The internal combustion era still has a good few years left; the U.S. market is aiming at 50% of battery-electric new car sales in 2030, which would still put millions of new gas- and oil-burners on the road yearly. But automakers will undoubtedly begin rolling out ICE greatest hits as they take their lineups electric. Dodge, current U.S. poster child for the phrase "There's no such thing as too much horsepower," could hit the high note as soon as next month. Mopar Insiders reports its sources saying the automaker is planning a limited edition Challenger that can run E85 from the factory, and it will be more powerful than the 840-horsepower 2018 Challenger SRT Demon. MI thinks that means something over 850 hp, while noting that Mopar's Direct Connection Stage 3 kit is rated at 885 hp on 100 octane.
Getting an E85 kit from the factory would mean getting the ancillary upgrades needed to get the most from running the corn-based fuel. As OST Dyno told us in our series about tuning a car properly, it's possible to pick up an ECU mod for $700 or so that claims to add 70 wheel horsepower when the 6.2-liter V8 is fed E85, but those don't come with the injectors and fuel line mods that a proper E85 conversion should have. After its success with the Demon and every other special run, we expect Dodge would lay the thing out right. We'd also expect that with several online E85 package sellers advertising around 900 wheel horsepower after the upgrade, we would not be surprised if Dodge advertised an even 1,000 crank horsepower for the rumored special edition.
The rumor might be less of a stretch than usual. Dodge created a 24-month calendar called "Never Lift" to celebrate milestones on the way to its all-electric muscle car. The calendar is a series of garage doors that get opened when the time is right, the most recent door being the announcement of this year's Roadkill Nights. The next two closed doors feature a pair of hands and a tire swing. On the door after that: an old-fashioned jug with three Xs on it. That's a moonshine jug, the Xs representing how many times that lunar elixir has passed through the still. Moonshine is made from corn mash, said corn now more likely to end up at an ethanol refiner than fermented in a backyard still. There's no way to tell when that garage will open nor what the graphic means, but Dodge has a bunch of stuff planned for its Speed Week between Roadkill Nights and the Woodward Dream Cruise, so stay tuned during the week of August 15.