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Get woke, go broke.  It’s a common aphorism, but true enough.  Even before the age of woke lunacy, manufacturers of all kinds knew what happened when they stopped giving their customers what they wanted: they went out of business.  Identifying a market, accurately determining what those customers want and are willing to pay for, and at what price levels, and figuring out how to make them come back for more, are the basics of commercial success.

2022 Charger
credit: Dodge

One profitable and long-standing niche market is the American muscle car: a low, two-door sedan with loads of horsepower, wide, sticky tires, aggressive styling and the low rumble of a powerful V8.  There’s nothing quite like it.  Ford made the Mustang, Chevy the Camaro, and Dodge, the Charger and Challenger.  Oh, how I longed for one of those during my teenage years.  Settled for a Corvair convertible instead.  It was actually in great shape and the trunk—in front—looked like it just rolled off the factory floor, until my Mother and Sister hit a deer with it.  No injuries, except the deer and the Corvair.  Ah, lost youth!

2022 Challenger
credit: Dodge

Early muscle cars were designed to go fast in a straight line, but as the years passed and suspensions became more sophisticated, many could hold their own on the racetrack as well as the drag strip, and circa 2022, they’ve reached a high level of sophistication, and for all that, price tags, for the go fastest models, start at $76,000 dollars, and for the best go fast goodies, much, much more.

So what the hell is Dodge thinking?

Dodge on Wednesday unveiled a new concept car called the Charger Daytona SRT as a preview of its first all-electric muscle car, expected in 2024.

The two-door coupe is the first look at what the forthcoming vehicle, which will replace Dodge’s current gas-powered Challenger and Charger muscle cars, is expected to look like. The car also features several new technologies meant to make it feel and drive like a traditional muscle car.

‘This car, we believe, will redefine American muscle,’ Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis, who’s known for over-the-top vehicles such as the brand’s 700-plus horsepower Hellcat models, said during a media briefing.

The concept vehicle looks like a futuristic, yet retro, version of the current Dodge Challenger with a more aerodynamic, but muscular, design. Most notably, the front end features a large opening for air to pass through, which the company is calling a ‘R-Wing.’

The front wing as well as the vehicle’s ‘Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust’ and ‘eRupt’ multispeed transmission – names fitting for “Back to the Future” movies – are patent pending, according to the company.

The multispeed transmission and exhaust are especially unique, since electric vehicles drive in only one ‘gear’ and are relatively silent aside from required safety noises.

Uh-huh.  The vehicle is going to need all the aerodynamic tricks it can muster, because the EV battery is going to add at least 1000 pounds to vehicles that are already far from feather light.  The exhaust, of course, is a fraud, and the ‘eRupt multispeed transmission’—golly Dad, that sounds so keen!—is a fraud too, meant to simulate actual shifts in feel and sound.  In other words, Kuniskis knows the EV isn’t actually anything like a real muscle car, but if he can distract potential buyers with bells and whistles, maybe he can trick them into buying a few.

‘This is not a science project,’ he said. ‘It looks like a Dodge, sounds like a Dodge and drives like a Dodge.’

Kuniskis said the 2024 production electric muscle car is expected to launch with three different performance levels but eventually expand to nine. The concept car features an 800-volt ‘Banshee’ propulsion system.

“Wow Dad; ‘Banshee!’  That’s groovy, even mod!”  Part of the deception is the “800 volt” propulsion system.  That’s an attempt to conflate volts with the 700+ horsepower top of the line current engines.

The forthcoming EV in 2024 will replace Dodge’s gas-powered Charger and Challenger muscle cars, which the automaker on Monday said would be discontinued at the end of 2023.

There is no question electric motors can produce dramatic acceleration and have loads of torque, but they’re nothing like high output gas engines.  And what about the heady rumble and wail of a high powered V8?  And what happens when people who love to tinker with and upgrade their engines have nothing with which to tinker or upgrade?

The exhaust system on the concept Charger, which Kuniskis said is as loud as a Hellcat engine, pushes sound through an amplifier and tuning chamber located at the rear of the vehicle. He compared it to a wind organ with chambers and pipes.

