Identifying As EV – Mopar Transitioning to “Stella” (STLA)

The days of being an LS, Coyote, or HEMI diehard are numbered. Like darkness after dusk, the EV revolution is coming and will be as impossible to avoid. For GM folks, Ultium is the new kid in town and Ford fans will have the GE/GE2.  Mopar parent Stellantis recently followed suit and announced their EV platform dubbed “Stella,” aka STLA. It will be a scalable, EV architecture powering future Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and RAM products.

Stellantis, formerly FCA, now has Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel/Vauxhall, and Peugeot nameplates under its corporate umbrella. All the brands will eventually be based on four different variants of the STLA, each tailored to specific kinds of vehicles.

Stellantis recently put together a presentation outlining its plans, but skip past the Fiats and Opels and go to 11:50 to see Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis’ presentation, plus a peek at their mysterious 2024 EV muscle car.

Dodge’s new corporate mantra, “Tear Up The Streets…Not The Planet,” is an interesting choice, to say the least. Burnouts and treading lightly on the earth?  The marketing folks may have had one too many green teas during their brainstorm sessions, but welcome to our brave new world.

The pecking order of the new architecture is STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large, and STLA Frame. The latter two are the most important to us muscle car and truck fans as they will underpin the new EV Challenger and RAM pickup recently teased by Mopar.

STLA Large is a unibody design with a low-mounted battery pack and a choice of one or two electric motors, RWD or AWD respectively. STLA Frame offers the same propulsion options but is frame-based for truck and commercial use.

One thing won’t be all “woke” and new-age. Dodge will resurrect the oddly named “Fratzog,” a retro three-spoke emblem the division used from 1962 to 1976.  This move might be an elixir to quell the anxiety that EVs bring to old school Dodge folks, but whatever the reasoning, we love this period of Chrysler Corporation design from the Elwood Engle era, and welcome its return.

We know this is hard to take for old-school guys but ultimately this is good news. After Chrysler was swallowed whole by Fiat during the Great Recession of 2008, we should be happy our European overlords have decided to keep Mopar muscle alive. A keen eye will notice that there was scant mention of the Chrysler brand in the corporate video above.

We know that EVs are fast. A Tesla Plaid driven by Jay Leno was recently clocked in the quarter-mile at under ten seconds and with a trap speed of over 150mph. Stock, no mods, with A/C on. If Dodge marries EV tech with the team that brought us modern Challengers, Chargers, and Trackhawks, we might be on the cusp of an incredible performance transformation that will make the Sixties’ horsepower wars and modern ICE muscle seem like a tea party.

In many ways, this is bittersweet news. The Chrysler we once knew is long gone folks, stirred into a multinational, automotive crockpot. The good news is, get your modern ICE Mopar muscle car now, tuck it away and treasure this tremendous finale from old-school Chrysler. Then, get a new-era, 10-second EV Chally as a daily driver that will ironically, smoke anything that came before it.

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About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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