The Reason Dodge Is Discontinuing The Charger And Challenger

Dodge will be putting an end to its iconic Charger and Challenger lineup real soon as the company teases a new era of mystery cars to come. The electrified future is slowly creeping into Dodge's ICE-ladened inventory. Its first foray into electric-powered performance vehicles started with the debut of its sporty cross-over Plug-in Hybrid back in August. Now, it seems Mopar legends will be heading to the chopping block in lieu of Dodge's EV plans. In an interview with MotorTrend, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis confirmed that the company's muscle cars of old will "go out of production" by 2024.

New cars using completely different platforms will be taking over, with a "very significant car" coming by the end of the year. Aside from this mystery model, Kuniskis promised the rest of the three planned vehicles will cater to a variety of people, including ones for the brotherhood of muscle demographic. With plans for an all-electric muscle car already set for 2024, the question now is, what fates await Dodge's celebrated Charger and Challenger ranges next?

Gone but not forgotten

The Dodge CEO has been quite privy about its mysterious new lineup, but he did say Chargers and Challengers will remain in dealership inventories despite their discontinuation. While both models will no longer be produced, Dodge will celebrate its departure by introducing seven "special edition" 2023 models into the fray (via CNBC). Kuniskis said the company "wanted to make sure we were celebrating these cars properly." The last limited-edition batch will be dispatched to various dealerships simultaneously, and customers will be given guides on where to find them.

As for how it came to this, CNBC claims Dodge's parent company Stellantis is among the worst-ranked auto manufacturers in terms of fuel economy and carbon emissions. Stricter emission regulations were apparently forcing Dodge's hand, even leading it to buy carbon credits from Tesla for a whopping $300 million. 

Although Kuniskis didn't disclose whether or not the Charger and Challenger branding will come back as EVs, he did mention that Dodge enthusiasts will be "super pumped" with the final batch of its gas-guzzling muscle cars. Let's just hope the special edition Chargers/Challengers get security updates that are as good as last year's models because their new owners will definitely want to be holding on to this dying breed.

The Last Call

As Dodge prepares to bring the curtains down on the Charger and Challenger lines, the 2023 line-up will serve as the final showcase of everything that the two lines have represented over the past few decades. Dodge will release a total of seven models for its 2023 lineup that will pay homage to the iconic Demon, Hellcat, Jailbreak, Redeye, Scat Pack, and Shaker trims.

The company will reveal details about the first six models later this year, while the seventh and final offering from Dodge will be revealed at the 2022 SEMA show slated for the first week of November 2022 in Las Vegas. Dodge is bringing back the heritage B5 Blue, Plum Crazy, Purple, and Sublime green exterior colors for its upcoming cars, with each car in the Charger and Challenger series offering a total of 14 color options.

Each vehicle will flaunt a "345" fender badge and a special commemorative "Last Call" plaque under the hood. Made out of brushed aluminum, each plaque will display the car's model, its design silhouette, and callbacks to its design and assembly roots in Auburn Hills and Brampton, respectively. Dodge says the "entire 2023 Charger and Challenger model-year run will be allocated to dealerships all at once." There is no word on the pricing yet, but there I going to be a lot of rush and inflated price tag reselling given the collector's value of these cars.

Rich history, iconic presence

With beginnings closely tied to Henry Ford, the Dodge brothers eventually set up their own company after building a solid reputation. Touted to be the pioneers of all-steel-bodied cars, the iconic ram symbol was adopted in 1933, while the first great commercial success arrived with the Dodge Caravan.

The first-gen Dodge Challenger hit the streets nearly five decades ago, offering a choice between V6 and V8 engines. Dodge sold these cars by bucketloads, and even if their success was short-lived, their appearance in movies and TV shows like the iconic chase scene in 1971's Vanishing Point made them one of the most desirable muscle cars. The third-generation Challenger arrived in 2008 and raised the stakes with a V8-powered Demon trim that could breathe 808 horsepower.

The Charger first made its presence felt in the 1960s, but finally caught up with its Challenger sibling in 2021 with the Hellcat Redeye model that touched an impressive figure of 797 horsepower. For movie buffs, you might recognize the SpeedKore-designed 1968 Dodge Charger driven by Vin Diesel's character in the most recent "Fast & Furious" series movie, "F9: The Fast Saga."

With the electrification of the Dodge cars imminent, some iconic elements from the past will be carried over. The electric Charger Daytona SRT will make as much noise as the gas-guzzling muscle cars. Plus, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis has strongly hinted that the "Fratzog" iconography is making a return with LED styling in tow.