Dodge is making a show of 2023 as the last year of the Charger and Challenger by launching seven Last Call special-edition “buzz” models. The company has revealed six of them and the seventh was supposed to be shown this week during the annual SEMA aftermarket showin Las Vegas. However, according to Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis, it’s been delayed because the company keeps blowing up engines while striving for more power.
“So far, we’ve grenaded seven engines,” Kuniskis quipped on a call with reporters.
The problem is achieving the reliability of a regular production car with more power.
“When you take a Hellcat and you want to add more horsepower in street trim, you know for a daily driver or a car you take to the track, you know street and strip, or quite frankly even for Direct Connection, it’s very, very easy to do. Unfortunately, when I sell it as a commemorative edition, the final buzz model, I’ve got to put it through the final production duty cycles.”
Like the other six so-called buzz models, the seventh will commemorate a car that came before. Kuniskis didn’t say what car it will commemorate or how much power Dodge is pursuing. The Hellcat Redeye models currently top the standard lineup with 797 hp, though the Dodge Charger King Daytona, which is one of the seven buzz models, ups that to 807 hp.
Famously, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has been the most powerful version of the Charger and Challenger, with 840 hp when running on 100+ octane gas. Dodge hasn’t said if the final buzz model will top the Demon’s horsepower.
Kuniskis says the company appears to have solved the issue and will reveal the car early next year. “I think we’ve got it figured out,” he said. He continued: “I’m hoping Q1 we’re back on track, everything is fine, if we can just knock on wood we don’t blow anymore of them up. It’s a cool car, and it will be a funny story later when it all works out.”
Also at SEMA, Dodge showed the Charger Daytona SRT Banshee Concept, a preview of its upcoming electric car, in drag race trim, as well as new Hellephant and Hurricrate crate engines to be offered through its Direct Connection aftermarket arm.
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