Hellcats: Cars of the Soon-to-Be Past…And Future?


Friends, and car-loving compatriots, this is the end of an era. 

Yes, the mega horsepower, how high can we go, era of Mopar Muscle is going to be officially discontinued in 2024 with the demise of the Charger and Challenger Hellcats. This shift marks a drastic change in the direction of Mopar Muscle as the brand moves toward an all-electric future. 

Since we love the Hellcat and our fleet has provided thousands of people giggle-inducing thrills, we thought it would be fitting to take a final dive into the Hellcat lineup as it stands and discuss where it’s going in the future. 

Let’s do this!

Reminiscing on the Birth of American Fury

For those of us that weren’t alive when the streets of America were loaded with overpowered muscle cars, we can only imagine the smell and sound of this era. Muscle cars were getting ever more powerful, and crazier as the decade went on, and right amid this insanity were the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger. 

Modern Chargers and Challengers completely differ in their missions within the Dodge lineup and this was no different than when these vehicles debuted in the 1960s. Today’s Dodge Charger is a four-door sedan that’s equally great at hauling ass, as it is hauling the kids to school. The 1966 Dodge Charger was not a sedan like modern Chargers, but it was a large, coupe “personal car”. This new segment in the 60s was pioneered by the Thunderbird and Tornado, and it was a nicer, more upscale version of a muscle car. 

When most of us think of the Charger, we think of the second-generation Charger, which was the most popular by far. What wasn’t there to like? Buyers could buy a luxury-style coupe, with a massive HEMI V8 pumping out 375 horsepower, and still enjoy a roomy, subdued driving experience. Once the emissions and safety regulations hit in 1970, the Charger lost its luster for two more generations until its reintroduction in the mid-2000s.

Second generation Dodge Challenger Hellcat

For buyers looking for more personality, Dodge was happy to oblige with the classic Dodge Challenger. Although it only lasted five model years and was late to the game, the Challenger was notable for its menacing, sinister styling, outrageous paint colors, and range-topping “425” horsepower HEMI V8. Well, that was a lie because multiple outlets figured the Charger’s power was way closer to 475 or more. Let’s just put it this way, the modern Hellcat’s heritage is a long, long line of crazy V8-powered hooligan machines. Again, like the Charger, the Challenger washed out due to restrictive regulations until being resurrected in the mid-2000s.

Why Must We Say Goodbye? 

In the words of William Shakespeare, “Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,

So do our minutes hasten to their end”. 

As much as we hate to say it, the era of the gazillion horsepower muscle car is waning and the world is turning towards a renewable, cleaner future. It’s not to say that gasoline cars will be completely replaced in the next five years, but in the next twenty or thirty years, you can expect gasoline cars to be relegated to race tracks and vintage collections. Climate change and waning resources mean we need to do better as a car-loving community, and although change will be painful, we’ll come around. 

While the brand new Mustang S650 debuted with an all-gas series of engines, Ford will have to eventually allow the Mustang to either evolve or go out into the pasture. 

There’s No Dodge-ing the Future

We see all the chatter online from the car community, but we all need to practice some true acceptance and understand that EV are the way of the future. 

Dodge has already come to the table in a big way with their all-electric Charger, proving that an electric muscle car, or eMuscle Car in Dodge-speak, can not only look cool but can offer style and substance for electric cars. Its powertrain, dubbed the “Banshee”, is more powerful and more torque-rich than the outgoing Hellcat V8 while providing a stunningly eerie and sinister all-electric soundtrack via a “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust” Cool? You bet. 

New electric Dodge Hellcat Charger
Photo Source: Motortrend.com

Now, will people actually give the new Dodge Charger a chance, or will their gas-based biases steer them away from a potentially game-changing product? Time will tell but we think that the new electric Charger will not only be successful but will change the way people think of muscle cars. 

What does this mean for Xtreme? 

Okay, so how does this affect Xtreme Xperience and Open Road moving forward? Well, the good news is that the Challenger is coming back to our fleet so all you muscle car fanatics can get one last ride in! We know for sure that we’ll have the Challenger throughout 2023, but beyond that, we have no idea what Dodge monster will be in our fleet. Maybe the first eMuscle car built in America? We think the future is pretty bright. 

Dodge Challenger Hellcat from Xtreme Xperience driving on a racetrack.

As EVs become more popular, more and more performance-specific versions of these cars will come out. Racetracks all over the country are already installing charging stations for race fans that are going all-electric, maybe those fast charging stations can power up the Xtreme Xperience events of tomorrow and beyond.

Xperience the Hellcats Before They’re Gone

We don’t normally like to use this type of language, but seriously, once this next year comes to an end, there is a good chance that we will not have any more Challengers to drive or Chargers to ride in. This isn’t a scare tactic, this is just the reality of the situation and we want you to experience these hellacious hellions before they’re relegated to collections and never driven properly ever again. 

If you’re ready to get out on the track with Dodge’s last great muscle cars, sign up for our mailing list so you’re among the first to know when the Challenger drives are available.

See you out on the track!