How to Make Something Pretty Ugly

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Dodge has just revealed “pre-production” photos of the replacement for displacement. That is to say, the “electrified” replacement for the V8-engined Charger sedan and Challenger coupe.

Which looks like it’ll be a battery-powered hatchback coupe called Charger.

And it looks good, according to most everyone who has seen it so far. But what they have seen is not as important as what it is – and isn’t.

It looks like a muscle car, like the original Charger (the model made back in the ’60s and early ’70s) but in the way a “hot” mannequin at a department store looks like a hot woman.

But “she” isn’t.

And neither is this.

Unless you’re into things that look like the real thing – but aren’t.

A muscle car must have a V8, else it is not a muscle car. It may be a performance car, but that is another kind of car. The problem – for Dodge – is that its buyers want muscle cars. Not performance cars.

Definitely not electric cars.  It does not matter whether the latter are quick – or how they look. The substance is lacking and – besides – everyone else is selling the same thing. Dodge used to sell a very different thing.

Dodge, of course, is doing what it can under the circumstances. It is no longer allowed to make muscle cars like the Challenger and four-door Charger recently forced off the market – effectively – via federal and state regulations a muscle car with a V8 engine cannot comply with it. Camaro is going away for the same reason and so, inevitably, will Mustang – leaving nothing but battery powered devices few buyers asked for but which government insists on.

All that’s left is how it – the device – looks.

That is the last lingering vestige of free market differences between cars, which once-upon-a-before-time were actually different from one another. A Charger or Challenger made in the ’60s and ’70s was not a different-looking Camaro or Mustang with the same thing under their skins. They all had entirely different running gear, unique to their brand – and their model. A 440 big block or 426 Hemi (or even a 383) was not the same as a Chevy 396 or 454 – or a Ford 390.

But devices all have the same thing under their skins: A battery pack heavier than two cast iron big block V8s plus an electric motor; sometimes two. It is difference that makes no real difference – other than the commonality of the waste.

So the designers fall back on trying to make the shells look different. Dodge has done an extremely fine job in that regard. If this device had an engine, it’d be appealing.

Interestingly, it might have just that.

Even more interestingly, though, it might be something other than that. The rumor has been going around that the new device styled Charger – for reasons that ought to be obvious – may offer Dodge’s new Hurricane in-line six engine . . . as a range extender.

That is to say, the engine will be dragged along to keep the battery of the Charger . . . charged. Not to actually power the wheels. Such a “range extender” is already in the works for the Ram truck, which is also to be transitioned into a device. The 2025 Ramcharger’s 3.6 liter V6 engine is disconnected from the wheels. It burns gas to generate the electricity needed to keep a three-ton half-ton truck going for more than 200 or so miles, which is about how far it would go – before it stopped – if it weren’t lugging around a gas-burning engine to keep its battery’s charged.

Once again, Dodge is doing the best it can under the circumstances. By disconnecting the engine from the wheels – by using it exclusively as a “range extender” – Dodge may be able to (on the one hand) get around the regs that have made it almost-impossible to continue selling engines that power the wheels and (on the other hand) address the Gimp Problem that besets battery powered devices as a class. That is, their inability to go very long without making you wait a very long time before you can get going again.

Never mind the cost of all of this, of course. And never mind the idiocy of all of this.

It’s a damned shame Peter Sellars (who played Dr. Strangelove as well as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies of the ’70s) is gone because he’d have all kinds of fun with this.

But then, Sellars was a comedian – and none of this very funny.

. . .

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40 COMMENTS

  1. I read that they will be offering an ICE version of the Charger with the Hurricane inline 6, and an all electric version. The ICE version would be interesting IMO; the BEV would not. I don’t see why they’d use a dual turbo inline six as a range extender. It’d be much more likely they’d use the 3.6 Pentastar like they’re using in the RAM pickup.

  2. Dodge has been in trouble before but the difference was it had Americans running an American company that wanted it to succeed. It’s now a French company being run according to hard left French values. Clearly they have no concept of the U.S. market by trying to pivot a “muscle car” company to 6 cylinders and EVs overnight. Of all the car companies in the world, mopar has a company base most loyal to v8s after a successful 20 year Hemi marketing campaign. Prediction, in 5 years dodge & Chrysler completely gone ram and Jeep up for sale again.

