Dodge will abandon the Charger and Challenger muscle cars


Dodge will stop making gas-powered Chargers and Challengers next year, marking the end of an era for a brand that helped define the muscle car as the auto industry shifts towards more fuel-efficient hybrid and electric vehicles. in fuel.

Stellantis, the automotive conglomerate that owns Dodge, announcement Monday that it will transition vehicles out of its production lineup in 2023 through a one-time sale of seven “legacy” models, each of which will carry the words “last call” on a plaque under its hood.

“We celebrate the end of an era ― and the beginning of a bright new electrified future ― by staying true to our brand,” Dodge General Manager Tim Kuniskis said in the company’s announcement.

The Charger and Challenger are part of a generation of cars with powerful engines and muscular styling – alongside the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac GTO and others – made popular more than a century ago. five decades. Reintroduced in the 2000s, their retro feel and high performance appealed to car enthusiasts, although many car buyers turned to more fuel-efficient sedans, SUVs and hatchbacks. Newer models start at nearly $30,000 but can cost upwards of $200,000, while a vintage 1969 charger has recently sold auctioned for a record $1.32 million, according to MotorTrend magazine.

But tougher emissions standards have forced Dodge to rethink its lineup and buy carbon credits from cleaner manufacturers. Stellantis, formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said in a March 2021 earnings call that it spent $362 million on such credits in 2020, mostly from electric car maker Tesla, according to CNBC. .

Final year 2023 editions will be allocated to dealers “immediately”, according to the company’s announcement, which is a change from its normal practice of staggering sales throughout the year. The seven “heritage-influenced” 2023 models will share some links with previous models, details of which will be released later this year.

The seventh and final model, which Dodge describes as “the very last of its kind,” will be unveiled at the 2022 Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas in early November. The ad didn’t say whether it would be a Charger, Challenger or something else.

Monday’s announcement didn’t detail the company’s muscle car plans for 2024 and beyond, but it did leave open the possibility that either brand could return.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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