All good things must end, as they say. According to an interview from Motor Authority published Monday, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis confirmed the Challenger and Charger Hellcat models will not survive past 2023. There will be two years left for buyers to scoop up the ultra-powerful muscle cars, and after that, they're dead.
That's not to say the Charger and Challenger themselves are dead, but the name that really helped carry the sedan and coupe the past few years will retire, the CEO said. It's Dodge's decision at the end of the day since the engine would still meet emissions regulations, but the brand would need to fork over a chunk of cash to pay compliance fines. That's not on the table for the brand.
Instead, things really start to kick off next year with three exciting things. The first is something we already knew about: an electric concept car. It will be a preview of the electric "eMuscle" car coming for 2024, which looks super retro and wears a reincarnated Fratzog emblem. The second will be a new plug-in hybrid vehicle, potentially a small SUV. Finally, the third big happening remains a secret, though Kuniskis told MA everyone should be "excited" about it. After hinting his job will be balancing Dodge's base and a new era of EVs, perhaps it's some sort of send-off model for the Hellcats before they use the rest of their nine lives.
Dodge affirmed Kuniskis' remarks in a statement and said, "[the Hellcat] powertrain as we know it will be built through 2023 (calendar year). In 2024, we're moving on. The new Dodge cars will be electrified."
The brand rolled out its "Never Lift" campaign for the next two years in which it plans some sort of announcement every three months. That kicked off with news of Direct Connection performance parts returning, Jailbreak models, new Power Brokers dealerships and a massive car giveaway through the end of this year. Parent automaker Stellantis gave each brand a decade to shape up their businesses or perhaps face the hook, so really, Dodge has a lot riding on this Never Lift strategy -- and electric muscle cars.
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