Chrysler Dodge and the Last Days of the V8

Dodge's Charger and Challenger won't be Redesigned Before 2020 ...

There is nothing like the sound, smoothness and the exhilaration of a V8 engine. After more than hundred years the V8 continues to be a prestigious option.

The days are fading for the mighty V8. Fuel consumption,greenhouse gases, and demand is behind their eventual demise.

 I want a V8! 

Turbo, Supercharged 4 and 6 Cylinder engines can generate as much horsepower and torque as a V8 engine. What they cant match is the smoothness or the sound associated with a V8 engine. Some automaker are piping artificial engine sounds through the infotainment system to mimic the V8. Electric vehicles represent the future. They are inherently more powerful than combustion engine and have fewer parts that a typical car.

V8 vs the Future?


With the exception of American Cars and Trucks, buying a car with a V8 is expensize.  The entry price for a foreign car with a V8 is $75,000 . The average price is more than $100,000.

Ford Motor Company Ahead of the Curve

Nearly 20 years ago, Ford Motor Company developed a line of Turbocharged engines called EcoBoost.  These engines are smaller and lighter than an naturally asperated engine. The engines are more fuel efficient and releases fewer greenhouse emissions.  First installed in smaller cars, these engines are in nearly every Ford car and truck worldwide.  The V8 is an option for Fords only passenger car, the Ford Mustang.

General Motors

2021 will mark the first year Cadillac will not offer a V8 in a passenger car in more than 100 hundred years. At GM, V8’s are avilable in the Chevy Camero and Chevy Corvette and available in their full sized trucks and SUV’s.   


At FCA, V8 engines are available on the Chrysler300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger. Not just one V8, three. 5.7 V8 with 363 horsepower and 394 pound feet of torque. 6.4 V8 *485\475 and the devils own Hellcat supercharged 6.2** V8 797/707

For less than forty grand, you can purchase a full sized V8 car and for a seventy grand you can purchase a beast that will out gun most of the 100K competion, just expect several runs to the fueling station. The platform for the current Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger is 15 years old.

(*Charger and Challenger only ** Challenger only)

15 years?

In 1988. Chrysler merged with Diamler (Mercedes Benz) the relationship between the two became contenious and  Chrysler was sold to Cerberus Capital Management in 2007. In 2005, Chrysler introduced the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Magnum. The platform (LX) was developed when they were merged with Diamler.  Some of the parts of the current cars are from the Mercedes parts bin.  The first transmission for the 5.7 hemi engine was the 5G Tronic was from Mercedes and the 5-link rear suspension and the rear differential are from the E-class.  The control arm from suspension came from the S-Class. 

2006, marked the return on the Dodge Charger also developed on the (LX) platform. The Dodge Magnum exited in 2008 and Chrysler resurrected the Challenger. The Challenger rides on a shorten version of the platform called the LC.    

Through the years Chrysler has made tweeks and changes to the vehicles ,however the foundation of the platform is the original LX

.  In 2011, Chyrsler added the ZF-8 speed Automatic Transmission. The ZF Friedrichshafen is an engineering company based in Germany. Variation of this transmission is an be found in BMW’s Jaguars, and Aston Martins.    

Despite the age of the vehicles. Sales of the Dodge Challenger and Charger are strong. In, 2019, the Dodge Charger sold nearly a hundred thousand cars, more than the Ford Mustang (75Ks) and the Chevy Camero(50K). The Dodge Challenger sold over 65 thousand cars.

Storm Clouds Ahead For Dodge\Chrysler

When Chrysler went bankrupt in 2008 the Government would not bail out Chrysler without a partner. The goal like most mergers that both companies would benefit from the merger. What Chrysler needed was small cars and Fiat needed to re-establish its brands in America.

Bad Timing

The new FCA, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler,Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, and Ram Trucks. The goal was use Fiat’s existing platforms for new Dodge’s and Chrysler’s. In 2013, FCA resurrected the Dart, a nameplate used by Dodge for more than sixteen years. The new compact Dart was based on a platform from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. in 2015, an all new Chrysler 200 debut the midsize car was based Fiat’s compact wide platform. The Italian carmaker didn’t have an existing platform for a full sized American car. The current Maserati Ghibli shares the same platform as the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger, it also has some variations Chrysler’s engines.

The problem for FCA and other automakers, was Americans tastes were changing, they were choosing Suv’s over passenger cars. In 2010, FCA spun off the Dodge Ram Trucks to its own division “Ram Trucks” With the exception of the Dodge Journey, and Dorango all trucks would be a part of the “Ram Trucks” and all Suv’s were Jeeps. By 2017, FCA discontinued the Dodge Dart and the Chrysler 200, leaving Chrysler with one vechicle and Dodge with four.

Should FCA choose to continue to build the 300, Charger and Challenger it would be a version of an existing platform, this new platform could not accommodate a V8 engine.

The V8’s will continue to live on in Ram Trucks and Jeeps.

Today, a large share of FCA’s global profits are generated from its Ram and Jeep Divisions. In 2018, Ram surpassed, Chevy becoming the second best selling truck brand in the United States. The Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Challenger are profitable. Meanwhile, Fiat should be a distant memory by late 2021, Alfa Romeo is struggling on both sides on the pond and Maserati sales are limping along in the US.

Last year, French Automaker Peugeot merged with FCA and sometime in the third quarter of 2021 FCA will become Stellantis. Peugeot sold their last car in North America in 1991, is planning to return by 2026.

FCA will continue to sell the current Charger and Challenger, the picture is less clear with the Chrysler 300. The timer has started, the V8 days are numbered. This time next year, there will be nearly two dozen electric cars and trucks on the road and more the following year. As the cost for batteries come down, the cars will be more affordable.

If you want affordable sedan with a V8 engine, there is only one option.