“Exhaust system?”  On an EV?  Of what is the “exhaust” comprised?  Unused electrons?  Does Dodge really think muscle car enthusiasts will be tricked by a stereo programmed to produce the same sounds whenever the accelerator is pressed?  And what about the non-existent “transmission?”

The eRupt technology, he said, is a multispeed transmission ‘with electro-mechanical shifting’ that ‘delivers distinctive shift points’ like today’s muscle and performance cars.

Ah.  So it’s going to momentarily interrupt power delivery to simulate shifting.  No doubt the fake “exhaust” stereo will also interrupt volume during the “shifts.”  If such vehicles are so wonderful, such a quantum leap in technology, why can’t they stand on their own merits?  Why do they have to have fake exhaust sounds and fake transmissions?  Dodge doesn’t seem terribly confident in their own products.

The innovations could help Dodge retain its performance characteristics as well as its buyers, who have bought millions of Challengers and Chargers over the years, according to Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst at S&P Global.

‘It is exactly what you would expect a Dodge EV two-door to be,’ she said. ‘It looks the part, it sounds the part and it’s pretty exciting.’

What Kuniskis, Brinley and the rest of the dimwits at Dodge don’t seem to understand, or don’t care about, is no one expects Dodge to produce an “EV two-door” anything, nor will all but a few with more bucks than brains buy one.  Let us assume, gentle readers, you’re a skeptical muscle car enthusiast, willing to potentially spend $87,000 bucks minimum on a real muscle car.  But since you’re into muscle cars, you also know quite a bit about automotive technology and history, and you’re going to ask impertinent questions like: “If these EV wonder cars are so hot, how far can they go?”  Kuniskis doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your question:

Kuniskis said some of the design elements and technologies are expected to impact the electric range of the vehicles, but it’s not something Dodge is necessarily worried about.

‘Don’t care; it’s badass … it’s a muscle car,’ Kuniskis said.

Normally, manufacturers of EVs collude with the EPA to post wildly optimistic range figures for their offerings, because they know in comparison to gas and diesel powered vehicles, they’re sadly lacking.  A 300 mile EPA range figure for an EV might be obtained by driving on absolutely flat—or downhill—terrain, facing no wind, driving below the speed limit, in warm or mild conditions, accelerating very conservatively, carrying no passengers, and a light driver at that, no cargo at all, and avoiding anything that uses electricity, such as lights, heat, air conditioning, stereo, recharging a cell phone, etc..  Kuniskis “don’t care,” which means the range of these vehicles—remember: they’re going to be hauling 1000 pounds or so of extra weight above current offerings, and no supernatural “R-Wing” is going to compensate for that—is awful.  I wonder how much juice the fake transmission and fake exhaust sound effects use?  It has to be “a lot.”

Electrek.co, an EV cheerleading site, adds a bit of detail:

Dodge will end gas-powered Charger and Challenger production in 2024, to be replaced by electric models, according to Dodge brand CEO Tim Kuniskis as reported by Motor Trend.

So 2023 will be the last model year for gas powered muscle cars.  Dodge is already trumpeting several “special edition” gas powered Chargers and Challengers for next year, which will no doubt be very pricey.  If they were truly green heroes, would Dodge build such planet destroying vehicles?  Wouldn’t they immediately stop production to save the planet?  And why would they be trying to attract neanderthal muscle car types in the first place?  Surely they don’t have solar panels on their roofs?

Dodge is calling their two-year plan “Never Lift,” an effort to redefine the brand, attracting new customers while trying to nudge gearheads toward the modern age. At the end of this timeline, Dodge’s gas muscle cars will be out of production.

“Never Lift?”  Oh, that will wins the hearts and minds of muscle car enthusiasts.  They’ll take to that like they took to “hemi.”   For Electrek, nothing less than total EV capitulation is sufficient:

It remains to be seen how serious their effort will be. Ending your high-performance gas models in 2024 is quite a statement, particularly when other companies making high-performance cars haven’t committed to as early a date. But on the other hand, saying things like ‘Dodge will not sell electric cars, Dodge will sell American eMuscle’ shows that the company still has a bit of an old mentality to it.

“eMuscle.”  Right.  That’ll trick the drooling, missing toothed, smelly, shop at WalMart, gas powered, muscle car rubes.  We’ll see them at local car events displaying their shining electric motors and talking volts, amps and charging curves while they rev their stereos.

