Dodge to Discontinue Challengers and Chargers Soon

by Sean Griffin

Dodge announced it will discontinue manufacturing its gas-powered Challenger and Charger muscle cars at the end of next year, according to CNBC. The announcement marks the end of an era for Dodge as the company now focuses on making electric vehicles. The shift also marks the ushering in of a new era, where electric cars continue to become more mainstream.

The Charger and Challenger were both resurrected by Dodge in the mid-2000s. The popular ’60s and ’70s vehicles made a huge comeback with the cars, with a new generation falling in love with the vehicles.

The four-door Charger maintained great sales over the past decade and a half. Moreover, the two-door Challenger hearkens back to the ’70s with its retro design.

The models have proved financial boons for the company in recent years. Low-end models start at $30,000. The higher-end models like the notorious Hellcats can start at $90,000. Hellcats produce over 700 HP.

“Dodge, with the Challenger and Charger, they really found a way to really get to that muscle car root. These cars definitely expressed it … and were able to hold onto that essence,” said Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst at S&P Global. “Having that clear DNA and clear expression of what they’re supposed to be is helping make the transition to electric.”

However, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis hinted that the names may be retained and used for future electric vehicles. Moreover, some speculate that the company plans on releasing an electric muscle car under the same brand.

Kuniskis previously stated he believes electrification will save what he has called the new “Golden Age of muscle cars.” Kuniskis has warned for years that gas-powered muscle cars would face their end because of tightening emissions regulations.

Dodge Creates Buzz with ‘Last Call’ Models of Challengers and Chargers

The popular muscle cars contribute to the automaker’s exponential carbon footprint, which ranks among the worst of U.S. automobile manufacturers. They deemed the switch necessary in an industry headed away from fossil fuels.

“The days of an iron block supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 are numbered,” Kuniskis previously told CNBC, referring to engines like those in the Hellcat. “But the performance that those vehicles generate is not numbered.”

However, Dodge decided to include seven special edition ‘buzz’ models for 2023 to generate attention for their brand. It also serves to commemorate the end of the gas-powered muscle car era for the company. They also announced a new dealer allocation process which helps assist customers in buying the specific vehicle they desire.

“We wanted to make sure we were celebrating these cars properly,” Kuniskis said during a media briefing earlier this week.

The Charger and Challenger are produced at Stellantis’ Brampton Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada. The company says it has produced more than 3 million Dodge vehicles at the plant, including 1.5 million Chargers and more than 726,000 Challengers sold in the U.S.