    • I also think it’s notable that when his own POS blows up, Clouseau not only takes Cato’s car, but also nearly runs him down with it. Now what does that remind of???

  3. In this day and age, when anyone can identify as anything, why shouldn’t a device be able to identify as a cool car? Everyone should pretend that your electric conveyance is a V8 muscle car, and they’re aggressing against you by denying what you imagine it is.

    Living in a post-truth society sure is interesting…

    • ‘Such a “range extender” is already in the works for the Ram truck, which is also to be transitioned into a device.’ — eric

      ‘Transitioned’ is the mot juste. If its great thumping V8 is the wedding tackle of a powerful car, its EeeVee counterpart is the castrated, transitioned version, with literally nothing but air under its sexy frunk.

      One is repelled at these hermaphroditic chimeras. But they rhyme with the zeitgeist of the latter days of the ‘Biden’ regime. One pictures Sam Brinton, in his swoopy silk dress and bright red lipstick, having a ball at the wheel of the new EeeVee Charger. ‘Oh, it’s to die for!’

    • It is the goal of these ghouls to make everything ugly and fake, and more than that, make you agree that it’s beautiful and real, against your own common sense. It’s a multiple front psychological war.

  4. the spy shots I’ve seen clearly show a big trans tunnel that would indicate it could be used for a traditional drivetrain. I guess we’ll see.
    As for I6 Hurricane vs V8 Hemi, that alone will hemorrhage sales.
    What would gain sales? Dodge pushing back, publicly, and saying it strong. Maybe making a model that has the old V8 in it and call it “CAFE-SUCK” or something witty.

  5. It’s been -1 to +3 the last few days here in Central WA. Good luck with charging your pure EV no engine rig since PSE put out an alert “requesting” all of us to conserve elec and nat gas. Their decrepit Jackson Prairie nat gas facility went offline yesterday adding to the panic. (Translation- they want to limit what they have to purchase on the spot market). Oh and the windmill farms nearby are a big zero since there’s no wind now, which is typical in the winter here. I did my part, lowered the nat gas furnace thermostat from 72 to 71.

    That Dodge is, well, “dodgy” what a shame it’s come to this for new cars.

    • ‘PSE put out an alert “requesting” all of us to conserve elec and nat gas.’ — Sparkey

      Same in Texas this morning:

      ‘ERCOT has issued a Conservation Appeal for today, Jan. 15, from 6 – 10 a.m. CT due to continued freezing temperatures, record-breaking demand, and unseasonably low wind. We ask that Texas businesses and residents conserve electricity.’

      Having its own electric grid used to be a point of pride in Texas. Now it’s just an embarrassment and a liability.

  6. Peter Sellers is gone but so is Blake Edwards and most of his creative people who made the “Pink Panther” movies and influenced so many other anti-establishment film comedies in the late 70s and early 80s.

  7. Hmmm, is it better that it is a blatant misrepresentation, such as the Mach-er-E?

    Doubtless, it would be much better to leave electric vehicles as an experimental niche until they can compete with the internal combustion variety on their own merit.

  8. ” It can no longer make muscle cars like the Challenger and four-door Charger recently forced off the market”

    I disagree. Dodge can *choose* to tell the FedGov to go to hell. Go to hell or we’ll shut down all production in the US, including suppliers. Go to hell and we won’t send you a effn penny in taxes. Go to hell or we’ll spend our lobbying money on the likes of Thomas Massie and Rand Paul. Go to hell or we’ll use our advertising budget to show the stupidity of EVs vs ICE and to show real consumer choice.

    Instead, they’re happy to be kissing the ring of the EPA.

    • Yes, they could indeed do that. Being that Dodge is owned by Stellantis, an international company, they could threaten to just pack up and offshore their manufacturing to China or some other country free of the EPA. The unions would then go nuckin futs, and perhaps they (the union bosses) would put a lot of pressure on the federal gov’t to scale back or rescind EPA regs in order to get Dodge to stay in the US.
      With the power the auto unions have and also the power of big companies like Stellantis and GM, they could have done this a long time ago. Not fighting back sucks, and it sucks all the more when the target is more than capable of fighting back. That would be like a high school bully picking on a 6’7″ boy who weighs 300 pounds – and having the big boy slink away and cower in a corner. Sad, very sad….

