For the past couple of years, we've been emotionally preparing ourselves for the end of the Dodge Challenger and Charger—and, arguably, the end of the muscle car as we know it—but now it has finally happened. The final Challenger has been built.
Last Friday, while the world was busy prepping for the holidays, Stellantis confirmed that the very last L-platform muscle car rolled off the line at Brampton Assembly Plant, a facility located about 40 minutes northwest of Toronto, Canada. Painted a fittingly somber black, it was a 2023 Challenger SRT Demon 170, Dodge's 1,025-horsepower sendoff that can do the quarter mile in 8.91 seconds. Judging from this Facebook post, it was an appropriately emotional event for many plant workers.
"Today was my last day at the plant, I've never seen so much emotion over a car," wrote one commenter.
"Thanks to all the men and women who built my 2019 Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody. I love my car and it will stay with me till I depart for the Mopar Garage in the sky," comments another.
The final Charger, by the way, happened to be a Scat Pack Wideboy in Destroyer Gray while the last Hemi-powered Chrysler 300, the more luxury-leaning L-car, was a Velvet Red 2023 300C that rolled off the line earlier this month.
The modern Dodge Challenger has been in production since April 2008, which means it's been around for more than 15 years. First introduced as a retro design that harkened back to the original '70s Challenger (which was only around for five years), this version of Dodge's muscle car has become an icon in its own right, becoming a mainstay in movies, car meets, and, of course, military bases across the country. The Charger and Chrysler 300, meanwhile, have been around since 2005 and 2004, respectively, making the L-plat muscle car a near-20-year-old dynasty.
While it's definitely the end of an era, it likely isn't the end of the Dodge performance car. The Charger will be back, it just won't have a Hemi V8. As previewed by the company's Charger Daytona SRT electric concept car, Dodge intends to keep the Charger story going. Its next chapter will just be electric, or at the very least, electrified. Speaking to The Drive on the condition of anonymity back in October, a source with supplier information confirmed that the next Dodge Charger will keep the gas engine around, namely the Hurricane straight-six.
As for the Brampton Assembly Plant, it is also being reworked to accommodate a more electric future. Per Automotive News Canada, the factory is going offline for two years so it can be retooled to build "electrified vehicles."
So, while the Charger name may be going away for now, we fully expect it—and, given the adaptable nature of electric powertrains, the Challenger name too—to come back at some point. They'll just be different. In the case of the V8-powered versions, though, it is, unfortunately, time to say goodbye.
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