Manual returns to Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat for final shift

The Dodge Challenger is on its way out after the 2023 model year, along with the related Charger, and just in time for the final year, the Challenger SRT Hellcat will be available once again with a manual transmission.

The manual was dropped from the Challenger SRT Hellcat for the whole of the 2022 model year. The reason was due to a revised calibration being developed, a spokesman said when the news was first reported in late 2021.

The spokesman said the manual would eventually return, and Car and Driver reported on Wednesday that the return is happening for the 2023 model year.

The manual is a 6-speed from Tremec. It continued to be available on other Challenger variants like the R/T and R/T Scat Pack, which feature 5.7- and 6.4-liter V-8s, respectively. The SRT Hellcat is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 rated at 717 hp, and in 2018 Dodge said approximately 35% of all orders are with the manual.

Dodge has many more changes for 2023 to mark the final year of production of the Challenger and Charger muscle cars. All Challengers and Chargers built for the 2023 model year will feature special goodies signifying them as the last of their kind. While this will vary from model to model, all will come with a commemorative plaque under the hood bearing the scripts “Last Call,” “Designed in Auburn Hills,” and “Assembled in Brampton.” Popular color options will also return, including B5 Blue, Plum Crazy, and Sublime.

Dodge will also offer seven special editions with limited production that reference classic Challenger and Charger models. The first six are the Challenger Shakedown, Charger Super Bee, Challenger and Charger Scat Pack Swinger, Charger King Daytona, and Challenger Black Ghost. The final seventh special model, which will be based on the Challenger, will be revealed in the near future after missing its November debut at the 2022 SEMA show. The reason for the delay? Dodge has been blowing up engines during the development.

Further out Dodge will switch to electric power, and that future has already been previewed with the Charger Daytona SRT concept unveiled in August and expected to spawn a production version in 2024. A high-performance version of the concept, dubbed the Banshee, was shown in November.

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