Time is running out for the Charger and Challenger; rest assured they're not going quietly
By Matt Bird / Tuesday, November 16, 2021 / Loading comments
When the time comes to write about the final throes of the combustion engine, a sizeable chapter should be dedicated to the Hellcat-engined Dodges. Think about what’s been created with the supercharged V8 since the 707hp Challenger launched: a 200mph Charger saloon, a Jeep Cherokee that runs 11-second quarter miles, a Challenger Demon that pulls wheelies and a seven-seat Durango with 50lb ft more than a McLaren 765LT. To make one of those cars would’ve been pretty cool; to create a whole family of supercharged V8 hellraisers was inspired. And awesome.
But time waits for no man – or engine. Presumably as part of a farewell parade for some legendary cars and an iconic engine, Dodge recently launched a ‘Never Lift’ campaign for the next two years. Its ’24 Months of Muscle calendar’ – yes, really – is promising “one product- or automotive-enthusiast-related announcement every three months” into 2023. Which is all great news, but presumably a lot is being packed into such a short timeframe as nobody is quite sure what the future holds for the big V8. There’s a 2024 US election to think about, for starters…
Anyway, today’s Never Lift announcement ought to warm the hearts of Hellcat enthusiasts everywhere. Both Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody models – so the 797hp flagships as wide as the interstate – are now offered in a ‘Jailbreak’ configuration for 2022. In colours such as Hammerhead Grey, Demonic Red and Hellraisin – they’re having fun at Dodge SRT, clearly.
The most significant news however is a power boost to 807hp, apparently achieved through calibration work. Assuming Dodge measures in good ol’ imperial horsepower, that’s 818hp in metric, or just a smidge off the Ferrari 812 Competizione’s 830hp. Even after all these years, the numbers being churned out remain truly ludicrous.
Otherwise the Jailbreak cars are all about options. According to Dodge the Charger and Challenger “unlock color (sic) combination ordering restrictions and add new factory custom options” – see what they did there. It’s all about personalisation, with six brake caliper colours, five for the exterior badges, seven for the wheels, six for the stripes, four for the seatbelts and so on. Hey, if it’s good enough for Porsche, it’s good enough for Dodge.
As Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Brand CEO puts it: “If you’re dreaming about owning a Stinger Yellow Challenger with Brass Monkey wheels, Hammerhead Grey seats, blue Brembos and red badges, I’m not sure we should, but we’ll build it for you.” That’s the kind of can-do attitude we can all get behind. Apparently half of all Dodge customers modify their cars anyway, so why not giving them a helping hand?
The cars seen here are pre-configured Jailbreaks, presumably there as a handy default should the choices prove overwhelming. The Challenger is in F8 Green with Warp Speed Satin Carbon wheels, Satin Chrome Hellcat grille and badges, Gunmetal Grey brake calipers, Hammerhead Grey seatbelts and more – we said there was a lot! The Charger is painted Hellraisin with sepia Laguna leather seats, carbon bezels, Brass Monkey wheels, Brass Monkey badges and grille, orange brake calipers and carbon stripes. Hopefully we can all agree they’ve been brilliantly done.
In the States, 2022 Jailbreaks will be available to order by the end of this year – there’s no word on pricing yet, presumably as different spec choices could have a drastic sway on the bottom line. Quite frankly, we’d take the yellow Challenger Kuniskis described earlier for a hit of Hellcat V8. An extended go on the configurator beckons, no doubt. And if the only the real thing will suffice, here’s a 797hp Redeye Challenger for sale in the UK. Fuel it on V-Power and you’ll surely get the extra 10hp anyway…
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