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The Hellcat Won’t Return Without Supercharged V-8s

dodge challenger srt super stock
The Hellcat Won’t Return Without Supercharged V-8sDW Burnett

With the introduction of the new Dodge Charger Daytona EV and its gas-powered siblings, the automaker’s muscle car lineup has returned from the brink. That said, don’t expect more of the brand’s familiar nameplates to return in the electrified era. That’s particularly true of the Hellcat, which is forever associated with supercharged V-8 engines, from everyday fans all the way up to Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis.

The Challenger and Charger Hellcats were a huge success for Dodge, and played a massive role in keeping the somewhat senior platform relevant into the last decade. Knowledge of the supercharged tire shredders extended beyond the enthusiast community, serving as the basis of Dodge’s marketing plans since 2015. As a result, owners and fans alike have a well-founded expectation of how a Hellcat-branded product should feel. In an interview with R&T, Kuniskis shared that he doesn’t believe that nameplate fits with the brand’s current electrified portfolio.

dodge challenger srt super stock
DW Burnett

“For the last 10 years we’ve been kinda trying to distill this brand down to, you know, we don’t sell Journeys, we don’t sell Darts, we’re only selling American performance cars,” Kuniskis told R&T. “The most extreme performance level becomes our marketing, and then we sell from there down. And we sell hardware, we don’t sell finishes and leathers and colors. We sell the actual hardware, and therefore names are very, very important. So if you say that out of one side of your mouth and then call it a turbo and it’s a BEV, it doesn’t fit, right? If I called it a Hellcat I’d be killed, right? I’d be absolutely killed because that’s not what it is.”

That’s not to say that Dodge doesn’t have some high-performance models in the works. We know that 2025 will bring a variant of the Charger Daytona EV with a bespoke 800-volt architecture, up from the 400-volt system found in the current R/T and Scat Pack models. This variant is slated to be called the Banshee, and should provide performance figures a step beyond even the most potent Hellcat models. Kuniskis and his team haven’t tried to hide the fact that the Banshee is an evolution of that existing formula, with badging that carries a familiar art style to its predecessor. We’ll have to wait and see how the Banshee translates that old-school driving experience into this new era.

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Stellantis

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