The muscle cars of the Dodge Challenger and Charger V8s will reach the end of the road in the US next year. Here’s how to spot some recent examples of off-line production.
Personalization is popular at the moment, but the choice can be very confusing. In our Ingredient Challenge, we allow leader Loose team on the manufacturer’s website to create their perfect set for a particular model.
With news this week that the production of Dodge Challenger and Charger The duo is almost done, we thought this week’s challenge should look at how to define the final bend of the V8 muscle car.
Tell us what your perfect 2023 Dodge Challenger and Charger would look like in the comments below (configure your car here), and which cars you’d like us to configure next.
James Ward, Director of Content
I must admit that the amount of options available in the list of Mopar muscle cars is quite overwhelming. It’s a good problem, and I wish we had managed it here in Australia!
On my last ride, I chose the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody, with an SRT 392 V8 (6.4L naturally aspirated) engine and manual transmission. Sure, there are more tricks to get from the Hellcat engine, but this will do the trick. Additionally, when it exceeds the auction at Barrett-Jackson in 2062, it can be referred to as one of a private one.
I chose Hellraisin paint (purple) with a black hood and Trans-Am decal set. Most other things are standard, from the 20-inch wheels to the Houndstooth interior, because it kind of works with the dated (circa 2008) Challenger packaging.
The best part – at $66,490 (AU$95,250), or $848 (AU$1,215) per month on the lease, the cost of owning the car will be almost less than the cost of operating the car!
Kese Casey, Production Editor
My plan for this, as always, was to keep it simple. I have a real soft spot for my black and white Stormtrooper chargers, so it makes sense that I build one of those, right?
Bft, nah. The new Jailbreak option essentially removes good taste filters from Dodge’s catalog of options and lets you pair the worst of the worst together if you so desire. Good thing I’m not that guy.
Instead, I wanted to imagine what a powerful American muscle sedan would look like if a European brand got it.
My Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Jailbreak keeps the best of it all – a 6.2-liter V8 with 602 kW, capped with an enlarged four-door body, F8 green paint, offset by brass wheels and bad works. Everything is hidden, but there is all the same.
Some of the less screaming details include black brake calipers and black exhaust tips. Things you probably won’t even notice, and that’s really the point.
Inside, I went for Sepia leather seats, matching floor trims, and real carbon interior trim. The suede headliner keeps the Euro style alive, but the Alcantara wheel with illuminated SRT logo looks very American.
At US$91,669 (AU$131,670), the final price seems pricey, but with uncompromising performance for the price and a clear switch from US drag strip champion to Euro Grand Tourer, how could I not?
Ben Zakaria, journalist
If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Burgerland, and are faced with the amazing car choices Americans have, you can also buy something that doesn’t really exist in Australia. When in Rome, etc.
I’ve always thought chargers sound cool—especially as dimly lit state police cars—but I can’t beat the value of the Challenger R/T. The badge was used on the Australian Valiant Charger, so there’s a bit of a nod to the local muscle car era in my pick.
But the main reason is that, in my modest specs, the car costs just over $42,000 – less than AU$62,000. Or about the same price as a Lexus ES300h. Or in other words, less than $120 per week on a 36-month lease. Peanuts.
For some reason, my components didn’t allow me the option of black wheels with a “hood” shaker, but I dig the gray and black look. I can always change the wheels later. Cloth seats are good.
What’s really important is the presence of the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 under the hood, sending 275 kW and 536 Nm to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. Lots of playing while enjoying the endangered V8 music, but without much power to plunge myself into oblivion.
Perhaps most importantly, Challenger gives me the opportunity to walk around the quote The Fast and the Furious.
Jordan Mulash, journalist
As much as I enjoy scaring off the living daylight from my mates in a four-door sedan, there’s just something appealing about a solo experience in a coupe.
While the Charger still looks decent, no other modern Dodge is as great as the Challenger. ’70s styling with a supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8 under the hood?
That particular spec is the Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody — which features inflated guards on a Challenger still plump body, so it can fit those 11-inch-wide wheels without the scrubbing.
And who wouldn’t want their powerful 594 kW / 959 Nm car to deliver power to the ground through 305 “all-season” section tires? This car will find the nearest light center faster than any other.
Painted $395 Dodge calls it a ‘Hellraisin’, select boxes include Alcantara/nappa leather seats (a no-cost option), satellite navigation ($995) and Harman Kardon audio system with subwoofer (US$1995) and a power sunroof (US$1295).
A Dodge component in the US says my Challenger will set me back $93,890 (AU$136,185). Yikes.
Alex Misoyannis, journalist
Dodge Challenger and Charger cars, since the day they were revealed, you knew it was on borrowed time. And it’s finally time to hand the keys to the car gods.
Since replacing the electric Challenger seems less exciting (and infinitely less fuel consuming), it’d be important not to buy the latest Challenger model in Hellcat’s all-around version, powered by the endangered 6.2-liter supercharged V8.
Of the six Hellcat-powered models, the perfect fit for me is the ‘standard’ Hellcat Widebody with 717 hp (535 kW).
Featuring wider tires (useful with that much power) and an improved look for widebody cars, a reasonable price tag, street-friendly tires (not a Super Stock drag radial), and frankly, the Redeye and Jailbreak’s extra 80hp to 90hp won’t shoot you up a tree any faster. .
My car was finished with an extra $395 Go Mango—there with Holden’s Light My Fire for the best marketing name of the orange paint—with standard red brake calipers, Alcantara leather upholstery and nappa for an extra $2,095.
I’m a fan of the standard 20-inch black wheels, but the Pirelli P Zero summer tires ($695 extra) were chosen to replace the standard all-season rubber—a must-have for power-ups on click.
Checking the box for options doesn’t stop there, with Demonic Red seat belts ($395), integrated satellite navigation ($995), Harman Kardon premium audio system ($1995), and a Driver Convenience Group package (incl. That’s Blind – Positional Monitoring, for $1,295), and the $1,295 tech package, which adds independent emergency braking, automatic high beam, adaptive cruise control, and rain-sensing wipers.
Base price is $76,320 ($110,500), but my build is $85,680 (AU$124,000) – a lot of money for a 15-year-old American muscle car chassis, but once production is out, it will be invaluable (…Alice like that?).