Droptop Challenger Hellcat, more 6.2-liter Durangos for Hemi’s final year
It’s uncommon that an automaker—or seller—truly knows what they’ve got. Dodge does. For 2023, the final year of its Hemi V-8, the Stellantis subbrand is playing all its greatest hits plus one long-awaited cover.
Uncovering, really. When we asked you which coupes deserved convertible variants, you yourselves shouted for the LX-platform cars—and those of the Hagerty Community clearly weren’t alone. Dodge has decided not to overcomplicate things with an in-house treatment and has instead given its blessing to Drop Top Customs, who’s been chopping Mopar tops for years now.
Beyond the giant boost of PR support for Drop Top, this collaboration removes some logistical hassle for the customer: Spec your Challenger, tack on $25,999 for the conversion, and Dodge will ship it from the factory in Brampton, Ontario to High Springs, Florida. There, Jeff Moran’s shop (which also dropped the Kia Stinger’s top) will saw off the roof and install a motorized top made of canvas and acrylic polyester, fitted with a heated rear glass window and complemented by a function quarter window. Moran’s put some thought to bracing, too: There are beams in the rocker area and between the rear shock towers, steel channels at the rear deck, and gussets at the center and rear doorposts.
As if you needed more encouragement to go the Hemi route, Dodge and Drop Top Customs will offer an expedited shipping option for 2022 and 2023 R/T, Scat Pack, and SRT Challengers. You can place an order with your dealer beginning today for the 2022 model year Challengers, or you can wait until 2023 books open.
Even after adding open-air Challengers to the final-year production mix, Dodge seems to still have blown 6.2-liter Hemis lying around.
Welcome to round two of the Hellcat-powered Durango SUV. Born as a one-year-only model for 2021, the 710-hp Durango SRT Hellcat sold every one of the 2000 units planned. Two years later, it returns to terrorize HOV lanes and grocery-store parking lots in gloriously excessive Detroit fashion. Wondering if it’s right for you? Check out our in-depth review of the 2021 truck here, and, if you like what you see, mark your calendars for September, when orders open.
September will be a busy month for Dodge. Six special-edition Chargers and Challengers are due to arrive late summer and early fall, each with a Hemi of some kind. Dodge only showed us placeholder vehicles wrapped in enigmatic dropcloths. If we assume the body styles are indicative of the final products, we’re looking at a 6.4-liter Challenger due on August 24, inspired by something redline-y, and a Charger with some bee-adjacent messaging the last day of the month. (Super Bee, anyone?) There’s a 6.4-liter Challenger and Charger equivalent due September 7, with some sort of yellow-on-black, flowery vibe, possibly signaling a return of the Mod Top. A week later, we’ll see a 6.2-liter Charger—decode that orange-crown-on-black-background sheet as you will—and a 6.2-liter Challenger on September 21. It wore a grey and black animal print.
A seventh car remained covered for the entire evening: Dodge’s 2022 SEMA build. Apart from its Challenger silhouette, the only clue we get is on the (fake) license plate: 1FAST29. Whatever it is, the LX Challenger’s send-off build will enjoy even more attention than usual—neither Ford nor GM will be sending cars to the vaunted hot-rod and aftermarket show in Las Vegas.
Whether or not you’ll be putting cash down on any of these models, plug in your headphones and get ready for some nostalgic bangers, as the kids say. The 2023 model year is going to be one hell of a Hemi tribute.
If I happen to hit that 1 billion dollar lottery, please send me one of each of these cars.