Is a special plaque really worth the price of a second Hellcat?
Dodge announced that 2023 will be the final model year for its popular Charger and Challenger muscle cars. As a send-off for these two icons, before they are replaced by an electric vehicle, the American automaker will offer a final run of Last Call models, including seven special editions with unique colors and styling. These special editions have already been allocated to dealerships, meaning customers will have to use the Dodge Horsepower Locator tool to find the specific one they are looking for.
With all the current nonsense going on with dealer markups in 2022, we assumed these special edition Dodge models would be a hot commodity, but we didn't know just how hot. CarBuzz reached out to a local dealership with allocations for one 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody Black Ghost and one 2023 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat King Daytona, the two rarest and priciest of the bunch. Both have a $75,000 markup slapped on them. Most dealers hide these markups by labeling them "call for pricing."
In our opinion, you would have to be mad to pay what essentially equates to a second Hellcat on top of the MSRP. Here's why we think you shouldn't.
Before diving into the markups, we must first clarify the difference between the Last Call and the seven special editions.
Every single 2023 Charger and Challenger from the SXT up to the SRT Jailbreak is a Last Call and will feature a brushed aluminum plaque under the hood that says "Last Call," "Designed in Auburn Hills," "Assembled in Brampton" with a silhouette of the car. On top of that, Dodge will bring back special colors for 2023 and expand its popular Jailbreak options.
These Last Call models may command a small premium, but the seven special editions will bring big markups. Six of these models have already been revealed, including the Challenger Black Ghost and Charger King Daytona, Challenger and Charger Swinger, Charger Super Bee, and Challenger Shakedown.
A seventh model was delayed and will be shown at a later date. The special editions range in rarity, with the most common ones getting 1,000 units and the rarest (the Black Ghost and King Daytona) getting only 300 units. Pricing also ranges drastically, with some special editions getting more power and others focusing more on appearance.
Finding any of the special editions at MSRP will be challenging, but this will be especially true for the Black Ghost and King Daytona. Both are limited to 300 units, meaning your local dealership will likely only have an allocation for one or two.
Our local dealer had one of each, and it's a massive volume seller in Florida. In addition to their rarity, these two offer the most over a conventional Hellcat. Output from the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 is dialed up to 807 horsepower, which is 10 more than the Hellcat Redeye. Only the SRT Super Stock (and likely the seventh special edition) match them on power.
Both models receive unique exterior and interior touches that won't be available on other Last Call models. These include a gator skin decal on the Challenger and a King Daytona stripe on the Charger, amongst other accessories. In exchange for being the rarest and most powerful, the Black Ghost and King Daytona are the most expensive at $99,315 and $98,420, respectively. With $75,000 markups tagged on, that's $174,315 and $174,420.
In other words, you could buy two standard Hellcat Jailbreaks or any number of exotic sports cars.
Dodge fans are understandably excited about these special editions, and we get why so many people want to rush out to grab a Challenger or Charger before the V8 goes away. However, we can't imagine spending so much on what is essentially the same car with some stickers and badges.
Dodge may stop building new V8 muscle cars, but the thousands of used examples currently for sale aren't going anywhere and will offer the same experience. We've driven nearly every variant of Charger/Challenger ranging from the V6 to the 797-hp Hellcat Redeye, and we can promise you that a 10-hp bump is not noticeable outside of a drag strip.
If you can find one of these cars for a reasonable price and it's the perfect color/trim combination, go for it. But if you had to ask us if the final model year of a car built in mass for nearly a decade is worth roughly double the price, it would be a resounding no.
Are they worth what Dodge is asking for them? Absolutely. Just don't pad the dealer's pocket when there is a better option out there.