Muscle cars are coming out with a bang

It’s official: Dodge is ending production of the Challenger and Charger in their current form in December 2023 ahead of the launch of its all-electric muscle car in 2024.

To help customers who want one of the gas-powered vehicles with a “Last Call” plate, in October, Stellantis NV’s performance brand will post details on its website of where the vehicles will be allocated for the final year of the production and how much each trader will be. will take during the rest of the run.

The inventory of unsold vehicles will be updated weekly, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said. Pricing for the 2023 model year has not yet been revealed.

As a final delivery, in the coming weeks Dodge will reveal seven 2023 special-edition muscle car models heading to major dealerships, Kuniskis said. The performance brand is also bringing back the Durango Hellcat for 2023, introducing a range of new Direct Connection parts, and has partnered with a custom shop for customers to get a Challenger convertible.

The automaker is focusing on “how much more we can squeeze in and out of our current cars before they go out of production,” Kuniskis said. “We want to make sure we’re celebrating these cars properly.”

Six of the upcoming muscle car special edition vehicles will pay homage to Dodge vehicles from the past. The seventh will be a vehicle unveiled in November in Las Vegas. That model’s license plate, “1FAST29,” is a hint of what’s to come, Kuniskis said.

“He’s making history,” he said. “And that’s one that’s going to make Brampton really proud,” he added, referring to the Ontario plant where the Challenger and Charger are built.

Customers will not be able to order these versions. Dodge will manufacture the vehicles and offer them to dealers as additional inventory, which will also be updated on the Dodge website.

Tracking inventory and construction details is part of an effort to be transparent, Kuniskis said. “This way every customer knows: “I know where to go to get a car. I know where to go to get an order.” You’re going to have to move fast because we’re going to count down. This guy [dealer] there will be 15, then there will be 10, then there will be zero.”

The effort comes amid a series of supply chain disruptions in the auto industry, particularly a semiconductor shortage, which could last until 2024. Dodge said it is confident in its microchip supply to deliver the vehicles it says will to distribute to its traders.

A billion horsepower

The Brampton Assembly plant outside Toronto has built more than 3 million Challengers and Chargers since 2005, totaling about 1 billion horsepower, according to the company. Last year, the Challenger was the best-selling muscle car in the United States.

“I’m surprised they lasted this long,” said Sam Abuelsamid, principal e-mobility analyst at market research firm Guidehouse Inc. “Dodge has done an outstanding job of keeping them fresh and attractive.”

Dodge’s effort is a cautious send-off not often seen in the industry, said Stephanie Brinley, principal auto analyst for S&P Global Mobility: “When a vehicle goes out of production, it’s usually because it’s not popular anymore. It’s something you do.” . I don’t want to celebrate.

“In this case, change is happening and the brand is going in a different direction. You have a muscle car with history that has enthusiasts, passionate people behind it.”

The 2023 lineup also includes the 717-horsepower two-door Challenger and four-door Charger SRT Jailbreak, as well as the return of the Durango SRT Hellcat. Dodge previously offered the V8-powered, 710-horsepower SUV in limited production for the 2021 model year. The automaker will bring the offering back by popular demand starting in September.

Dodge has also partnered with Drop Top Customs to offer a Challenger convertible for $25,999. The company will ship the vehicle to the Florida-based custom shop and work with dealers to deliver it to buyers. The company has started taking orders.

For those more interested in building their own drag car, Dodge will also offer an $89,999 Challenger Mopar Drag Pak chassis without engine or transmission through its Direct Connect program. Customers can also purchase a Challenger body kit for $7,995.

For 2023, Dodge is also making available exterior colors of heritage B5 Blue, Plum Crazy Purple and Sublime Green, as well as modern Destroyer Grey.

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