This is What We Want in a Dodge Electric Muscle Car

Just because it’s powered by batteries doesn’t mean it can’t produce tons of smoke.

Red undefined White Dodge Challenger side by sideDodge

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Dodge is on the verge of unveiling a concept that previews its upcoming plans for an electric muscle car. After leading the pack over the past decade with over-the-top, supercharged V8 models like the Challenger SRT Hellcat and Demon, Dodge engineers and designers have turned toward delivering the same performance in a package that will captivate enthusiasts without relying on fossil fuels.

It's a safe bet that Dodge's Hellcat-replacing electric vehicle will be just as quick as its gas-fired ancestor when it arrives in 2024. However, a muscle car is as much about the experience as it is sheer speed. As fans of muscle machines ourselves, we have a few suggestions to help Dodge make sure it hits the mark with its new high-torque EV.

Smoke is Important

The ability to light up the tires at will is one traditional muscle car ownership pleasure, to say nothing of the delights of a full-on burnout. Dodge seems to understand that its loyal fans have an addiction to the smell of burnt rubber, as a teaser video released by the brand shows a vehicle with all four wheels churning up thick, white clouds.

That's quite the trick, given that electric cars often employ sophisticated electronics to carefully mete out their explosive acceleration. At the very least, Dodge's electric muscle car should include a burnout mode that engages at the touch of a button to satisfy a driver's more hooligan-ish desires.

Preserve Classic Driving Dynamics

That four-wheel burnout seen in Dodge’s video all but confirms that the upcoming Dodge electric muscle car is equipped with all-wheel drive. Traction at all four wheels helps harness electric motor output for exceptional off-the-line grip, but it can also dull some of the tail-slides, drifts, and other assorted slippery acts that are key muscle car antics. Another item on our wish list is the ability to disengage the front wheels and benefit from classic rear-wheel drive dynamics.

Don't Forget the Soundtrack

What good is a cloud of tire smoke if no one can hear what set that rubber ablaze? The low, aggressive burble and high-rev roar of the V8 engines long associated with muscle cars are a huge part of their visceral experience, and EVs simply don't deliver in the same way.

Fortunately, sound design for electric cars is a growth industry, and Dodge has promised a “shocking” sound from the new muscle car. Regulatory bodies increasingly require that electric cars produce at least a little noise to alert pedestrians to their presence. This requirement has led automakers from Audi to Ford to expand on that concept and incorporate digitally delivered soundtracks that rise and fall with the vehicle's speed.

We're not asking for loudspeakers attached to the roof that blare out a threatening, bass-heavy rumble every time Dodge's muscle car rolls down the road. Still, we would love to be able to custom-tune V8-adjacent sound effects inside the cabin to keep things interesting when we peg the accelerator.

Ok, maybe we're asking for the loudspeakers, too.

Keep it a Car, Please

One last thing: Please, for the love of Dodge's deep muscle car heritage, make sure the upcoming electric replacement stays a car. No SUVs, no crossovers, and no cleverly disguised tall wagons either. Think Challenger-shaped with a battery, and you're on the right track toward keeping us—and thousands of fans—happy.

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Benjamin Hunting
Benjamin Hunting is a writer and podcast host who contributes to a number of newspapers, automotive magazines, and online publications. More than a decade into his career, he enjoys keeping the shiny side up during track days and always has one too many classic vehicle projects partially disassembled in his garage at any given time. Remember, if it's not leaking, it's probably empty.