The electric future is starting to come into focus for Chrysler, Ram, and Dodge. The American heritage brands had a slow if not reluctant reception of electrification under the parent company formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The Chrysler Pacifica minivan was the only plug-in hybrid on the block. Until now.
That old company merged with Peugeot’s parent company and became Stellantis in 2021. Last July, Stellantis said that electric or plug-in hybrid versions will be offered on 98% of its vehicles in North America and Europe by 2025, on the way to make those vehicles comprise 40% of U.S. sales by 2030. Those ambitious plans are beginning to show, with the development of four dedicated electric vehicle platforms to underpin the electric push.
The 14 automakers under the Stellantis umbrella are also belatedly embracing electrification, with Jeep—the brand’s bellcow—pointing the way forward for the five main brands sold in the U.S. Alfa Romeo, the brand’s luxury arm, will sell a plug-in hybrid crossover in 2023, Ram is prepping a full battery electric 1500 pickup truck by 2024, and even Dodge is gearing up for its electric muscle car future.
For now, however, the electric future straddles a fire-breathing internal combustion past, still roaring with Hemi V-8s and supercharged Hellcat V-8s. We cover what’s new for 2022 Jeep models in a separate post because much of the lineup is new and more robust in breadth and depth, but here we is what’s new for Stellantis’ other core American brands.
2022 Ram 2500
A battery electric Ram pickup truck is planned for 2024 to compete not just with the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning and the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV, but also other electric pickups on sale now, such as the Rivian R1T. Built on Stellantis’ frame platform, the largest of the four global units planned in the next decade, the Ram Revolution welcomes input from shoppers on what the EV truck should and shouldn’t be. Not much else has been disclosed about Ram’s EV plans.
For now, the 2022 Ram 1500 comes with a large 8.4-inch touchscreen with Uconnect 5 and its faster processing unit and a wi-fi hotspot on Big Horn and above grades. Its big brother, the Ram 2500 and 3500 HD, also gets Uconnect 5, new options groups, new camera features for towing, and a Silver edition.
2022 Dodge Charger
Stellantis introduced four battery electric platforms in July 2021, with the large one dedicated to all-wheel-drive performance and American muscle. That will likely underpin its electric muscle car planned for 2024, which has only been teased in concept form. For now, the Charger and Challenger continue on not much changed from their reintroduction in the automotive wild in 2006 and 2008, respectively. For 2022, Dodge’s American muscle cars can be had with a Jailbreak option for SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody models that boosts horsepower from 797 to 807, and has more customization options. On the family side of Dodge, the SRT Hellcat Durango made an imprint on 2021 alone, leaving the three-row SUV to carry on with a 475-hp V-8 as the most-powerful engine option.
2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale
The luxury/performance brand of Stellantis expands its lineup with the arrival of the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale small crossover. Slightly larger than a BMW X1 but not as sporting as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the Tonale will be powered by either a 256-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 or a 272-hp plug-in hybrid with a 1.3-liter turbo-4 and a rear motor powered by a 15.5-kwh lithium-ion battery. Alfa estimates a 30-mile electric range.
For the Giulia sedan an Stelvio, a new Veloce trim level replaces the Ti Sport trim, making it a step below the performance-oriented Quadrifoglio. Alfa also adds more standard driver-assist and safety features to the this duo. In addition to automatic emergency braking, those vehicles come with blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warnings, automatic high beams, and front and rear parking sensors.
Other standard features include front and rear heated seats, navigation, wireless phone charging, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and an air quality system. Leather upholstery, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, and an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard as well.
The Giulia and Stelvio are powered by a standard 2.0-liter turbo-4 with 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque teamed with an 8-speed automatic and rear- or available all-wheel drive. Quadrifoglio variants use a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 that makes 505 hp and 443 lb-ft with all-wheel drive, and a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds for the Stelvio, which is quicker than the Giulia and its 3.8-second 0-60 time.
To be honest, we were surprised the 2022 Chrysler 300 full-size sedan was still being sold. With an expected end date in 2023, the poor man’s Bentley caters to sedan shoppers the other American automakers have abandoned. A few packaging tweaks simplify the 300 lineup, but it can still be had with a 3.6-liter V-6 or a 5.7-liter V-8.
The 2022 Chrysler Pacifica handles much more volume in sales and passenger space. After last year’s refresh, the winning minivan now comes standard with heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. A new air-filtration system promises cleaner cabin air, a standard rear-seat reminder provides assurances nobody is left in the vehicle, and the Pacifica can be equipped with Amazon Fire TV with games, videos, apps, and Alexa. Three versions are available: front- and all-wheel-drive models with a 287-hp V-6, as well as a 260-hp plug-in hybrid that uses the same engine, comes with front-wheel drive only, and has an estimated 32-mile range.