The Future Comes Crashing into The Muscle Car Space
After years of telling the world, it’d have its first Pure Electric Vehicle (EV) on the road for the model year 2024, Dodge announced the “final call” for its gas-powered Challenger and Charger models.
In a press release, they spelled out the end for the models beloved by so many with a criminal penchant and a refusal to stop for law enforcement. The heart of these models, 4 options of the automaker’s Hemi, can produce from 375 horsepower for the base 5.7L V-8 to 797 horsepower in the Supercharged 6.2L High-Output V8 seen in the SRT models. The current horsepower leader, the Challenger SRT Demon tops out at an incredible 840 horsepower.
While the discontinuation of the Challenger and Charger, including the high-performance SRT models, had been on the horizon for years, the announcement that they will also discontinue the V-8 Hemi motor’s production as well comes as a bit of surprise to industry watchers, while all but ensuring there won’t be a resurgence in following model years.
Dodge has not decided yet if they will include the Iconic model names in the coming “EV” revolution, however do point out the “brand power” they carry with them.
Easy Access to Speed, Safety
Since the introduction of the modern-day Charger in 2005, Dodge’s Brampton Plant, located in Ontario, Canada, has produced roughly 3 million Dodge vehicles.
The return of the muscle car, mixed with, until recently, a booming economy saw access to the Dodge vehicles open to a large swath of the population. This marks the first time in generations that an average American could easily purchase vehicles this powerful off the lot. As a result, many people did.
These vehicles also provide a very impressive amount of safety for the occupants. This was witnessed not that long ago locally when a Dodge Charger being pursued by the CCSO crashed into the base of a concrete silo at a high speed, leaving the driver with little to no injuries.
The Criminal Element
Like with all good things, there’s always a subsect that has to ruin it for everyone.
The massive power and speed these vehicles possess, mixed with sleek and appealing stylings saw the vehicle quickly become a vehicle of choice for those of, uhm, lower moral character in money acquisition… the criminal element.
Try as we might, there doesn’t seem to be any hard data on what type of vehicles have been used in vehicle pursuits across the country or locally. However anecdotally, both the Charger and the Challenger seemed to have a higher than normal representation in these incidents. With tons of news accounts and dash cam videos showing drivers easily topping speeds of 125 mph+ during pursuits, even in the base models.
While fast cars have, and always will exist, previous to the Challenger and Charger, these vehicles often required some type of after-market additions to reach these speeds. How fast are we talking? Fast.
The upgraded models including the Demon, Hellcat, Redeye, Scat Pack, Shaker, and Jailbreak saw top speeds that not only outpaced the fastest of police vehicles but also saw a class of vehicle that could now outrun police helicopters. In the video below, a suspect in a stolen Dodge Hellcat reaches speeds in excess of at least 130 MPH, faster than the 110MPH of the news helicopter following. In this case, the driver was able to pull away from both the police vehicles and helicopters, however, he was caught shortly after.
And end to the Yeet?
When it comes to the future, there are two things to keep in mind. There are up to 3 million of these vehicles already on the road and given the popularity and cost, they will continue to be on the road for years to come. There’s also the entire production of the model year 2023, for which Dodge has pulled out all the stops adding at least 7 new variants to the already expansive list of options, meaning a short-term increase.
While they may not be called the Charger or the Challenger, Dodge has touted a future of the “Electric Muscle Car,” starting the model year 2024. These vehicles, while obviously not based on the Hemi V-8, will not be lacking in power. The instant torque and high top speed of electric vehicles can already be witnessed in such vehicles as those produced by Tesla.
Much like everything, the Yeet doesn’t seem in danger of leaving us, but it will change with the times. From the vehicles used in pursuits to the tactics used by police to end those pursuits, nothing stays the same.
The pursuit of criminals by law enforcement has its roots in horses of the 1800s and reached a new level in the prohibition era when “boot-leggers” started modifying their vehicles in order to outrun authorities. This practice would lead to the formation of what is now NASCAR. The back and forth between criminals and police have carried on ever since, with vehicle manufacturers producing variants of vehicles specifically for police, like the “Police Interceptor” variant of the iconic Ford Crown Victoria. The “Police Interceptor” variant added more power to the engine as well as better suspension, and larger gas tanks.
While we can’t tell the future, we’re pretty comfortable in saying pursuits, and their resulting Yeet’s will be here for some time to come.
Check out these articles for more information on Dodge’s announcement and what it means for the car industry.
Dodge Garage – Official Dodge Announcement
Motor Trend – Dodge Bombshells: Charger, Challenger Gone By 2024, EV Arrives Soon