Dodge Unleashes a Festival of Internal Combustion

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
dodge unleashes a festival of internal combustion

In the face of an inevitable EV onslaught, Dodge is determined not to go quietly into that good night. Yesterday, they showed plans for a half-dozen Charger/Challenger special editions for its final model year in 2023, tag-teamed a shop in Florida to make Chally convertibles, and heralded the return of the Durango Hellcat.




First up – the Charger and Challenger. This will indeed be the final year for those models as we know them, with production ceasing in Brampton at the end of 2023. Every copy made in this model year will earn addenda typical for this type of send-off, including a ‘Last Call’ plaque under the hood and a palette of popular throwback colors including B5 Blue and Plum Crazy. The so-called Jailbreak models, which permit an off-menu mix-and-match of paint and options, now expand to the Hellcat trim as well.

There will be six special edition models doled out in dribs and drabs over the next month or so, all said to be some sort of callback to a previous model or trim. This does not necessarily mean they’ll have more horsepower than current iterations. We think that’ll be saved for SEMA, where a seventh and final special edition will be shown. These will all be part of the production mix and not available for order.


Speaking of being doled out, Dodge is going to shake up its dealer allocation process for these machines in 2023. Anticipating fans and gearheads want one of these monsters before they’re gone for good, the company plans to publish its entire allocation – where, what models, and how many – on a public forum on their website. This will permit customers to track down the car they want and chase after it at a specific dealer. They’re doing this all at once in October for the entire model year, another aspect of this plan which is unorthodox.

Elsewhere, the company has partnered with a custom shop in Florida to make the closest thing we’ll ever get to a Challenger convertible. Dodge will ship a new rig right to the customizers, who will then send it to yer dealer for delivery. They are also going to make available a body-in-white Challenger ($7,995) and a full drag car less the powertrain ($89,995). Also on tap? Licensed carbon fiber parts including an entire 1970 Dodge Charger body which can be built into a finished vehicle. Yee haw.

Those of you who need three rows of seats can opt for the newly-returned Dodge Durango Hellcat, a muscular SUV cracking out 710 horsepower and enough speed to get the kids to soccer practice on time. No, really – this beast does 0 – 60 mph in 3.5 seconds while also having the capacity to tow 8,700 pounds (it likely can’t do both at the same time, however).

[Images: Dodge]

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  • FreedMike One of the things that we here in North America often forget about Europe is that it's a COMPLETELY different world to drive in. Imagine driving in the downtown area of the city you live in 24/7, and never leaving it, and you have a decent simulation of what it's like to drive in a place like Paris, or London, or Rome - or Manhattan, for that matter. As far as the "dystopia" is concerned, I don't really see it that way. This isn't made for people living in the 'burbs - it's for urban dwellers. And for that application, this car would be about perfect. The big question is how successful the effort to provide large-scale EV charging in urban areas will be.
  • Matzel I am hoping that Vee-Dub will improve the UX and offer additional color options for the 2024 Mk8.5 refresh for Canada. Until then, I'll be quite happy with my '21 GTI performance pack. It still puts a smile on my face going through the twisty bits.
  • Stanley Steamer There have been other concepts with BYOT, that I have always thought was a great idea. Replacing bespoke parts is expensive. If I can plug in a standard 17" monitor to serve as my instrument panel, as well as speakers, radio, generic motors, batteries, I'm for it. Cheaper repair, replacement, or upgrade costs. Heck I'd even like to put in my own comfy seats. My house didn't come with a built in LaZboy. The irony is that omitting these bespoke items at the point of sale allows me to create a more bespoke car as a whole. It's hard to imagine what an empty rolling monocoque chassis would look like capable of having powertrains and accessories easily bolted on in my garage, but something like the Bollinger suv comes to mind.
  • Iam65689044 Sometimes I'm glad the French don't sell in America. This is one of those times.
  • SCE to AUX I was going to scoff, but the idea has some merit.The hard part would be keeping the weight and cost down. Even on the EPA cycle, this thing could probably get over 210 miles with that battery.But the cost - it's too tempting to bulk up the product for profits. What might start as a $22k car quickly becomes $30k.Resource-deprived people can't buy it then, anyway, and where will Kyle get the electricity to charge it in 2029 Los Angeles?
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