Dodge Challenger to go hybrid

The next-generation Challenger isn't going to get "a V8, supercharged, 700-horsepower engine," FCA chief Mike Manley says.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Mike Manley has quietly announced that the next-generation Dodge Challenger will be electrified.

The 717-horsepower Hellcat has helped boost sales as the current-generation Challenger entered its 10th year of production. FCA is now trying to change the 'formula' of the American muscle car, and hybrid will be the first step.

"The reality is those platforms and that technology we used does need to move on. They can't exist as you get into the middle-2020s," he said at the Detroit auto show, as quoted by The Detroit News. "I think that electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future. Wha tit isn't going to be is a V8, supercharged, 700-horsepower engine."

The executive hinted that the next-generation Challenger will be much lighter than the current model. Dropping weight could allow the company to improve performance benchmarks with a downsized engine, potentially a high-output twin-turbo V6 for top configurations.

Manley promises electrification will be applied subtlely to muscle cars, improving performance as a primary selling point and improving fuel economy as a secondary bonus. The comments may be referring to 48-volt mild hybrid technology, using a motor/generator to provide a bit more power and torque or helping spool up the turbocharger at low rpm.

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