Dodge's New Product Blitz: Challenger Convertible, Hellcat Durango, Drag Pak Rolling Chassis, And More


Dodge's New Product Blitz: Challenger Convertible, Hellcat Durango, Drag Pak Rolling Chassis, And More


Ever since Dodge decided to play the ultimate game of "Top Trumps" with the debut of the 707-horsepower, 6.2L "Hellcat" Hemi V8 in their Challenger coupe and Charger sedan for 2015, Dodge has rooted themselves in as the performance bastion of late-model muscle cars. Wild colors, horsepower increases, special editions that were fast enough to warrant deep scrutiny from the can't say it was 1970 all over again, but there was no doubt in anybody's mind that the legendary Musclecar Era days were being re-lived in spirit. All good things have to come to an end, however, and it is no secret that 2023 is the last model year for the Charger, the Challenger, and the Hellcat Hemi. And instead of quietly withdrawing from the market, reducing inventory and preparing for the new models to overshadow the outgoing, Dodge is going out like a bomb blast.

The first of three media events that Dodge is holding at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan was a celebration of the "Last Call" of the current offerings...and they offered a sweeping array of options to finish off the Charger, the Challenger, and the Hellcat in a blaze of glory:

The Last Call For Dodge Charger and Challenger

2023 Dodge Charger SRT Jailbreak

2023 is the last year for the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger...and Dodge is making sure both models end on a high note.

Shed a tear, bow your head...the legends are about to ride off into the sunset after a long and storied run. But they aren't going away quietly. For 2023, there are several special-edition models that Dodge had on display at the M1 Concourse. Rather, they had cryptically displayed: each car cover of six of the special models hinted to a vehicle from the past, along with the engine option and the date it would be revealed. The seventh vehicle only showed a license plate (1FAST29, Michigan) and will be revealed at the 2022 SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, fourteen color options will grace the 2023 model year, including three classic high-demand colors (B5 Blue, Sublime, and Plum Crazy) and one high-demand modern color (Destroyer Gray).

2023 Dodge Challenger Convertible Conversions by Drop Top Customs

2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody Convertible

Drop Top Customs converts customer-ordered vehicles that are shipped directly from the Brampton Assembly Plant for modifications on R/T, Scat pack, and all SRT models.

The original E-body Dodge Challenger was offered as a convertible for two model years, 1970 and 1971. Ever since, Challenger fans have been clamoring for a convertible option, especially for the third-gen late-model variety. There have been custom builds over the Challenger's production run, but the announcement that Dodge will offer an expedited transportation process for ordered 2022-2023 Dodge Challengers via Drop Top Customs is sure to entice those who were already wanting to lop the top off of their Challenger. The process is simple: Customers will work with Drop Top Customs and their respective dealer to create the Challenger they want. Dodge will schedule the unmodified vehicle's shipment to Drop Top Customs in Florida for the roof-ectomy, and Drop Top Customs will send the finished topless Mopar to the customer's dealership for delivery. Drop Top Custom's systems feature a fully hydraulic power top, structural reinforcements to reduce flex, a padded roof and a heated glass rear window. The option will retail for $25,999, with final overall pricing negotiated and confirmed with the dealer. Stellantis North America does not warranty the Drop Top Customs work, but Drop Top Customs warranties the workmanship conversion for three years (parts and labor).

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Roller Chassis and Body-In-White

Dodge Challenger body-in-white

The Dodge Challenger Body-In-White being unveiled by Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis.

Direct Connection, Mopar's parts arm for the enthusiast, was included in the unveiling of two new models:

Body In White: Want a fresh-off-the-line body to start a build with? The Body-In-White comes with the main shell, front and rear fenders, roof, Scat Pack hood, doors, rear quarter panels, trunklid, and front and rear bumper beams. And you can choose to have it delivered in paint ($9,995) or primered ($7,995). There isn't a VIN number, but if you want to build a Trans-Am racer, this is a good start.

Drag Pak Rolling Chassis Assembly: Effectively, a Challenger Drag Pak without the powertrain. You get a body-in-white with a 7.50-certified rollcage already installed, plus the Drag Pak interior and exterior kits, the Drag Pack suspension kit, Drag Pak Bogart lightweight wheels and tires or Weld Beadlock wheels and tires, the Engine Systems Kit, Electrical Kit and Fuel Kit. All that's missing is the powerplant. Try to copy that build for $89,999.

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

2023 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat

The Durango SRT Hellcat is back for a second chance to frighten every other SUV around.

One model year of the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat just wasn't going to cut it, it seems. The three-row SUV is back after a one-year hiatus, originally after a one-and-done model year run. What all do you need to know? 710 horsepower, 645 ft-lb of torque, a 0-60 MPH time of 3.5 seconds, a quarter-mile time of 11.5 seconds in the quarter-mile with NHRA certification, and a top speed of 180 miles an hour. Oh, and it'll tow 8,700 pounds of whatever you want behind it as well.

1970 Dodge Charger Speedkore body

1970 Dodge Charger body by Finale Speed at M1 Concourse.

Speedkore has been in the game of making carbon-fiber Mopars for a few years now, with builds such as the "Tantrum" Charger, "Evolution" Charger, and "Hellacious" Charger. Now Speedkore is teaming up with Direct Connection to offer licensed parts for modern Challenger that meet or exceed OEM standards, including rear spoilers, front splitters, rear diffusers, and more.

Direct Connection is also working with Finale Speed to license a 1970 Dodge Charger carbon fiber body that can be built into a complete restomod vehicle. The goal is to have the performance of a modern-day supercar with the looks of a iconic classic. Future Direct Connection-licensed bodies for the Plymouth Barracuda, Plymouth Road Runner and other pre-1979 models are planned.

Direct Connection Performance Parts

2022 Challenger SRT

New products are being added to the Direct Connection catalog, including supercharger kits and exhaust systems.

Among the known new parts going into the Direct Connection catalog we haven't already covered, you could find:

  • TorqueFlite 8HP70 Transmission (and, potentially, the 8HP90 later on, as hinted at by Kuniskis)
  • 2.7L and 3.0L supercharger kits for the Hemi
  • Direct Connection-licensed American Racing Headers for Charger, Challenger and Durango

New Vehicles

There are two more media announcements coming from Dodge in the next couple of days. Stay tuned for further information from the M1 Concourse!


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