Make no mistake that Dodge was and is the performance brand for the Chrysler Group. But that group as we once knew it has changed as the American brands comprised of Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram are now under the Stellantis umbrella. Stellantis is the new entity created in early 2021 and is comprised of Fiat Chrysler and the PSA Groupe marques. Together, there are 14 brands to manage and that’s a tremendous undertaking.
The good news for the brand faithful is that not one of the 14 brands is going away. Instead, soon after the company formed, it assigned brand leaders to oversee the development of new models, an especially crucial move for troubled brands such as Dodge and Chrysler.
Dodge: Challenger, Charger, and Durango
Certainly, Dodge and Chrysler have not seen new models in many years, although that hasn’t hurt Dodge as much as it has Chrysler. Somehow, Dodge has managed to extend the lifespans of the aged Charger sedan and Challenger coupe by adding styling changes and Hellcat prowess. Along with a one-off Durango Hellcat variant, the Dodge nameplate remains stable. But that won’t last.
We’ve been tracking the changes Stellantis has for its weak American brands, but can say that not much is known yet. We do know that full electrification for Chrysler is planned with its first all-electric model arriving in 2025. The 300 sedan won’t be around as we know it, leaving the Pacifica minivan for a possible overhaul or replacement. Likely, the Chrysler changes won’t become apparent before this fall. However, Dodge’s future should crystallize this August.
Dodge Speed Week
Indeed, August is when the brand holds its annual multi-day Dodge Speed Week event, August 12-20, 2022, on Detroit’s renowned Woodward Avenue. It represents a showcase of all matters of Dodge performance, essentially packing a calendar year’s worth of activities into this 9-day event.
“There’s no better place to unveil a new performance direction for the Dodge brand than right on Woodward Avenue in metro Detroit, with tens of thousands of our closest fans and friends,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis. “We introduced our two-year Never Lift road map last year at Roadkill Nights, and this year the event will serve as the prelude to going wide open throttle on Never Lift. All I can say is the future of our brand will be on display during Dodge Speed Week, and we’re throwing open our garage doors so our fans can get a peek for themselves. It’s going to be an electric summer for Dodge.”
Electric Dodge Future
Focus on the word “electric” in Kuniskis’ statement and it becomes apparent that is exactly what we will see this August. Beginning August 15, the brand will reveal its current muscle announcements, followed the next day by its “gateway” muscle announcements. We expect the “gateway” will be the models that transition Dodge from gas to electric. Specifically, new models with a twin-turbo inline-six-cylinder engine to power Dodge through much of the rest of the decade.
On the following day, we’ll learn precisely how Dodge plans to move to an all-electric future. This means Challenger, Charger, and Durango fans should pay close attention to what is coming. Whether Dodge continues with all three names or not may be as relevant as what will power each model. Again, we believe there will be a transition period involving turbo power and possibly a hybrid drivetrain. In any case, the style is likely to be far different than what we’ve seen, although elements of the current design may push forward.
Check Back Here
DrivenAutos.com will keep a watchful eye on the Dodge brand, including the Woodward Avenue happenings this summer. We have a few speculative thoughts in mind, including Peugeot’s possible role in future Dodge or perhaps Chrysler models. But for now, we’ll bide our time and wait.
Wayland, M. (2022, January 5). Chrysler kicks off plans to go all-electric by 2028 with debut of Airflow EV concept car. CNBC.
Falkenberg-Hull, Eileen (2022, June 23). Dodge Plans Three New Product Debuts During ‘Electric Summer.’ Newsweek.
Teague, C. (2022, June 22). How good would this look as a Dodge? New Peugeot 408 is a cool EV crossover coupe. Autoblog.
Photos courtesy of Stellantis (Dodge).