muscle cars or bonkers EVs from Dodge, we don't know yet. Kuniskis didn't mention future plans and the brand declined to comment further.

So, don't fret, Hellcat faithful. Even though the future may not have a snarling V8, Dodge doesn't have plans to wuss out of things and water down its heritage. The CEO compared this auto industry transformation to 1972 when the first muscle car age collapsed into new regulations. However, this time, engineers have zero-emissions solutions to tinker with.

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Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.

Article updated on February 1, 2021 at 1:04 PM PST

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sean-szymkowski-headshot
Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
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