Dodge Confirms No Manual Transmission for New Charger

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

With the 2024 Dodge Charger having finally been previewed, driving enthusiasts have been arguing about whether the all-new model is an improvement from the original or a grotesque misstep. While it looks similar to its predecessor, Stellantis opted to abandon V8 powertrains for a turbocharged I6 or 400-volt electric architecture. The car has also fully embraced all-wheel drive at the expense of rear-drive variants. Considering the above, it should be no shocker that the brand likewise snubbed manual transmissions — with Dodge having just confirmed the decision.

The whole point of the new Charger was to modernize a vehicle that some would argue was stuck in the past and resting on its laurels. However, that mindset ushered also in the kind of changes that resulted in something you can’t really call a true muscle car anymore. While all-wheel drive and optional electric motors should give the new Dodge a performance advantage over the outgoing model, it’s a very different recipe from what Mopar fans are accustomed to.

Manual transmissions aren’t necessarily synonymous with muscle cars or even something Dodge's fans seriously care about. But they do harken back to a time when vehicle controls were more mechanical and forced a level of driver engagement that’s largely absent today. Despite the Dodge Challenger sporadically offering manual options on select trims, they were so incredibly rare on the Charger that any example you spotted with a stick shift was almost guaranteed to be an aftermarket project vehicle.

With the design of the new Charger being heavily informed by both models, both past and present, it seemed plausible (albeit improbable) that Dodge would offer a manual variant. No such luck. The manufacturer recently confirmed with The Drive that it has “no plans for a manual transmission.” While that doesn’t rule out the possibility of future examples with a stick, they’re likely to be extremely limited in production and scooped up by collectors that plan on flipping the vehicle at auction years down the road and that’s assuming Stellantis bothers producing them at all.

For now, every version of the 2024 Dodge Charger that utilizes the 3.0-liter Hurricane for propulsion will come with an eight-speed automatic. Our guess is that the decision probably isn’t going to be a major factor in terms of sales volume. As enjoyable as it can be to run through gears yourself, the practice tends to be limited to hardcore driving enthusiasts who likely aren’t planning to use the vehicle as their daily driver. Exceptions certainly apply. But Stellantis isn’t going to expend the kind of R&D dollars necessary just to appease a subset of the fandom that may not even have plans to order the new model after it just dumped loads of cash to electrify the darn thing. One gamble at a time, please.

Production of the electrified 2024 Dodge Charger Daytona Scat Pack and 2024 Dodge Charger Daytona R/T are supposed to commence this summer. However, the four-door Daytona Scat Pack and R/T models, gas-powered two-door Dodge Charger Sixpack H.O. and four-door Dodge Charger Sixpack S.O. aren’t scheduled to begin assembly until early in 2025. The Dodge Charger Banshee EV is likewise poised to arrive sometime next year. However, that model is supposed to receive a “two-speed” transmission for some added flair and an improved top speed — as it will be the fastest and most expensive version of the vehicle by far.

[Images: Stellantis]

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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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3 of 47 comments
  • Matthew Matthew on Mar 12, 2024

    Dodge has confirmed, they do not want to sell a car to me. On my list of must haves for a vehicle, number one is 3 pedals. Followed by windshield and mirrors. It's getting hard to find a fun car. Pushing a digital go fast button isn't fun. Effort and interaction is the only thing that makes a car fun.

    • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Mar 23, 2024

      I'm the opposite, a stick is a deal killer, as much as a sunroof is. IMHO, there is nothing fun about daily driving a manual. I'm friends with several Camaro, Mustang, Challenger, and Charger owners, and all of them recently, or will soon be buying new ones with an auto. I'm not exactly thrilled with the lack of a V8 in the future Mopar cars, but if the turbo setup is as well done as the Accord Sport I just rented, I would have no real problems with owning one. Until it is a hunk of rust, I plan on driving my Challenger Scat Pack auto for a long time.

  • MaintenanceCosts The black wheel arches and rocker trim are ghastly. Looks like to get them in body color you have to downgrade to the N Line. And you can't get a 360-degree camera on the N Line. Oh well, I'm not a compact CUV customer anyway.
  • Gray Where is Subaru on the list? They build them in Indiana. NASCAR should field the Legacy sedan to go up against Toyota.
  • Redapple2 H-K Styling. May not be my cup of tea but they re trying. Gripe. This would be a deal breaker. Door cut out - seat postion - 'B' pillar. I m over 6'. So the driver's seat is towards full back position. Rental Equinox last week. 1100 miles. The seat bottom to seat back point was 8 inches behind and around the 'B' pillar. I had to be contortionist to get in and out of the car. Brutal POS. Wife's Forester? Nearly equal/flush. I ve never seen 1 car review where they complain about this.
  • Lou_BC In my town the dealers are bad for marking up products, even pickups. There were multiple "mega-projects" on the go in my region so money was flowing fast and loose both by corporations and employees. All of that is coming to an end plus we've seen a pulpmill close, one pulpmill line close and a few sawmill closures. Cash is getting tight.
  • Lou_BC Branding is very powerful and effective. I always get a kick out of hardcore Harley Davidson fans. The "Jap scrap" mentality exists even in Canada. I used to get derided for riding Japanese bikes. I confused a bunch of Harley guys once when I pointed out that in Canada, Harley is just as much as a foreign import as Yamaha. They tried to argue that a Harley made in USA was not a foreign made bike. The cognitive dissonance made me laugh.