Dodge Introduces Three Horsepower Challenger, Charger

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
dodge introduces three horsepower challenger charger

Dodge has long been synonymous with high levels of horsepower. Modern-day marketing materials practically scream it into your ear, acknowledging the company’s historic penchant for providing ludicrous amounts of power for hysterically low prices. The reality is a bit more complicated, however. While Mopar brands were indeed offering some of the best bang-for-your-buck muscle cars, back when they were a tad more novel, some of the fastest machines actually came from General Motors and Ford.

Today’s situation is very much the same. When the rest of the industry started downsizing powertrains, Dodge was still trying to squeeze even more juice from its colossal V8 engines — installing them anywhere they might fit. Rivals quickly got wise to its attempt to corner a segment just about everyone else had abandoned, resulting in gems like the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 or Ford Shelby GT500. But with everyone now back on board with the concept of displacement meaning power, Dodge has decided to change tactics.

What if it manufactured the V8 offering the smallest amount of horsepower imaginable?

Since seventy-second drag races are unlikely to catch on, Dodge’s depowering is obviously a security feature akin to the valet key that keeps some of its vehicles from unleashing their maximum might when handed off to parking attendants, children, or your less-than-trustworthy friends. Available via a no-charge software update, Dodge will outfit your (2015 model year or later) Charger or Challenger with a four-digit security code that’s designed to keep thieves from enjoying themselves.

Drivers can input their code — most of which will probably be 6969 if I know my Mopar fans — and immediately attempt to break the sound barrier. But thieves and naughty teens will find the engine has been limited to idle speeds (675 rpm), meaning they’ll get about 2.8 horsepower out of it when they mash the accelerator. We suppose this might also make a handy learning tool for brand-new drivers, especially if their first automotive experience has to come by way of a V8-equipped monster. Of course, they’ll also be in for a gigantic surprise when mom or dad inputs the code and asks them to pull out.

“More than 150 cars are stolen every day in the United States,” Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said in the release. “For any car owner, it’s terrible, it’s a hassle and it’s a personal violation. Though statistically rare, car thieves have targeted the high-horsepower Dodge muscle cars, and we want the Dodge ‘Brotherhood’ to know we’re taking quick action and covering their backs.”

The double verification is designed specifically to counter the growing number of car thieves that can spoof the code used by your key fob by adding an extra layer of encryption using the Uconnect 4C infotainment system. It seems like an interesting offer and is apparently totally free, though Dodge does recommend calling your dealer to schedule an appointment. Availability should come late in 2021.

[Images: Dodge]

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  • RHD RHD on Mar 26, 2021

    "...we want the Dodge ‘Brotherhood’ to know we’re taking quick action and covering their backs.” The action is so quick that you only have to wait until late 2021 for it to actually happen. Oy vey...

  • Agroal Agroal on Mar 27, 2021

    Nissan's look is simply ungainly. How many more different styling directions can this turd go? See what Mazda is doing and copy.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion:
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?