With a little over a week to go until the 2022 SEMA show, we now know that Dodge’s seventh and final Last Call send-off for the Challenger or Charger won’t be debuting at the Las Vegas show as initially planned, due to “product and supply challenges”. And the digital community has stepped in to fill that temporary void, albeit taking the Challenger coupe in a radically different direction. Enter the Dodge Challenger Hellcat “ACR Special”, whose CGI aero work means just what you think it does.
With Dodge having already showcased the Charger SRT EV concept that’s scheduled for 2024 production, it’s no secret that the current generation of HEMI-powered muscle cars are being retired after 2023. So far, the Mopar people have unveiled three of the said special editions for the Challenger and just as many for the Charger.
Some of these send-offs have brought back iconic Dodge badges like the Swinger and the Super Bee, while others pay tribute to legendary vehicles such as the King Daytona or the Black Ghost. There are also other insane Mopar releases for 2023, such as this one-off Dodge Durango Drag Pack.
A Challenger Hellcat that would take on the Camaro ZL1 1LE and Mustang Shelby GT500 Track Pack
Setting itself apart from the official machines mentioned above, this rendering coming from digital artist Evrim Ozgun features a more serious transformation. This is not just added aero, as the lower front fascia and the light clusters at both ends also get reworked for a more modern look.
Still, the heavy downforce that would be generated by the carbon pieces seen here remind us of last decade’s rumor about Dodge exploiting the coupe’s track car potential via an ACR version that would’ve been a follow-up to the record-setting Viper ACR. And this is why we chose to add the nickname in the title.
The power? The standard 717 hp (make that 797 hp for the Redeye) should do just fine, even though some extra cooling, meatier brakes and a specific suspension mode may be required.
Alas, Mopar eventually dismissed an American Club Racer iteration of the Challenger, citing the vehicle’s scale-unfriendly nature. Of course, as the Nurburgring-conquering Camaro ZL1 1LE and the Mustang Shelby GT500 Track Pack factory efforts can attest, there is such a thing as a fetish for track day muscle cars. So it’s up to the aftermarket to cover that side of the Dodge Challenger now, be it virtually or in real life.
In addition, the 3D work seems to embrace the global side of the Challenger. Unlike the Mustang, the Dodge coupe was never a global vehicle, but the big two-door still enjoys a hefty fan base in many other parts of the world, albeit with these enthusiasts being covered by grey market imports.
And the pixel master’s 3D work appears to offer a blend of the Euro and the JDM style, at least as far as the digital redesign of the vehicle is concerned. In terms of colors, though, the pearl white dominant shade, clear-carbon details and red accents seem to speak of Nissan’s Nismo division—here’s Evrim’s take on the rumored 400Z Nismo. So yes, this is a cosmopolitan widebody take on the retro American design, which will probably split opinions.
Still, we’ve shown you wilder real-world creations than this Challenger, such as this 1968 Dodge Charger drift car that enjoys plenty of track time over in Europe.