Pricing for the 2022 Challenger starts at $38,165 in Canada and $30,940 in the US.
The Challenger bows out of production after the 2023 model year.
The current Dodge Challenger is a solemn car. Actually, it’s more like a bully with a sense of humour. Unlike its direct competitors, namely the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, the large land-yacht coupe doesn’t take itself too seriously but if it needs to remind others who’s boss (I went there), it can and will.
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of driving nearly all versions of both the Challenger and Charger with one exception: I’ve never Demon’d. The fact of the matter is that I’m fine with this as I discovered years ago that the 392 V8 coupled with a pistol-grip Tremec 6-speed manual transmission is the best way to sample the Challenger.
I’ve just recently returned a Scat Pack 392 Widebody with a few options including the Hemi Orange package over Pitch Black, and the buttery-smooth and vicious 8-speed autobox. All week, I basked in the V8’s rumble, garnered thumbs up like badges of honour, and loved glancing over the acre of bonnet ahead of me as I drive about.
Although the idea of the Challenger (and Charger) is far from dead, it is clear that they won’t be making them like this anymore come the very near future. If I’m really lucky, I’ll get another go at one next year but that will truly be the last time.
This is why I thought it would be mildly entertaining to go over a few facts regarding the living legend that is the Dodge Challenger:
The Name Challenger, as a model, was introduced in 1970
Although the Challenger was a little late to the muscle car game, it left its mark, two actually, and pretty much everywhere it went. Although it was sold for five model years, the first-generation Challenger never managed to match Mustang and Camaro sales, hence why they are so sought after.
The General Lee was not a Challenger
You already know this but just to be clear, the General Lee, Bo and Luke’s ride in the wildly popular Dukes of Hazard show, was a 1969 Dodge Charger and not a Challenger. The Charger returned most recently as a 4-door sedan while the Challenger has always been a 2-door coupe.
The second-generation Challenger was sold from 1978 to 1983
This occurred under Mitsubishi Motors’ watchful eye, and Dodge’s desire to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, and to put it simply, shed its badass muscle-car image that clashed with the rising costs of energy (fuel) in the 1970s.
Once again, the Challenger (Plymouth Sapporo, Mitsubishi Galant) were not huge hits, much like the follow-up Dodge Conquest and Mitsubishi Starion, all of which are extremely collectible today.
The current generation, the 3rd, dates back to 2008
In fact, the first modern Challenger concept was revealed in late 2005, or a little more than two years before the production model broke cover. The hype surrounding the return of a “real” Challenger got Boomers to throw their blank checkbooks at Dodge and collectively yell in unison “TAKE MY MONEY!”
And Dodge did and is still doing it now as the Challenger enters its 15th model year in 2023.
There have been more than two dozen versions of the 3rd generation Challenger
Trims alone (SXT, GT, SE, R/T, SRT, Scat Pack, Hellcat, Demon, etc.) account for more than half of these. There have been so many iterations that even aficionados probably have a hard time recalling them all.
Truth be told, I’ve now listed out the many variations including Widebody versions, T/A and Shaker packages, and sub-iterations of trims such as the Scat Pack 1320, three times and I basically have no idea how many there really are. It might even be more than three-dozen when taking into consideration the “Last Call.” Oh, and the convertible too.
Dodge is releasing a series of special edition Chargers and Challengers as part of its Last Call program
The third and most successful Challenger generation will not go out quietly. In true Dodge style and very much in tune with the brand’s image, the automaker is currently in the midst of releasing seven special and final editions of the Challenger and Charger.
Dodge Launches Charger and Challenger Scat Pack Swinger as Part of Last Call
The “Last Call” campaign has so far introduced the 2023 Dodge Challenger Shakedown, the Charger Super Bee, both the Challenger and Charger Scat Pack Swinger, the Charger King Daytona, and Challenger Black Ghost. The final and seventh installment will be revealed at the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, scheduled for Nov. 1-4, 2022.
Fact: 392 > Hellcat
Power isn’t everything. With 485hp and 475 lb-ft of torque on tap, the naturally aspirated 6.4L V8 already has far more power than the massive rear Pirelli tires can ever hope to properly handle. Said power is delivered effortlessly, ensconced is a soothing and massaging rumble that is grin-inducing.
Rightfully so, in a straight line, the 700+hp Hellcat will crush the 392 but it truly defines “too much is not always a good thing.”
My dream Challenger is a:
Not that you care but I would spec my (and my wife’s mind you) new dream Challenger as follows:
Scat Pack 392 widebody with 6-speed Tremec manual transmission, painted F8 green or Hellraisin, the Plus Group, and most importantly of all, the Shaker Package – once you go Shaker, all other bonnets are meh.
The next Challenger, should it return, will be all-electric
Dodge has made it clear that it will be turning over a new leaf and swapping out displacement and forced induction for electric motors. Dodge will not however relinquish its king of muscle title going forward. If anything, their goals for the future are clear: They’re planning to push beyond Hellcat performance.
The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept Showcases the Brand’s Electrified Future