2022 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat (left) and 2022 Dodge Challenger SRT Tremendous Inventory
DETROIT — Dodge will discontinue its gas-powered Challenger and Charger muscle vehicles on the finish of subsequent yr, marking the tip of an period for the model because it begins to transition to electrical automobiles.
Since being resurrected within the mid- to late 2000s, the Charger and Challenger — names made well-liked within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies — have been stalwarts for Dodge and well-liked automobiles for a brand new era of gearheads.
The 2-door Challenger notably struck a twine of nostalgia with patrons because of its retro-inspired styling, whereas the four-door Charger has managed to realize notable gross sales milestones regardless of customers flocking from sedans to SUVs in recent times.
Dodge has additionally been in a position to juice earnings from the automobiles, which have beginning costs starting from the low-$30,000s to almost $90,000 for its notorious Hellcat fashions that produce greater than 700 horsepower.
“Dodge, with the Challenger and Charger, they actually discovered a solution to actually get to that muscle automotive root. These vehicles undoubtedly expressed it … and had been in a position to maintain onto that essence,” mentioned Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst at S&P World. “Having that clear DNA and clear expression of what they’re presupposed to be helps make the transition to electrical.”
Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis has alluded to the chance that the Charger and Challenger names could possibly be used for future electrified vehicles, together with a forthcoming electrical muscle automotive in 2024. He is beforehand mentioned he believes electrification — whether or not hybrid automobiles with much less highly effective engines or all-electric fashions — will save what he has referred to as the brand new “Golden Age of muscle cars.”
For a number of years, Kuniskis has warned that the tip was coming for the gas-powered muscle vehicles because of emissions rules. Dodge mum or dad firm Stellantis, previously Fiat Chrysler, ranks the worst amongst main producers for U.S. company common gasoline financial system and carbon emissions.
As many manufacturers switched to smaller and extra fuel-efficient engines, Dodge rolled out Hellcat models and different high-performance automobiles. Such fashions helped generate consideration for the model however did not assist the automaker’s carbon footprint, forcing it to buy carbon credits from automakers equivalent to Tesla.
“The times of an iron block supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 are numbered,” Kuniskis previously told CNBC, referring to engines like these within the Hellcat. “However the efficiency that these automobiles generate isn’t numbered.”
Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis speaks Aug. 13, 2021 throughout a media occasion. Within the again, the Fratzog brand was used alongside Dodge’s present brand.
Michael Wayland / CNBC
Dodge is launching a litany of particular automobiles and merchandise to “have a good time” the tip of the vehicles as they’re right this moment. Dodge’s plans embrace seven special-edition, or “buzz,” fashions; a commemorative “Final Name” under-hood plaque for all 2023 model-year automobiles; and a brand new supplier allocation course of, amongst different measures.
The brand new supplier course of will see Dodge allocate 2023 Charger and Challenger fashions to a lot unexpectedly, as a substitute of constructing orders out there all year long. Dodge will present clients a information to find particular fashions at every dealership.
Kuniskis mentioned the method is supposed to help clients in getting the particular automobile they need.
“We needed to ensure we had been celebrating these vehicles correctly,” Kuniskis mentioned throughout a media briefing for an occasion this week in Pontiac, Michigan.
The Charger and Challenger are produced at Stellantis’ Brampton Meeting plant in Ontario, Canada. The corporate says it has produced greater than 3 million Dodge automobiles on the plant, together with 1.5 million Chargers and greater than 726,000 Challengers bought within the U.S.
Stellantis earlier this yr introduced plans to invest $2.8 billion in the plant and one other Canadian facility, however it has not disclosed what automobiles can be produced on the services.
“After we shut down Brampton will probably be a 20-year run of Dodge muscle vehicles,” Kuniskis mentioned. “We wanted to do that proper.”