The next generation of the Dodge Challenger could inaugurate an updated version of the immensely powerful Hellcat V8 engine.
Technical details are still few and far between, but Automobile Magazine has learned that the next Hellcat engine will pack 750 horsepower, a generous 43-pony increase over the current mill. The engine will once again have eight cylinders, but it’s too early to tell whether it will continue to use a large supercharger or switch to a pair of turbochargers.
All variants of the next Challenger will ride on an evolution of the rear-wheel drive platform that currently underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulia. The Italian genes will make Dodge’s muscle car much lighter than the current model (pictured), smaller, and more dynamic to drive. Dodge is on a quest to build more driver-focused cars, and the Giulia chassis could also be found under the next Journey crossover.
Of course, the Hellcat won’t be the Challenger’s volume engine. Dodge will continue to offer six- and eight-cylinder engines, and it’s reasonable to assume that the Challenger will also be available with the 300-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four that will debut under the hood of the next Wrangler. Buyers will be asked to choose between a manual and an automatic transmission.
A smaller, sharper Challenger will allow Dodge to fight head to head against the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro. It gets better too. While the current Challenger is only available as a coupe, the next-gen model will spawn a convertible that will resurrect the iconic Barracuda nameplate that Plymouth launched during the 1960s. The first-ever Dodge Barracuda will get a look of its own, and it will be smaller than the Challenger in every direction.
Read more: Could the Dodge Charger go turbo?
We’re taking the information with a grain of salt because it’s just a rumor at this point, and Dodge hasn’t commented on what the future holds for the Hellcat or for the Challenger. If Automobile Magazine‘s sources are correct, look for both the Challenger and the Barracuda to debut in time for the 2019 model year.