    • Absolutely. The automakers used to have that kind of sway over Democrat lawmakers in Michigan who blocked attempts to increase CAFE in the senate and the house. Even before that , the automakers kissed the ring of the epa and NHTSA. It readily became more apparent with each passing year, however, it intensified as congress passed the Energy Conservation Act of 2007 which transferred the gas mileage numbers to the EPA, and not congress.

      • It seems to me if Dodge Corporate had any brains (that’s a stretch) but they should make three versions one with the 6, remember the mustang base came with a 6 and a 289, electric (but ugly) for the Gov and California virtue signalers and a limited edition Hemi with real “classic” glass headlights to distinguish between models and price it in the $100,000+ range and just suck it up and pay the fees. This way they still have a High End performance model ie Corvette for image.. a saleable gas version and something to shut the Gov up until regime change…..I would like my large check now.

    • I am with you, Mike. There comes a time in life where a person/business needs to tell the other guy to kiss your ass. How many more billions is GM, Ford, and Stellantis willing to lose? Right now it looks like they are willing to take this all the way to Bankruptcy Court.

      I wish American Innovationism was as strong as it was during the 20th Century. This seems an opportune time for a small business, who is not subject to government whims or numbers, to start an inventive, creative, and much clamored for ICE vehicle…with no WiFi or Infotainment screen, please!

  9. This is why I have no interest at all in NASCAR. I understand the concept, eliminate all variables other than people and let the best human win. But by definition there’s automatically a technical aspect that’s not available in purely human sport (which is why Danica Patrick can compete and Lia Thomas shouldn’t) that should be celebrated instead of suppressed.

    When all cars are identical, the only thing that matters is price.

    • Me neither. I lost complete interest in NASCAR when they put speed restrictor plates on the cars. What’s the use of watching it if you know you will never go faster than 186 mph. The whole idea of a race is to win with the fastest time. While the “Human element” is definitely most apparent with the driver, the cars have a lot to do with it. They are developed and built by humans as well. They ignore that.

  10. It’s not about milage or climate change. It’s about removing the free-range slaves ability to move quickly and fast without being tracked, catalogued, and ultimately restricted.

    It’s not that they want us to have EVs instead of ICEs. It’s that they don’t want us to have a vehicle at all. After all, why should we need one once we are living in the 15 minute cities and eating ze bugs like the good WEF serfs we are?

  11. So my take on this is that’s Dodge’s version of the Tesla I saw on YouTube that someone built a generator into the trunk that would charge the battery as it was driven. That being the case who cares what the engine is and just slap Generac badges on it and call it a day.

      • It would only take 5 minutes of negative press if any auto company CEO “pushed back” by not trying to comply to tank the stock and then the board firing him. And if he’s let go there’s probably a provision in his contract that would screw up his options.

        This is how they are kept in line.

        Also why Musk has the upper hand. He has diversified enough (and made himself essential to the regime) that he’s basically untouchable. Might have learned that from Howard Hughes, who was regularly vilified by the system because he played it like a gold medal fly fisherman. It needed Hughes and he knew it. And he probably had dirt on everyone in Washington and Hollywood.

        Musk is no Howard Hughes, but history does rhyme.

  12. Preciously close to how locomotives work. Except for the EV battery, just taking up space and adding weight. Why could they not install the smallest possible battery, and let the 3.6 liter V6 engine do the heavy lifting by running all the time to keep that POS battery charged? It’s a Rube Goldberg world.

    • Why not install a small battery? Because they want to force the use of your battery and only have the range extending engine kick on when your batteries are almost depleted. This is how BMW’s shitty i3 functions with its range extender. They will force you to plug in no matter how much gas is available. You will not be able to use these range extended EV’s like a hybrid.

  13. And all based on the baseless idea that co2 is raising the temperature and the arrogance the someone knows what the proper temperature is.

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