When the 2023 model year ends, production of the current-generation Dodge Charger and Challenger will come to a close.
Seven limited editions of Dodge’s two iconic muscle cars will be released in the future.
Drop Top Customs will construct a convertible version of the Challenger for sale this year and next for an additional $25,999.
Both the Dodge Charger and Challenger have been modern muscle cars through the DaimlerChrysler, Cerberus, Fiat, and now Stellantis eras, but their time is almost up. Dodge will stop making the two classic muscle cars at the end of 2023, but not before giving them a fitting farewell. Dodge’s Direct Connection is gearing up to provide a plethora of aftermarket components in support of upcoming special editions of these vehicles, honoring the significance they hold to a vast community of speed-obsessed enthusiasts.
Their exit was widely anticipated, but not because of dwindling sales. According to Wards Intelligence data, the Charger outsold the Ford Mustang (26,244), the Challenger (25,682), and the Chevrolet Camaro (11,255) through the first six months of 2018. However, overall sales are down about 20% from the prior year; gas-guzzling sports cars have trouble finding a niche in an industry that is rapidly moving toward electrification. Without the Charger and Challenger, Dodge’s lineup would be reduced to just the Durango SUV until 2024, when a battery-electric muscle car is scheduled to debut.
Dodge has announced that seven of the final edition Challengers and Chargers will be available at dealerships. Dodge has announced that it will be retiring seven models, six of which will be tribute models for earlier Dodge models and one of which, dubbed the “last of its kind,” will make its debut at the SEMA show this year. All of these limited-edition models can be purchased directly from a Dodge website and delivered to local dealerships.
In spite of the fact that Dodge focuses most of its resources on limited editions, it does not neglect its regular lineup. In Brampton, Ontario, a “Last Call” plaque will be placed under the hood of every Charger and Challenger before they are shipped to their new owners. The plaque will feature the vehicle silhouette alongside the inscriptions “Designed in Auburn Hills” and “Built in Brampton.” Even though this aluminum tag looks silly right now, it just might be a good investment at major auctions in the future.
Dodge is also expanding its Jailbreak program, which gives buyers of the Challenger and Charger more freedom in customizing their muscle car by combining features and options that aren’t always offered. Until 2023, the Jailbreak program was only available on the Hellcat Redeye Widebody variants, but for that year, Dodge will expand it to include other, more affordable Hellcat models.
Dodge is discontinuing some of its best-known models, but that’s not all. With the release of Challenger bodies-in-white, the Dodge and Direct Connection teams are quickly consuming available sheetmetal. For only $7,995, this Challenger chassis can be modified into anything a racing enthusiast’s heart (or wallet) desires. Dodge is also offering its Drag Pak rolling chassis, which features a more serious shell. This Drag Pak chassis is ready to hit the drag strip with its 7.5-second NHRA-approved roll cage. The $89,999 asking price is a lot higher than it would be for just the shell because of all the extra hardware it has.
In addition to offering SpeedKore carbon-fiber parts through the Direct Connection catalog, Dodge has partnered with the company. These parts are lightweight and made to Dodge’s specifications for fit and finish. Additional high-performance components designed for the soon-to-be-extinct Challenger and Charger will be added to the Direct Connection catalog.
Dodge has added a convertible Challenger to its lineup, rounding out the farewell offerings. The convertible is not being produced by the company itself; rather, it is being produced in conjunction with Drop Top Customs of Florida. Customers will still place orders, vehicles will be shipped to Drop Top Customs for the conversion, and then customers will pick up their vehicles from the dealership. This upgrade will cost an additional $25,999, but Dodge emphasizes that the actual cost is set by the local dealership. The last chance to get your hands on a Challenger convertible is in 2022 or 2023.
Dodge’s top-tier muscle cars will likely be discontinued after a farewell tribute. Including a convertible in the lineup and a number of specially prepared final editions is a fitting homage to the company’s history and a shrewd way to celebrate the company’s performance pedigree. What will come to replace those two Dodge mainstays is still a mystery to us. It’s possible that the transition from internal combustion muscle to a battery-electric bruiser won’t take too long, given that Dodge’s battery-electric muscle car is scheduled for 2024.
What is your most cherished Chargers / Challengers moment? Share your thoughts in the space provided.
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