Dodge Introduces Three Horsepower Challenger, Charger

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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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.

  • Daniel J Until we get a significant charging infrastructure and change times get under 10 minutes, yes
  • Mike I own 2 gm 6.2 vehicles. They are great. I do buy alot of gas. However, I would not want the same vehicles if they were v6's. Jusy my opinion. I believe that manufacturers need to offer engine options for the customer. The market will speak on what the consumer wants.For example, I dont see the issue with offering a silverado with 4cyl , 6 cyl, 5.3 v8, 6.2 v8, diesel options. The manufacturer will charge accordingly.
  • Mike What percentage of people who buy plug in hybrids stop charging them daily after a few months? Also, what portion of the phev sales are due to the fact that the incentives made them a cheaper lease than the gas only model? (Im thinking of the wrangler 4xe). I wish there was a way to dig into the numbers deeper.
  • CEastwood If it wasn't for the senior property tax freeze in NJ I might complain about this raising my property taxes since most of that tax goes to the schools . I'm not totally against EVs , but since I don't drive huge miles and like to maintain my own vehicles they are not practical especially since I keep a new vehicle long term and nobody has of yet run into the cost of replacing the battery on an EV .
  • Aquaticko Problem with PHEV is that, like EVs, they still require a behavioral change over ICE/HEV cars to be worth their expense and abate emissions (whichever is your goal). Studies in the past have shown that a lot of PHEV drivers don't regularly plug-in, meaning they're just less-efficient HEVs.I'm left to wonder how big a battery a regular HEV could have without needing to be a PHEV.