The automaker is being aloof, but here's what we know...

It’s unofficially official, the wildly popular and successful Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger are done as we know them. At some point next year, if you believe the rumors, you and I will wake up in a world where these glorious modern muscle cars are no longer being produced. Our children/grandchildren will never know what it feels like to spec out a new Charger or Challenger, or go test drive a brand new one at a dealership; trust me kids, there’s nothing quite like buying a new car. It seems like just yesterday my group of car friends were sharing around memes about how other car makers are watering down their performance lines, Dodge/Stellantis is out there putting Hellcat engines into everything. Oddly enough, it seems that the big bullies with the strongest sales numbers for a few quarters now, are going to be the first ones out. So, how did we here? Let’s go through the timeline.

Stellantis Lands In Early 2021

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) joined French automaker Peugeot PSA to create Stellantis. We were just getting used to to the idea of Fiat being attached to the Chrysler brand, and it took us a few tries to learn the proper way to pronounce “Stellantis” after the announcement. Electrification was already being mentioned in the early days, but fed to us in a positive way, in a ‘don’t worry guys, if there is an EV, it’ll run alongside the current gas engine cars you love!,’ way.

Read the full story here.

SRT Disbanded

I’m not going to spend a ton of time because this topic was exhausting to our team. The same month Stellantis announced their merger, the SRT department was disbanded. Their narrative was that the SRT magic would be spread around to other models, but that doesn’t make sense, now here we are.

Read the full story here.

Dodge Releases Muscle Car Theft Deterrent, But Doesn't

Stellantis announced they would roll out a security update to include an additional layer that would deter theft. After a few weeks went by, we did some investigative journalism and interviewed Dodge dealership service managers about the update, they knew nothing about it. To this day, when I call to inquire, I just confuse the service department, but they do inform me that there’s a recall on the catalytic converter on the Hellcat, so bring it in to put a more restrictive one on my car - miss me with that one, Dodge dealership.

What does this have to do with the current rumors and likelihood that the ICE muscle cars are going away? It was around this time when I started to lose faith that Dodge could develop and deliver anything that would outperform against Tesla, when they couldn’t get on the same page about a simple software update, or maybe they just don’t care?

Read the full story here.

Stellantis Sets An Electrification Deadline

So electrification plans were confirmed, but the timeline was set for 2025, which seems about right, but not all of their cars were going to be plug-in. 71 of 110 nameplates under the Stellantis umbrella were going to be EVs, but remember that Dodge barely accounts for that. Around this time, the EV Wrangler was exciting the masses, but I’ve yet to see one on the road, have you? I’ve been told they exist, but are very rare and expensive. Living in a metro area with Teslas accounting for a chunk of cars I see everyday, I’m a little surprised I haven’t seen even one, what’s up with that?

Read the full story here.

Dodge Rolls Out A Super Cool Car Guy EV Video

This is where things get weird. Out of the thin blue sky, Tim Kuniskis, your token totally friendly, super relatable, average Joe, dad-type CFO of Dodge, appeared in a video that talked about the brought future. In the video was a shadowy vehicles doing a four-wheel burnout, featuring a retired Dodge logo. My memory of this is a little murky, but maybe that’s because Dodge turned around and removed the video within the following two weeks.

Read the full story here.

They Killed The Cat

In the most informal, flippant way possible, Token Tim told Motor Authority that the Hellcat was on borrowed time. One might argue that one of the best American muscle cars ever made would deserve a PR, or some kind of proper send off, but the Dodge exec doesn’t seem to think the Hellcat is popular enough for all that nonsense. The HEMI V8 would be given a stop date by January 2022 as well.

Read the full story here.

Internal Skepticism About EVs At Stellantis

That takes us December of 2021 when certain execs at Stellantis start to speak about the external pressure automakers are feeling to get ‘something’ out there, and the cost of development. On several occasions, the Stellantis CEO has been surprisingly critical of battery-powered cars.

Read what he said most recently here.

How About A Six-Cylinder Instead?

To soften the blow of our beloved Hellcat engines and Hemis going away, a inline six-cylinder engine, dubbed the Hurricane, is said to be stepping up to the plate. The last associations I have with Chrysler and six-cylinders isn’t great, a sentiment many people share, so they have a lot to prove before V8 fans are won over.

Read the full story here.

That brings us to this week, with some ups and downs. News that the Durango Hellcat is coming back for 2023 and several special editions is fun, until you hear about the “Last Call” plates being made for 2023 models.

The Banshee

Time to rip the bandaid off, although, I feel like Dodge is now wearing more bandaids than ever before. So out rolls a car, the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Banshee, and don’t worry, it makes noise, but like an alley cat looking for a free meal, not a feline from hell. This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I would prefer silence over a video game noise track. My mind gets too busy thinking about the exact process which causes exhaust noises and how you can alter that with a header swap, oh but this thing doesn’t have headers, so maybe a y-pipe to replace the x-pipe…oh it doesn’t have that either. So we’re playing make believe and I can’t work on this car without a computer programming degree, that’s depressing.

Read about it here.

Final Thoughts, For Now...

As a former teenager myself, this feels awfully familiar to my teenage girl days. Will they or won’t they? Could they just get it over with already? Okay the drama was entertaining for a while, but I think everyone is ready for the season finale, no cliffhangers! Every outlet is reporting the Chargers and Challengers are done after 2023, but that hasn’t been specifically confirmed by anyone at Stellantis. Timothy Kuniskis has been on a weeklong media tour saying the Chargers and Challengers are done, but Stellantis/Dodge hasn't officially confirmed that.

All that being said, we are not averse to electric vehicles, it just feels very rushed to market with Dodge. Why not continue to develop the muscle cars in the line now, maybe a Hellcat hybrid? I can get on board with that. Then in the background, develop the best alternative energy vehicle the world has ever seen! Prove that the Dodge name has more tricks than one, modern muscle cars speaking, and I will be their biggest supporter.

As far as the Hellcat going away after 2023, I'll just insert Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" here and thank Dodge for helping to shape the car person I am today, but the relationship just got a little too toxic to stick around at the end.

Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Motorious.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Motorious.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.