- The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat will again be available for 2023 with a six-speed manual transmission.
- Dodge quietly (and temporarily) dropped the manual transmission option at some point last year.
- The 2023 model year will be the last for the Challenger and Charger.
Just about a year ago, Dodge ruined everyone’s holidays by announcing that the Tremec six-speed manual transmission was no longer available on the Challenger SRT Hellcat. The six-speed remained the default transmission for the naturally aspirated 5.7-liter R/T and 6.4-liter R/T Scat Pack models, but drivers who wanted to leave the clutch on 717 supercharged horsepower were cruelly let down. It was, in the immortal words of Counting Crows, a long December.
However, thanks to our diligent investigative reporting (scrolling around the Dodge media site to see what ridiculous retina-melting colors are available on the 2023 Challenger), we’ve discovered that the manual Hellcat is back. And Dodge confirmed it, telling us to pass the word that everyone and their favorite grandma should order a 2023 Challenger with a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 and a six-speed stick. This will catch rubber in second gear. And third. And possibly the rest of the gears too.
Dodge has always maintained that the manual’s absence was temporary and had something to do with powertrain calibrations, but we’ve heard that sort of thing before. Temporary cancellations have a way of becoming indefinite, but true to its word, Dodge has brought back the third pedal for the Hellcat. Which makes sense, since Dodge told us in 2018 that 35 percent of Challenger Hellcat buyers choose the stick.
In our most recent test of a manual Challenger Hellcat, it hit 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and cleared the quarter mile in 12.4 seconds at 120 mph. Those numbers are well behind the automatic, but who cares? For 2022, the eight-speed automatic was a mandatory $2,995 option, so presumably the manual 2023 model will save you money settling for premium unleaded and some racky rear tires.
Oh, and about those colors: Plum Crazy is also back for 2023. It would look great on a manual Challenger Hellcat. Truly, this is a December to remember.
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