This doesn’t bode well for the future of Dodge performance…
The future of SRT performance vehicles for Dodge and other former FCA brands seems to be rather uncertain now that Stellantis is calling the shots. Immediately after the merger with French auto giant Peugeot PSA rumors were swirling that it’s curtains for the SRT division we’ve all grown to know and love. We didn’t want to say anything until something more solid came about, which finally hit yesterday.
You have to see this Dodge Hellcat Redeye hearse here.
An unnamed Stellantis spokesperson issued a very official and diplomatic-sounding statement, which indicates 2 things to us. First, this statement likely is a legitimate release from the Stellantis PR department since nobody other than attorneys and politicians talk this way (you’ll see what we mean in a second). Second, SRT is done for.
Here’s the statement as originally published by Mopar enthusiast site Stellpower:
“In February 2021, all of the core elements of the SRT performance engineering team were integrated into Stellantis’ global engineering organization.
This action will have the two-way benefit of ensuring that our brands’ SRT and performance-focused product offerings continue to meet the highest quality standards and expectations, while delivering key learnings from motorsports and other high-performance-technology applications across a wider mix of our company’s product lines.
These products have delighted enthusiasts for nearly two decades, and Stellantis will continue to sell and develop the next generation of Dodge//SRT-branded vehicles, as well as Jeep and Ram vehicles that utilize high-performance SRT technology.”
So there you have it, the SRT division has been broken up and scattered. This might mean something positive, but there’s so much careful wording and potential doublespeak in here it allows Stellantis to later go one way or the other with SRT-branded vehicles and make it sound like the statement was in no way a contradiction to its actions.
Before you start feeling hopeful since the SRT spirit will supposedly live on, allow us to rain on your parade. With how in love Peugeot has been with electrification (and they REALLY love small electric cars) we weren’t feeling too warm and fuzzy about this business arrangement from the get-go, especially since French executives are sitting in the most powerful positions within the company, effectively wrestling control away from their American and Italian counterparts. This is what happened with the Renault Nissan Alliance and everyone knows how much Nissan hates that crushing arrangement.
In other words, those wonderful Hellcat V8 engines are likely on the chopping block. We’re not sure if other Hemi engines will survive long term, but to be honest it looks grim. Considering Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis has been talking about electrification being the future of muscle cars, it’s possible either a pure EV or a much smaller gas engine with fewer cylinders paired with an electric motor will be pushed as better than a V8 for future performance vehicles.
Mind you, all of this is pure conjecture at the moment, but Stellantis sure isn’t doing anything to calm our nerves. The second golden age of muscle could be coming to a close, and quickly. It was a wild ride we don’t regret, but as they say all good things must come to an end.
Check out the Stellpower story for yourself here.