Rowing your own gears with 707 hp is back following some recalibration.
Dodge is bringing back the six-speed manual option for the 2023 model year Challenger SRT Hellcat after being dropped last March. The news comes from MotorTrend, which claims the six-speed Tremec manual required some "recalibration." The updates required for the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) in manual-equipped Challenger Hellcats were substantial enough for the automaker to remove the option entirely for what was left of the 2022 model year.
There was certainly no shortage of demand as buyers are still very keen to row their own gears. Interestingly, the manual has remained available on non-Hellcat Challengers the entire time. The recalibration was apparently necessary due to Challenger Hellcats being unable to pass emissions.
Unfortunately, Dodge has not provided an exact reason but a forum post dating back to last spring indicates this was indeed the case. At the time, a Dodge spokesperson confirmed the six-speed's absence would be temporary. The carmaker has remained true to its word. The six-speed manual was - and is once again - standard on non-Redeye Challenger SRT Hellcats. An eight-speed automatic slushbox remains optional.
Dodge has not made a formal announcement regarding the manual's return, but Dodge's spec sheet for the 2023 models confirms the fact. This is very good news for those craving a Challenger Hellcat as the model and its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine will be discontinued at the end of the 2023 model year. An all-electric muscle car, based on the Charger Daytona concept is likely to debut for the 2024 model year.
Additional Dodge muscle cars riding on the STLA Large architecture are expected as well, though the recently revealed Hurricane six-cylinder turbocharged will probably be under the hood instead of the current Challenger engine options, which include the base 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, the 5.7-liter V8 on the R/T, and the 6.4-liter V8 on Scat Pack models. It's too early to know whether there will be a manual option on the next-gen combustion-engined Dodge muscle cars, but we're certainly keeping our fingers crossed.
But now is the time to get that manual-equipped Challenger Hellcat because once it's gone, it's gone for good. There are also the Last Call special editions aimed at collectors, which are limited in number and will almost definitely carry a hefty premium over MSRP. We're waiting on the reveal of the final model in this series, expected to be a 900-hp model running on E85, but this has been delayed because the engine keeps blowing up during testing.
More details and a full reveal are expected sometime in the coming months.