We can imagine the conversations between Dodge and its new parent Stellantis (FCA-PSA merger) that led to the decision of killing off Hellcats after 2023. The talks probably weren’t pretty, but at least the Mopar people are giving these glorious V8s a proper sendoff (think: goodies like the resurrected Direct Connection factory mods). And they’re not alone in this mission, as this Dodge Dart mid-size muscle car unofficial concept comes to demonstrate.
Sure, as far as supercharged vee-eights go, Ford has the gnarly Predator heart of the Shelby GT500 and GM still builds the brilliant LT4 that animates the Camaro ZL1, but none of these seem to have the same charisma as the Hellcat.
However, while the Challenger is still giving the ‘Stang and the ‘Maro a hard time in the sales race despite being a generation behind, the larger, heavier nature of the Mopar still holds it back in certain scenarios that extends past the good ole straight-line fistfight.
So why not give the Blue Oval and the Golden Bowtie machines a competitor their own size? Cue to the Dart rendering we have here, which was put together by digital artist Timothy Adry Emmanuel (aka adry53customs), the kind of car guy who adores American muscle and believes the KDM (Korean Domestic Market) is the new JDM.
This pixel proposal skips past the most recent use of the Dart nameplate, whose compact application from the mid-2010 didn’t exactly live up to the standards of muscle fans, SRT version included (FWD is still FWD).
Instead, the digital build harkens back to the fourth-generation Dart, which entered service in the mid-1960s, pleasing muscle fanatics for a decade.
In fact, you’ll see the two side by side in some of the images below. And it will hit you: the newcomer mixes the simple styling of old with the also-retro design bits of the modern Challenger, even borrowing the widebody arches and meaty wheels/tires of the latter.
Of course, this is more on the level of imagination. In the real world, though, a project such as this one would be a Challenger with seriously reworked body panels, custom widows, and the works.
After all, stranger things have happened in Hellcat modding land. For instance, another one of Abimelec’s renderings has turned into a Mad Max-ed Challenger dubbed Mad Cat, which impersonates the Ford Falcon XB from the movie franchise we just named (you’ll find this in the second Insta post below).