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Why is Dodge Discontinuing the Charger and Challenger?

  • Cars Explained
  • Ralph Robert
  • 6 minutes

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Calling all American muscle car fans! This is your last call to spoil yourself with a new Dodge Charger or Challenger. Unfortunately, as life is no Nintendo game, you don’t get another chance with Dodge Chargers and Challengers. Yes, that’s right, Dodge has officially confirmed that Dodge Charger and Challenger will be discontinued by the end of 2023. Unfortunately, the story is the same for every American muscle car, as they face stricter emission control norms.  

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The increase in popularity of electric cars, combined with more accessibility to EV charging stations across the United States, further accelerates the demise of muscle cars. Overall, it’s not just the American muscle segment that’s facing the heat. Almost all internal combustion engine (ICE) cars are going through a similar transition phase. Dodge muscle cars, which are the pinnacle of high-powered ICE cars thanks to their supercharged V8 engines, are on the edge of emission norms. Let’s look at other factors that led to Dodge discontinuing the Charger and Challenger.

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What Made Dodge Discontinue the Charger and Challenger?

Charger and Challenger

Global car makers are all collectively pushing to reduce carbon footprints on the planet. Electric cars offer a sustainable approach to this target. That’s also why we see global automobile manufacturers expand their electric portfolio with more and more cars these days. Emission and safety norms for automobiles also get more stringent by the day. ICE engines that use petrol, diesel, or gasoline to fuel release a lot of carbon footprints during combustion. So, they don’t fit the aim of car makers or use a lot of resources to modify their existing portfolio to meet the requirement.

Electric cars have zero emission rates, making them a much more viable option than ICE cars. Dodge was acquired in 2021 by the Stellantis conglomerate. Stellantis has also been aiming to improve electric architecture and reduce the carbon footprints of their cars. Some of their most popular ICE cars, like the Dodge Charger and Challenger, don’t meet the Stellantis vision. This meant that Dodge had no option but to discontinue their iconic Charger and Challenger. Dodge will still sell the 2023 Charger and Challengers until the end of this year. So, you still have plenty of time to own one before they go fully electric. 

What Made the Dodge Charger Special?

Dodge Charger Green

The Dodge Charger has remained one of the most popular American muscle cars since its introduction in 1966. Even though Dodge had released more than seven generations and so many different variants of the Charger, the car never lost its relevance throughout all this time. Dodge used various engines throughout all this time, with the 6.2L HEMI V8 being one of the most popular options. The V8 engine powering the 2023 Dodge Charger gives out a massive 807bhp, making it one of the most powerful American muscle cars ever made.  

 With Dodge Chargers, you had a car that you could drive daily and take to the drag strip to beat just about any other car. As the Charger has been around for so long, you also have unlimited customization options with a Dodge Charger. Combine this with the aggressive bulky aesthetics of the car, which even had hidden headlights in the first few generations, and you have a car that is the best of both worlds. Dodge Charger is synonymous with the Fast and Furious series as the main car of Dominic Toretto, played by Vin Diesel.  

What Made the Dodge Challenger Popular?

Challenger RT

The Dodge Challenger is one of the original American muscles launched in 1970 and based on the Chrysler E platform. Challenger also had four generations and numerous facelifts that saw a wide range of engines, starting with 3.6L V6 to 6.2L HEMI V8 engines on the latest iterations. Transmission updates throughout the years also saw Dodge switch between 4-speed, 5-speed, 6-speed, and 8-speed transmissions. Dodge Challenger was also one of the only four-door American muscle cars ever made, which offered a new dimension to fans of American muscle cars.  

The Dodge Challenger drew its inspiration from two of the best-selling cars of its time – the Pontiac Firebird and the Ford Mustang. But what’s interesting about this fact is that Dodge actually managed to deliver what it promised. A unique American Muscle that offered lots of torque and horsepower! Add a four-door bulky body with a signature front grill, and you have a winning combination. This formula continues to make Dodge Challengers one of the best American muscles in the market today.  

What’s Next for Dodge Challenger and Charger?

Charger Daytona Banshee SRT Dodge EV

The Dodge Challenger and Charger era is ending, and there are no if and buts to it. However, it does not really mean that the Challenger and Charger are going to be eliminated from the Dodge line-up. By mentioning the end of an era, Dodge conveys the end of the internal combustion engine era for the Dodge Charger and Challenger series. Given the latest muscle reveal from Dodge, the Dodge Charger will be returning as an electric car, the Dodge Charger Daytona Banshee. 

While the Dodge Charger Daytona Banshee, which also comes in the more powerful SRT variant, is still in the prototype stage, you can expect the launch by 2024. As both the Dodge Charger and Challenger are iconic cars with an established fan base, these are cars that will definitely have an electric sibling in one form or the other. Dodge has also confirmed that, unlike most electric cars, Dodge EVs will be ‘loud’ and have a manual transmission to satisfy fans of the original American Muscle cars.

Not into Dodge EV? Dodge currently has a last call lineup of Chargers and Challengers with exclusive upgrades. As of now, there are three special edition Dodge Chargers, and Challengers in limited quantities, gearing up for a launch in Spring 2023.

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