As Dodge prepares to let its familiar muscle cars drive off into the sunset, it’s rolling out a series of limited-edition packages and the second of seven “Last Call” models has made its debut.
The performance brand reached back in time for the 2023 Dodge Charger Super Bee — which adds a mix of performance and appearance features, including adaptive dampers and drag radial tires. Only 1,000 Charger Super Bees will be produced for the coming model year.
“The special-edition 2023 Dodge Charger Super Bee once again offers a Dodge vehicle that is equally at home on the street or on the drag strip,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand chief executive officer — Stellantis. “The Dodge Super Bee is more than commemorative of a cool heritage name — it is also a Charger variant of the Challenger 1320 grassroots race package.”
Last Call for the Charger and Challenger
Last month, Dodge confirmed widespread rumors that it would kill off its two gas-powered muscle cars, the Charger and Challenger, at the end of the 2023 model year. Come 2024, it’s planning to roll out a new, all-electric performance model based on the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept vehicle.
But, fittingly, Charger and Challenger are being sent off with a bang, rather than a whimper. A total of seven “Last Call” versions will be produced for 2023, Dodge pulling the covers on the first, the Challenger Shakedown, last week. That model is based on the Dodge Shakedown Challenger concept revealed at the 2016 SEMA Show.
Second in line, Dodge is pulling the second limited-run model as “the highest-performance Charger Super Bee model ever produced.”
A long history
The name first appeared back in 1968 on the old Dodge Coronet coupe. A Charger version debuted three years later. It returned in 2012 using the brand’s 392 V-8, slotting in just under the Charger SRT package.
Oddly, Dodge isn’t yet saying what powers the latest Charger Super Bee — but it’s expected to use that V-8 to make 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. Power will be directed through an 8-speed automatic to the back axle.
The new Super Bee starts with the Dodge Scat Pack package and adds new adaptive dampers designed to handle both track and street. Notably, they add a new “Drag Mode.”
Standard and Widebody versions
Half of the 1,000-car run will use the standard-width Charger and be fitted with 20-inch wheels shod with 275-width drag radial tires. The remaining 500 will be Charger Widebody packages with 18-inch wheels and 315-width drag radials.
Other special features include an SRT hood scoop, Mopar hood pin kit, dual heat extractors and black SRT exhaust tips, as well as the distinctive Super Bee hood decal and fender and grille badges. Red, four-piston Brembo brakes complete the hardware package.
The standard-width model, meanwhile, will be done up in B5 Blue paint with blue graphics, the widebody models getting Plum Crazy purple paint with white graphics.
More to come as Dodge prepares to go electric
Dodge plans to introduce five more Last Call models, the next on Sept. 7. The final version, which Dodge promises to be the piece de resistance will roll out at the 2022 SEMA Show.
At a time when the U.S. auto industry is struggling with inventory shortages, the automaker is taking special steps to create what Kuniskis has described as a “transparent” ordering process. If you’re looking for one of the Last Call packages — indeed, for any 2023 Dodge Charger or Challenger — you’ll be able to track availability on the automaker’s public website.
The two muscle cars will end their production run at the Stellantis plant in Brampton, Ontario next year. At that point, the factory will go through a complete tear down and conversion to electric vehicle production. Sometime in 2024, Kuniskis explained last month, a new, all-electric muscle car will make its debut. Dodge officials broadly hinted that it will hew closely to the design of the Charger Daytona concept.
To differentiate the all-electric model from other EVs, Dodge plans to give it a multi-gear transmission, a novelty in the all-electric market. And it may also pick up on the concept’s electronic “exhaust” system which, on the Daytona, can match the 126-decibel roar of today’s Charger and Challenger Hellcat models.