After 2023, we will no longer have the Dodge Challenger or Charger as part of the automotive market. These two muscle cars are going out with a bang.
We knew this day was coming, but did it have to come so soon? The end of production for both Dodge muscle cars is 2023. This final model year of the two cars will see seven special edition models that give us some amazing ways to enjoy celebrating these venerable models. If you wanted a muscle car to truly look and feel like one from the heyday, these Dodge cars brought that and so much more.
Ownership Changed, but the Cars Remained
Dodge is a name in the auto industry that dates back more than 100 years. Over that time, this company has been part of many different parent brands. In fact, since the Charger and Challenger have been in production, at least four different companies have owned Dodge. These names include DaimlerChyrsler, Cerberus, Fiat, and Stellantis. The ownership might have changed over the years, but these amazing cars have been standing tall, ready to give us the powerful drive we want to enjoy on any road or track.
Why Does Production Need to End?
The departure of the Dodge Challenger and Charger has nothing to do with sales of these two cars. In fact, the Charger was the top-selling muscle car through the first six months of this year. This car showed 38,459 sales which was followed in order by the Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro. The biggest reason for the end of production is the movement away from gas-guzzling power into an electrified future across the entire auto industry. This will leave a significant hole in the market, but it was inevitable.
Will There Be Electrified Versions Offered?
Yes, we already know there are plans for battery-electric muscle cars to arrive in 2024 as part of the 2025 model year. Until that happens, the only Dodge offering will be the Durango. This puts both Dodge and Chrysler in similar places in the market with only one or two models being offered. The Dodge brand will grow once the electric models arrive, but this brand will never be the same. Dodge has always been a brand that stood for good old fashioned gasoline power. You knew a V8 was in there somewhere when you saw the Dodge name on a car, truck, or SUV.
New Models Coming to Pay Homage to the Brand and the Cars
When the production ends for the Dodge Challenger and Charger, we won’t see these muscle cars the same way ever again. Six of he seven special edition models coming this year are going-away versions that pay homage to previous Dodge vehicles. The final model is a “last of its kind” version that will be something different that we haven’t seen before. This will give us something to admire and talk about when they arrive in the upcoming months.
All Models Receive the “Last Call” Plaque
Even though the special edition models of these two muscle cars will receive the most attention from the brand, Dodge isn’t ignoring the versions that we already know and love. Every Charger and Challenger that’s built in 2023 will have a ceremonial “Last Call” plaque under the hood. This plaque features the car and the terms “Designed in Auburn Hills” and “Built in Brampton.” Although this celebratory plaque might seem a bit strange or silly, it could bring value to one of these cars several decades from now when gas cars are auctioned at high prices in an EV world.
The Jailbreak program will be more Widespread than Before
The ideal behind the Jailbreak program was to allow Dodge owners to mix and match their desired features of these two muscle cars. The previous program was limited to the Hellcat Redeye Widebody model, but it will be available for more affordable Hellcat models for the 2023 model year. This is a great way for customers to find the features they want in the Hellcat model of their choosing. Maybe you only want one or two features from the Redeye for your standard Hellcat model, now you can have them.
Will Challenger Bodies Show up in More Drag Races?
Another development to celebrate the end of the Dodge Challenger and Charger production run is the new bodies-in-white program. This program offers a Challenger body for less than $10,000 to make it easy to put a Challenger shell on a drag racer or other chassis. For races that want a full Dodge package, a Drag Pak is being made to include a roll cage and chassis that are NHRA-certified. This means you could have a car that only needs the powertrain to make it the drag-racing Challenger you’ve always wanted.
Add Carbon Fiber to the Mix
For the most part, you never think of the Dodge muscle cars as cars that try to shave weight or go light on the road or track. That said, Dodge is working with SpeedKore to develop some carbon-fiber pieces that owners can order and add to their cars. This will help those weekend warriors shave some weight and enjoy a slightly faster time than the Dodge next to them that doesn’t have any carbon fiber on it. This is a wonderful way to help celebrate the end of an era.
The Cherry Not on the Top
We could say the cherry on top, but since the Dodge Challenger will finally be offered in a convertible model, you might not want a cherry where there isn’t a top. That’s right, Dodge is working with Drop Top Customs to create a conversion for the Challenger. Customers can order the car with this conversion included and it will then show up at the dealership finished and ready to drive. These convertible models are actually available for 2022 models as well as the last call 2023 versions.
Dodge is ending production of the Challenger and Charger, but this brand is doing it right. These amazing muscle cars are going out with a bang, giving us several great ways to enjoy the end of an era.
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