The news that Dodge is retiring the current Challenger and Charger by 2024 fell like a hammer last November (more on this below), with the blow being somewhat softened by the carmaker initiating a two-year plan called Never Lift, which sees the Mopar people continuing to build on the current V8 muscle dream. And while rumors talk about Dodge aiming to reduce the number of cylinders for potential next-gen ICE (internal combustion engine) muscle cars, an independent digital artist has pushed the cylinder count in the other direction via a rendering portraying his vision on a hypothetical 2023 Dodge Charger.
Late last year, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis announced the company would release a drivable concept of an electric muscle car in the first months of 2022, which will debut the company’s reinvented Fratzhog logo for eMuscle—the production model is coming in 2024, with the present Charger/Challenger set to be axed by then. In addition, the automaker is set to bring a plug-in hybrid to showrooms this year (all we know is it’s not the Durango) and debut an all-new model whose details remain unknown.
As mentioned above, Dodge has already started rolling out the Never Lift goodies by introducing Direct Connection factory-approved parts and kits for its current models.
Rumors talk six cylinders
It’s still not clear if the said EV muscle car will be joined by a successor for the current Challenger and Charger that would rely on internal combustion. However, based on the popularity of the duo (e.g., the Challenger outsold the Mustang and Camaro for 2021, despite being a generation behind), the rumor mill talks about Dodge introducing such a car with a turbocharged straight-six featuring hybrid assistance, while limited version(s) featuring a V8 might still be in the cards.
And now a dreamy rendering
Perhaps the digital artist behind the tuningcar_ps label took the said news as “well” as most of us die-hard muscle fans and decided to retaliate by envisioning a 2023 Charger redesign in the vein of the 2014 redesign introduced for the 2015 model year, which brought significant visual changes and, more importantly, Hellcat power.
These days, many digital artists turn to complex software and monstrous hardware to give us 3D work, while this rendering was whipped up using a smartphone, as the said label states on Instagram.
Even so, with the 2D work adding fuel to the Mopar fire, we’re thrilled to talk about this imaginary 2023 update. On a visual level, the Charger gets more aggressive LED headlights and an overhauled front fascia, while the door scallops of the current car, a nod to the 1968 Charger, also get remodeled.
Flush door handles, larger black wheels and a slightly updated wing complete the aesthetic work, while the posterior of the 2023 Charger rendered here comes with meaner-looking lights that still use the side-to-side design, as well as aero bits akin to those used by aftermarket kits many owners install.
Nevertheless, the tech dream of the pixel master is even more audacious, as a “V12 Helephant” is mentioned. This is obviously a reference to the 1,000 hp 426 ci (7.0L) Hellephant V8 crate engine, itself a tribute to the original 426 HEMI of the 1960s—going down the twelve-cylinder route wouldn’t necessarily help with the horsepower, even though it could help increase smoothness. However, with V12s being an endangered species nowadays, this would certainly be eccentric.
Given that this rendering is a mere dream, the RPM (real project in the making) Potential is probably somewhere at 2/10. Why not 1/10, you ask? Well, tech nuts have built V12s in their garages before, so why knows when a HEMI-and-a-half might show up?