Dodge discontinues Charger and Challenger muscle cars

Remark

Dodge will stop making gas-powered Charger and Challengers next year. This marks the end of an era for a brand that helped define the muscle car as the automotive industry moves towards more fuel-efficient hybrid and electric vehicles.

Stellantis, the automotive group that owns Dodge, announced Monday that it will be transferring the vehicles from its production line in 2023 through a unique sale of seven “heritage” models, each of which will bear the words “last call” on a plaque under his hood.

“We’re celebrating the end of an era — and the beginning of a bright, new, electrified future — by staying true to our brand,” Dodge CEO 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 the like – that became popular more than five decades ago. Re-introduced in the 2000s, their retro feel and powerful performance held sway with car enthusiasts even as many car buyers gravitated towards more fuel-efficient sedans, SUVs and hatchbacks. Newer models start in the neighborhood of $30,000 but can go as high as $200,000, while a vintage 1969 Charger recently sold at auction for a record $1.32 million, according to MotorTrend magazine.

But stricter emissions standards have forced Dodge to reinvent its range 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 in such credit in 2020, mostly from electric car maker Tesla, according to CNBC.

According to the company’s announcement, the final year of 2023 editions will be allocated to dealers “at once,” which is a shift from the normal practice of spreading sales throughout the year. The seven “heritage-influenced” 2023 models will have some connection to previous models, details of which will be released later this year.

The seventh and final model, described by Dodge as “the very last of its kind,” will be unveiled in early November at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas in 2022. The announcement didn’t say whether it was a Charger, Challenger or anything. would be different.

Monday’s announcement didn’t detail the company’s muscle car plans for 2024 and beyond, but left open the possibility that both brands could return.

This is a story in development and will be updated.

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