Muscle cars with a hybrid engine… Does that sound weird? Well, it seems that the likes of the Challenger might not make any sound at all in the not too distant future if we’re to believe comments made by Mike Manley, head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). He’s been quoted at the recent Detroit motor show to have said that the next-gen model will not have a supercharged V8…

“The reality is those [Hellcat] platforms and that technology we used does need to move on. They can’t exist as you get into the middle-2020s. New technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of powertrains in a different way. And we can use electrification to really supplement those vehicles. I think that electrification will certainly be a part of the formula that says what American muscle is in the future. What it isn’t going to be is a supercharged V-8.” 

No more supercharged V8s. Sacrilege! When Dodge brought the iconic coupe back from the dead in 2006, most thought of it as just a short-lived gesture, you know, a nice little nod to the past, that’s all. But, over a decade has passed since then and the Challenger isn’t just still here, it’s thriving thanks to variants like the crazy 707 horsepower Hellcat. But, will enthusiasm be the same for the retro-looking two-door if indeed in the future the drivetrain is fettled with to such an extent that it doesn’t even have the raucous roar we all crave and love? Fans will tell you that 50 per cent of the reason to want a muscle car is the deep rumble from the exhaust – nothing gets pulses racing faster than revving a big, bad V8, but will they be as keen on the model when in EV mode it might silently pull away from the lights with exactly zero sound or drama? Sure, they’ll likely liven it up with fake exhaust sounds fed through the speakers, but it just won’t be the same…

To be honest, we knew this day would come; government emissions standards are tightening and they’re forcing carmakers to continue cleaning up their act, and you can be sure both the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro will follow this electrified path. If this is the only way to keep the cherished trio alive then we suppose we’ll take it, but it’ll take time to get used to it. In fact, ever since this news broke we’ve been making our best, rumbly V8 sounds in the office as a tribute and people are starting to look at us like we’re mad, so we’d better stop now… Oh ok, one more time, “BABABABABABABBABABAB!!!”