It’s always fun to get behind the wheel of a Dodge Challenger or Charger, especially the Special Editions. Stellantis has announced that at the end of 2023, the Challenger and Charger will go all-electric. I’ve enjoyed reviewing gasoline-powered, high-performance Dodges through the years.
2023 Dodge Challenger Shakedown Last Call Special Edition
Since these vehicles are going away as we know them, Dodge is taking them out with a bang! There are seven special edition models appropriately named Last Call.
My review vehicle this week is the first of the series, called The Shakedown. 500 of the regular version will be made, and another 500 of the Widebody version, which is what I had this week. With only 1000 of these made, the potential for future classic status is almost assured.
The Shakedown Edition features a 6.4-liter naturally-aspirated V8 Hemi putting out 485-horses and 475-pound feet of torque. My tester has the 8-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles. The paddles work great, but depending on the drive mode settings, the transmission shifts hard and fast on its own, and there is a six-speed manual available.
This is a visually beautiful car in the Pitch Black exterior color, with multiple black stripes and one red stripe that run over the hood and top, and down the trunk.
20” x 11” Warp Speed black wheels look fantastic. There are big red Brembo brake calipers, and a unique spoiler with Shakedown on the right rear of the spoiler.
Moving to the inside, the interior is nicely done and quite spacious. I love the Nappa leather and Alcantara interior package, and the air-conditioned and heated power seats are very comfortable. The Shakedown comes loaded with just about everything you can imagine except a moon roof.
The 8.4” Chrysler Uconnect 4C system is terrific as always, easy to operate, and the navigation system works great. The 18-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system sounds terrific and has surround sound and a huge subwoofer in the trunk.
My review vehicle has a backup camera, steering wheel controls, navigation system, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, voice commands, blind spot monitoring, and remote start.
On the Uconnect 4C screen, you’ll have a blast going through all the apps, especially the Performance Pages.
The gauge cluster is bright, has a 160-mile per hour speedometer, and an extensive driver information center in the middle that is easy to navigate from the flat-bottomed heated steering wheel. A digital speedometer is a handy thing to have.
Hit the start button above the air conditioning controls, and this is where you configure how you want the car to perform. Hit custom and you can vary the settings. I like track for some of the settings, and street or sport for others.
You’ve got to do a launch from a dead stop and feel the G-forces pin you to the seat. You also have to try the line lock button. It allows you to do a full throttle burnout with the front brakes locked completely down, but you’ll run through those wide expensive tires quickly if you do. If you decide to do this, take it from me, turn the air conditioning system off, a lesson I learned the hard way when I had the Dodge Challenger Redeye widebody a few years back.
Ride and Drive
Handling is exceptional, the steering is a bit heavy but that comes in handy at times, acceleration is wonderful, and the widebody helps keeps you grounded for traction.
What You'll Pay
Pricewise, my very loaded review car with options has an MSRP of $69,190. That is a pretty exceptional buy for a street legal racecar, that also doubles as a great daily driver.
This car is rated at 14 miles per gallon in town and 23 on the highway, but at least for me, with my driving habits, those are mythical numbers.
Still, this car always amazes me. To have that much power, comfort for four and possibly five passengers, and a massive trunk, the Challenger Shakedown Widebody is nothing short of amazing.
- What I liked most: Obviously, performance, ride, drive and overall appearance.
- What I would change: Honestly, can't think of a thing.
- MSRP: As equipped $69,190 with transportation.
- Fuel Economy: Rated at 14 city/ 23 highway/ 17 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 2,600 miles.
- Weight: 4,325 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Inflator & Repair Kit.
- Length-Width-Height: 197.9” long/ 75.7” wide/ 57.7” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gallons with the filler on the driver's side.
- Official Color: Pitch Black.
- Towing Capacity: Not recommended by the factory.
2023 Dodge Challenger Shakedown in a few words: A beast on the track, yet a very enjoyable daily driver, with great potential to be worth a lot of money later.
- Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, and 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain coverage.
- Final Assembly Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
- Manufacturer's Website: Dodge