How to Make Something Pretty Ugly

  • January 14, 2024

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 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. “She” isn’t.

And neither is this.

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

Dodge, of course, is doing what it can under the circumstances. It can no longer make muscle cars like the Challenger and four-door Charger recently forced off the market – effectively – via 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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The post How to Make Something Pretty Ugly appeared first on EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk.

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