Dodge has confirmed plans to ditch the V8, and a new report sheds light on how it hopes to keep the next-generation Challenger exciting in spite of downsizing. The coupe will reportedly inaugurate a twin-turbocharged straight-six engine that will offer Hemi-like horsepower.
Citing anonymous sources, website StellPower wrote that the 3.0-liter engine is called GME-T6 internally. It should have been unveiled by this point, as earlier reports claimed that the new Jeep Grand Cherokee would usher it in, but vibration- and noise-related issues have allegedly delayed its introduction. It’s now scheduled to make its debut in the next Challenger that’s tentatively due out in 2023 as a 2024 model.
Enthusiast website Muscle Car & Trucks speculates that, in its standard configuration, the straight-six will at least match the 5.7-liter Hemi V8’s 372-horsepower rating while offering more torque than its bigger sibling’s 400-pound-foot output. Some degree of hybrid assistance could push the six’s output to somewhere in the vicinity of 700 horsepower, which would allow Dodge to replace the 6.2-liter Hellcat V8. Rear- and all-wheel-drive variants will be available, according to the same report, but a naturally-aspirated six will not be offered.
Other cars, trucks, and SUVs in the Stellantis portfolio will receive the GME-T6 engine as well; it’s reasonable to assume that, if it goes in the next Challenger, it’ll also end up in the next Charger. However, keep in mind that none of this is official: The only facts confirmed by Dodge are that it needs to kill the V8 to comply with looming emissions regulations and that the supercharged Hellcat V8 will retire after 2023.
Enthusiasts not interested in a muscle car powered by a downsized engine need to act relatively quickly. Dodge noted in August 2021 that what it calls “the new platform” will make its debut for 2024 and that the current-generation cars will retire shortly after. We know there’s an electric muscle car on the horizon, but details are scarce and it’s too early to tell if it will be related to the next Challenger or if it will be marketed as a standalone model. Additional details about the company’s future plans will be released before the end of 2022.