The V-8 Dodge Charger Is Officially Dead

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The electric Dodge Charger Daytona is here, but it’s not alone. The Charger’s future includes internal combustion power, which we suspect has many of Dodge’s so-called “brotherhood” breathing a big sigh of relief. But with that news comes confirmation that the engine under the Charger’s hood won’t be a V-8 – Hemi or otherwise. 

We asked Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis about the Hemi V-8 during the Charger Daytona press event. Ford isn’t holding back these days about having a V8-powered Mustang; with EV demand diminishing and signs that government regulations may backtrack some, we wondered if there might be some pressure at Dodge to get a V-8 in the new Charger. But Kuniskis didn’t mince words about the subject.

“We don’t have a V-8 in the plan,” Kuniskis told us. There were no caveats, no hesitation. If a Hemi Charger does come back at some point, it won’t be anytime soon.

The million-dollar question now is whether die-hard Dodge buyers will accept a twin-turbocharged straight-six Charger. The new Charger Sixpack arrives in the first quarter of 2025, so named because it’s packing the same 3.0-liter Hurricane six-cylinder engine that debuted with Jeep. The boosted mill will also power Ram 1500 trucks starting this year, and in the Charger, it develops 420 or 550 horsepower in high-output trim. That’s not Hellcat power, but it beats every naturally aspirated Hemi Charger that came before.

There’s also the electric Charger Daytona, going on sale this summer with nearly 700 hp and straight-line performance that rivals the old Hellcat. But the enthusiast core of Dodge buyers, the ones who’ve lived and breathed all things Hemi for almost 20 years, may not follow the brand with a six-cylinder fuel-burner under the hood. The possibility of this demographic plunking down cash for an electric Charger Daytona, regardless of the power, seems extremely unlikely.

With no V-8 and no next-generation Challenger in the works, Dodge’s future as a brand of muscle could face some serious growing pains in a changing automotive world.