DETROIT — Dodge is making some noise with its roaring engines before transitioning to more eco-friendly electrified performance.
The muscle brand on Monday said it will bring back the Durango Hellcat for the 2023 model year and release seven tribute Challenger and Charger models that pay homage to the nameplates' history. It's also reviving several heritage colors for the 2023 Challenger and Charger and making it easier for Challenger buyers to turn their coupes into convertibles through a partnership with Drop Top Customs in Florida that offers expedited shipment.
Time is short for this generation of the speedy Challenger and Charger, which ushered in the Hellcat era that offered more than 700-hp engines straight from the factory. They're slated to go out of production at the end of 2023. The Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario has built more than 3 million since 2005, when the modern-day Charger was launched.
Before these powerful cars give way to electric successors, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said the brand wanted to celebrate them.
"Three million cars, a billion horsepower and a lot of really happy customers that helped build our brand," Kuniskis said. "We're going to make sure that we do that right."
Each 2023 Charger and Challenger will have a "Last Call" underhood plaque with the vehicle name and silhouette showing their origin as "Designed in Auburn Hills" and "Assembled in Brampton."
All 2023 Charger and Challenger models will be allocated to dealerships at once, which Dodge says will help customers identify and secure them more easily. Dodge will provide customers a guide for locating their preferred vehicles at dodgegarage.com. The site will include information on available inventory at each dealership.
Dodge is reintroducing heritage colors called B5 Blue, Plum Crazy purple and Sublime green as well the modern Destroyer Grey. In addition, the R/T variants of the Charger and Challenger will feature new "345" fender badging, "a callout to the 345-cubic-inch Hemi engine under the hood," the brand said.
Dodge is expanding the reach of its SRT Jailbreak models that were introduced this year for the 807-hp Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody editions, which unlocked color combinations that were previously restricted from ordering while boosting power and adding new factory-custom options. For 2023, the Jailbreak models also will be available for the 717-hp Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcat, a move that Dodge says will offer more customers the ability to configure their own "one-of-a-kind" vehicles.
The announcements came on the first day of Dodge's Speed Week schedule at the M1 Concourse in suburban Detroit that will detail the direction of the brand. Monday focused on the "current muscle" theme for its existing lineup, while Tuesday and Wednesday will reveal more pieces of its two-year Never Lift business plan.