Toronto, Ontario — All good things must come to an end, including Dodge’s ever-popular Challenger and Charger models, both slated for discontinuation at the end of next year.
The gas-powered Charger and Challenger models were reintroduced in the mid 2000s to meet nostalgia for their original 60s and 70s runs. The Charger has since achieved notable sales despite consumers generally moving away from the purchase of sedans to SUVs in recent years.
“Dodge, with the Challenger and Charger…really found a way to get to that muscle car root. These cars definitely expressed … 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.”
The vehicles, which typically range in price from $30,000 to $90,000, have been a stalwart seller for Dodge.
This does not mean the total end for the Charger and Challenger, however, as Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis has hinted that the names could be used for future EVs, including an unannounced electric muscle car slated for release in 2024.
The end of gas-powered muscle cars is potentially a result of the expanded focus on environmental concerns regarding the emissions of the vehicles, and an expansion of these emissions regulations themselves.
“The days of an iron block supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 are numbered,” says Kuniskis. “But the performance that those vehicles generate is not numbered.”
Dodge is using this last run of Challengers and Chargers to offer special edition vehicles, products and commemorative plaques. Their plans include seven special-edition models, and a ‘Last-Call’ under-the-hood plaque to commemorate this last run of vehicles for the 2023 model-year.
How do you feel about the end of the Charger and Challenger era? How do you envision muscle cars co-existing in an increasingly electric-powered industry? Share some of your favourite memories from behind the wheel, under the hood, or in the paint booth, in the comments below.