Gas vs Electric Muscle Cars: S650 Mustang Vs Electric Dodge Charger

Gas vs Electric Muscle Cars: S650 Mustang Vs Electric Dodge Charger

"What the 2024 V8 Mustang and Electric Dodge Charger Tell Us About the Future of Muscle Cars"

Last Updated October 3, 2023 | Nate Moonis
Next Gen Muscle Cars: Electric vs Gas

Ford and Dodge have cast their bets for the future of the muscle car, and they've gone in completely different directions. Ford doubled down on internal combustion and confirmed that when the S650 Mustang launches, it will have a new 4th-gen Coyote V8 and 2.3L EcoBoost. Dodge, on the other hand, revealed their Charger Daytona SRT concept car with an all-electric drivetrain.

Regardless of which car you like best, both companies are taking huge risks with their decision. Ford is hoping that ICEs have at least another 5-10 years before they're overtaken by electric motors. Dodge, however, wants to get ahead of the competition by releasing an all-electric muscle car for 2024. But, they risk losing their dedicated fanbase in the process.

There have also been rumors of an electric Chevy Camaro for 2024, but nothing has been confirmed. Motortrend seems to think it'll be a 4-door, performance sedan.

So, with Ford and Dodge ushering in the new era of muscle cars in 2024, it only makes sense to compare their flagships.

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Gas vs Electric: Which Performs Better?

While both cars will get you where you need to go, they do it in completely different ways.

V8s vs Volts

The new 2024 Ford Mustang will have two, all new combustion engines that can be paired with either a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission. These 2024 Mustang transmissions will give drivers that irreplaceable feeling of going through the gears.

You also have complete control over what you want your car to do. Need more torque while doing a drag race? Downshift and disappear. Going for top speed? Let your engine rev through its gear ranges and keep it in its optimal power band for max acceleration.

Because the new Charger concept is all-electric, it won't drive like the gas Chargers of the past. Dodge has stated that the new car will be powered by an all-new, 800V “Banshee” propulsion system.

Picture of a generic Stellantis EV platform to show how it works

Dodge has also said that this new electric Charger will have a multi-speed transmission, but no other information has been revealed. Their goal is to give drivers the feel of distinct shift points, but it's hard to see how this won't just slow the new electric Dodge Charger down.

While you'll miss a lot of the same mechanical feeling that comes with a combustion engine and genuine transmission, the instant torque you get from the electric motors means that the new 2024 Dodge Charger will most likely blow the S650 Ford Mustang out of the water in a drag race.

Which Is Faster?

While we're still missing a lot of important performance figures for the two cars, the new electric Dodge Charger will almost certainly be faster in a straight line. Its electric motors give it instant torque off the line, allowing it to reach its top speed much faster than the S650.

Early estimates of the S650 Dark Horse have it going from 0-60 in a little over 4 seconds and running in the high 11's on the quarter mile. While this isn't slow by any means, the electric Charger will most likely be at least a second faster.

Handling and Weight

Electric cars are inherently heavier than gas because of their massive battery packs. That extra weight might cause the 2024 Dodge Charger to suffer in other aspects of performance driving.

While the Charger will still have the advantage on the straights due to its torque and raw power, the S650 Mustang will most likely be more nimble. The 2024 Ford Mustang weighs less which will help it corner faster and harder.

500 hp Mustang Dark Horse cornering in a dark tunnel

The Charger also has to worry about brake temperatures. It's much heavier than the S650, so its brakes will have to work harder. That could lead to overheating and brake fade. The 2024 Mustang has a dual caliper rear brake set up to help with overheating under heavy use.

We'll need to see them both in-person and on track to really compare the two, though.

Which Sounds Better?

With the S650, you'll have the classic sound of a Mustang 5.0L V8. While not anything special or innovative, it's the sound that every muscle car fan loves.

The new electric Dodge Charger has none of those great V8 noises because it's an electric car, but that doesn't mean it won't be loud and assertive.

S650 Dark Horse

Charger Daytona SRT Concept

Dodge has shown off brand new exhaust technology called the “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust.” This new exhaust pushes the electric hum of its motors through an amplifier and tuning chamber to create a 126-decibel, aggressive screeching noise.

