What will happen to the American ‘Muscle Car’?

american”muscle cars” got their name from their big, powerful engines and high speed.

Some of the gas cars are so noisy that the Associated Press recently described them as “thundering.”

But the worldwide interest in electric cars raises this question: can a muscle car be electric?

Automaker Stellantis makes the Dodge Challenger and Charger, two well-known muscle cars. General Motors makes the popular Chevrolet Corvette. Both companies are wondering if they can keep the interest of buyers who love traditional gas cars.

Autobytel’s Rose Mayer and her beloved Dodge Challenger “Rose Rage”. (Photo: Business Wire)

The fans of the cars they loved classicpowerful cars that used a lot of fuel are called “gearheads”.

the new stack-motorized cars are faster than the old gas cars that sold themselves based on “horsepower”. Horsepower is a term used to talk about the power created by an engine. For years, high power indicated “high performance.”

Although new cars go fast and are easier to control than cars with big engines, they don’t make much noise. Will gears one day become drum heads?

Stellantis expects it. The company, which is half American and half Italian, will stop making gasoline versions of the Challenger, Charger and its larger Chrysler 300 by the end of 2023.

Other car manufacturers are in the process of doing the same.

Many European car manufacturers already have electric versions of their high-performance cars. They include Porsche, Audi and Mercedes.

Shoppers look at a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette during a presentation of the mid-engine sports car for Corvette enthusiasts at a Chevrolet dealership Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Lone Tree, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Shoppers look at a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette during a presentation of the mid-engine sports car for Corvette enthusiasts at a Chevrolet dealership Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, in Lone Tree, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

General Motors said it will soon make an electric Corvette. Polestar is an electric vehicle company founded by the owners of Volvo. Polestar says a roadster, or small fun car, is coming soon.

Governments around the world are demanding that cars create less pollution. US President Joe Biden’s administration has also recently established new rules.

As a result, car manufacturers are starting to focus their production on electric cars. Some car factories are upgrading to be able to manufacture electric vehicles. Other producers are building new factories.

Tim Kuniskis leads Stellantis’ Dodge division. “Is carry,” he said in reference to the idea that governments would come up with financial penalties, known as fines, for companies that do not meet the new requirements to reduce fuel consumption.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, said Stellantis’ cars use the most fuel and have the worst effect on the environment. Some of the cars, like a version of the Charger with a big engine called the Hemi Hellcat, only go about three miles on a liter of fuel.

New rules set by the EPA say that all of a company’s new car models must be much more fuel efficient by 2026 than they are now.

Sam Abuelsamid is a researcher at Guidehouse Insights. He said some automakers will continue to make models with traditional engines, known as internal combustion engines, for about 10 years.

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept is unveiled Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Pontiac, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept is unveiled Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Pontiac, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Dodge is working to improve the fuel use of its cars, but also to keep the gears interested. New cars will make noise like old ones even if they use batteries.

A recent Dodge demo showed a Charger that sounded just like a muscle car.

Kuniskis, however, is critical of his own company’s new car. “It doesn’t have the excitement,” he said, speaking of electric cars. “He doesn’t have the drama. It doesn’t have the “dangerous feeling” of an internal combustion engine. But he did say the new electric charger would be the fastest ever.

Rick Nelson likes old cars. He owns a muscle car repair company in Illinois. He said it could be a “tough sell” to get older drivers who grew up with big, noisy cars to switch to electrics.

A classic muscle car is this 1968 Chevrolet Camaro made by General Motors.  (Photo: Business Wire)

A classic muscle car is this 1968 Chevrolet Camaro made by General Motors. (Photo: Business Wire)

But, times are changing. Nelson said he knows of companies that are starting to think about how to put electric drive systems in “classic” cars.

He said: “Guys like me will frown about him and laugh about it.” But he knows, as he said, “it’s not about my generation.”

Kuniskis said the future is not the end of the muscle car.

“It’s okay,” he said. “Just let us show you what the future looks like.”

I’m Dan Friedell. And I’m Jill Robbins.

Dan Friedell adapted this story for VOA Learning English based on an Associated Press report.

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Words in this story

muscle car – n. an American-made two-door sports car with a powerful engine

thunder – n. the loud sound that comes from lightning in the sky

classic -adj. something that has been popular for a long time

carry -adj. difficult

stack – n. a device that stores electricity for use by a machine, such as an electric motor

drama – n. a situation or series of events that excites people’s emotions

frown -v. a serious facial expression indicating discomfort

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