Either way, we hope this effort will help to change some minds among the holdouts (some of whom have sent Kuniskis death threats, apparently), and it’s just another sign that gas is dead.

“Gas is dead.”  And with it, western civilization, if idiots like this get their way.

Final Thoughts:  I suspect Dodge is thinking in terms of lateral cash trade offs.  Ford has recently announced they’re upping the base MSRP on their F-150 Lightning pickups, and their Mustang Mach-e models some $8000.  These were not budget vehicles before tacking on an addition $8000.  Why? They’re citing dramatically increased costs for battery elements like Lithium and Cobalt, as well as costs for chips, etc.  By the way, any “transition” to electric anything ensures China will outstrip America in wealth, power and ensure China’s world domination, but I’m sure these idiots think that a feature rather than a bug.  The Biden Meat Puppet Administration certainly does.

Dodge’s thinking has to be since muscle car types are willing to spend $76,000 and more, and EVs already cost that much, surely they’ll be willing to seamlessly slide right into EVs!  After all, we’ll give them fake transmissions and fake exhaust sounds!  That should mollify them; they’re stupid Deplorables anyway.  If we get the messaging right, they’ll be helpless to resist us!

EVs are bought by the top 7% in income.  In order for that figure to change, EVs not only have to cost tens of thousands less, but have to have the same range as conventional vehicles.  The EV industry is going backward in both categories and greenie politicians don’t care; they just want more control over everyone.  We’ve just learned billionaire D/S/C donor Tom Steyer really wants to buy an EV, but can’t because none are available due to materials shortages.  Awww.

‘The problem is there are no (electric) cars to buy,’ Steyer told Bloomberg.

The former presidential candidate stated that he previously drove a Chevrolet Volt for around 7 years; however, he said that he needed a new car as some of its systems are now ‘failing.’

Near-top end Charger pricing, circa August 2022

One almost feels sorry for Steyer, coming face to face with the reality of noble transitions.  Almost.

What Dodge apparently doesn’t know, or could not, in their greenie delusions, care less about, is muscle car buyers are paying for performance, not greenie street cred.  They understand performance is about a complex mixture of factors, including weight, aerodynamics, and engine efficiency.  They’re more than smart enough to know adding 1000 or more pounds to a performance vehicle will dramatically reduce that performance.  They’re also not going to be fooled by what Dodge PR flacks think are tough-sounding acronyms and terms for pedestrian EV tech and fake stereo exhaust sounds.  What they’re really not going to appreciate is the lack of range about which Kuniskis doesn’t care.

Muscle car enthusiasts know their cars are daily drivers, but are capable of so much more.  They know they’re not going to get 30 MPG, but they don’t much care because of the performance trade off they’re getting.  They’ll still be able to take road trips without having to spend hours idle every 60 or so miles.  But oh dear, will their new eMuscle wonder cars look like they’re going fast while they’re standing still at the charger.

How bad is it?  I suspect Dodge will post 200 mile-ish range figures, but actual muscleheads will know that will translate to about 60 miles.  Muscle cars are not meant to be driven like 1963 VW Beetles.  They buy their vehicles to experience that effortless power, and to hear actual engine and exhaust sounds, to feel the interplay of all of the components, the vibration and eagerness of the engine, and to enjoy the power at their fingertips.  They’re going to expect range figures no less than current gas powered vehicles, which means around 300 miles and a 10 minute stop for gas.  Having to begin searching for a charger after about 60 miles isn’t going to cut it, nor is waiting hours for a partial charge.

Even worse for Dodge, EVs of all kinds are poor choices in cold climates, which is half or more of the US for half or more of the year.  They do best in warm climates like California, but would CA green bureaucrats allow electric muscle cars like this to be sold in their pristine, green socialist paradise?  Why, that would be an offense against Gaia!  They don’t want the “eMuscle” kind there!

Near top end Challenger pricing, circa August 2022

There will be some buyers, to be sure, but what’s actually going to happen is the market for genuine, used, muscle cars is going to explode.  To whatever degree EVs are forced on an unwilling populace, real muscle cars are only going to appreciate in value, becoming investments, and strongly appreciating investments at that.

Get woke; go broke.