Whether you're a fan of the classic V8 rumble or the new electric scream, both cars will be loud and in your face. The question is, will anyone like the sound of the new electric Charger?

Traditional Design vs Futuristic Styling

Ford is sticking to the more traditional stylings of muscle cars past. They've given it an intimidating scowl and plenty of hard angles to make it look as aggressive as possible.

The front end of the new GT looks menacing, the rear-end has been updated to match the car's aggressive look, and the front and rear fenders have been integrated well into the rest of the design.

While it's not perfect (the 2024 EcoBoost Mustang looks a little dull), I think Ford made the new S650 Mustang stand out from the crowd.

Side by side comparison of the S650 Mustang and Dodge Charger concept

The majority of electric cars on the market today have minimalist, space-age designs, and the electric Dodge Charger is no different. Gone are most of the unique and angular features of past Charger models. There are almost no harsh lines and the rear end is reminiscent of the Tesla Model 3.

The front end is the only part of the new electric Dodge Charger that carries through some of its predecessor's aggressive styling and looks. The car has a vast “r-wing” integrated into the hood and front diffuser.

While Dodge didn't make an ugly car, it doesn't stand out as a muscle car should.

Cockpit Experience

Both Dodge and Ford are revamping their interiors, but the design philosophies differ greatly.

Dodge went the route that many electric cars are going nowadays by making the new Charger's interior a minimalist haven. While it could still change before it goes to production, the interior looks sterile and lifeless.

The seats are reminiscent of the ones found in a Tesla, and the dash and center consoles are taken up almost exclusively by two large screens. The red accent lighting found on the dash and door panels is cool, but that's the only touch of styling you'll find besides the flat-bottom steering wheel.

Comparison of the S650 Mustang and electric Dodge Charger concept interiors

The 2024 Mustang shares some interior features with the electric Dodge, but it goes about it in a way that makes it feel more blue-collar and driver-oriented.

The large infotainment screens that take up the dash are connected and angled toward the driver. It has buttons and knobs you can push and turn. You also get a real manual shifter, if you choose that option, so you can row through all the gears yourself. All of this makes driving the S650 a more tactile and mechanical experience.

Can You Mod an Electric Car?

Enthusiasts have been tuning, upgrading, and modding muscle cars since they first appeared. And the communities that have formed around modding, racing, and showing off these kinds of vehicles are part of what make owning one so special.

Mechanic working on the wheel hub of an S550 Mustang

Most gas muscle cars are extremely modular and parts can be swapped out at will with aftermarket alternatives or replacements. You can upgrade the engine, suspension, transmission, wheels and tires, and so much more. While you can mod electric cars, the number of things you can do to them is much smaller.

Related: Check out the top Mustang Mods for every Mustang generation.

So what's it like to modify an electric car compared to a gas one?

Electric cars don't have an engine and transmission, so you're missing a lot of opportunities to upgrade performance. You can still do simple mods like wheels and tires, suspension, window tint, and a few others. But, they'll mostly be aesthetic, and you don't have as many options. Power mods like cold air intakes, turbos, and superchargers aren't possible on electric cars.

If you want to get your knuckles greasy and really make your car your own, gas is still the way to go.

Are You Excited for the Future of the Muscle Car?

It's clear that both Ford and Dodge are taking very different approaches to the future of muscle cars. Time will tell which company made the right decision. In the meantime, we'll just have to wait patiently for them to come out. If you're interested in comparing the 2024 Mustang trims, check out our article on the Mustang GT vs Dark Horse.

What do you think? Will electric muscle cars be able to dethrone ICEs in the next few years? Do you think Ford and Dodge made the right choice for their respective brands? Let us know your thoughts on social media, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on all things muscle cars.

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Sources: Dodge Unveils New Electric Muscle Car Concept That Could Replace the Challenger and Charger, CNBC | Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept: American Muscle in the EV Era , Car and Driver | Most electric cars are quiet. But Dodge says its future electric muscle car will be super loud, CNN

Image Credits: Ford Media | Stellantis

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.