The Last Call for the Charger and Challenger: Which Engine Should You Pick?

February 9th, 2024 by

A white and a blue 2023 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Jailbreak are shown parked near a Dodge dealership.

The Dodge lineup is in the midst of a major overhaul, and two of its most iconic models––the Challenger coupe and Charger sedan––are about to have something big happen. The 2023 model year will be the last time they are available with V8 engines, and they will not reappear until 2025 when one or both re-emerge here at your Dodge dealership as battery electric vehicles (BEV). Dubbed eMuscle, this could be a major move by one of America’s most innovative brands.

Where does this leave drivers like you who want to get behind the wheel of one of these great American muscle cars? The 2023 models of the Charger and Challenger may be your last opportunity to own one with a conventional gas engine. This is why it pays to know the differences in each of the engine options on these cars. Here at Dan Cummins Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Paris, we are happy to offer you the full lineup of Dodge Charger and Challenger models. When you come here, you know you can drive out with the one that has the engine you desire.

3.6-liter Pentastar V6

This is the base engine on both the 2023 Charger and Challenger. It comes paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode. This allows you to emulate the performance of a manual transmission with a set of paddle shifters. This is the engine that you will find on the SXT and GT trims of the Challenger and the Charger. It is also the only engine offered with available all-wheel drive. This can be helpful if you live in an area with especially tough winter weather, as it will give you better overall traction than the standard rear-wheel drive on these models. However, that will come at the expense of fuel economy and acceleration. For example, the Challenger with this engine and all-wheel drive gets an estimated 21 MPG combined compared to 23 MPG combined with rear-wheel drive.

The engine has a dual overhead camshaft configuration with 24 valves for its six cylinders. The example in the Challenger delivers 303 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque. The performance on the Charger is slightly dialed down, with this engine giving you 292-300 hp and 260-264 lb-ft of torque. Still, the Charger with this engine can go from zero to 60 mph in a very respectable 6.4 seconds with a top speed of 132 mph.

A close up of the hood of an orange 2023 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is shown.

5.7-liter HEMI V8

Codenamed the Eagle, this is one of five different V8 engines available on the Challenger and four V8 engines on the Charger. This is the engine that comes standard on the R/T trim for both of these muscle cars. Just like the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, the version on the Challenger gives you slightly more output. In addition, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 on the Charger is paired with a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission only, while drivers can opt for an available Tremec six-speed manual transmission if they so desire on the 2023 Dodge Challenger.

When equipped with this engine, the Challenger will provide you with 375 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Opting for the automatic transmission gives you 19 MPG combined fuel economy, with the manual transmission providing one mile per gallon less. The Charger delivers 370 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque, also getting 19 MPG combined fuel economy.

6.4-liter HEMI 392 V8

Dodge calls this engine the Apache, and it is not for the faint of heart. This is the largest engine offered on the Challenger and Charger. This comes with a choice of the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission or the Tremec six-speed manual transmission on the Challenger, while the Charger has the eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine will deliver a very aggressive 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel the Challenger from zero to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 176 mph. This engine comes standard on the R/T Scat Pack trims of the Challenger and Charger.

6.2-liter Hellcat Supercharged V8

One of three Hellcat V8 engines offered by Dodge, this supercharged powerhouse is available on the SRT Hellcat Jailbreak trims of the Challenger and Charger. This is an apt name since you may need to keep a seasoned traffic lawyer on retainer to handle the speeding tickets you may accumulate driving this model.

While this engine is smaller than the Apache V8, it has the benefit of an intercooled supercharger. This gives the Challenger a very impressive 717 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque. The Charger with this engine also gives you 717 hp, but the torque drops slightly to 650 lb-ft. This is good enough to give you a top speed of 196 mph. Just like the Eagle and Apache engines, Dodge offers Challenger drivers a choice of an eight-speed automatic transmission and a six-speed manual, while the Charger comes with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission.

6.2-liter Hellcat High Output Supercharged V8

What happens when you take the engine from the SRT Hellcat Jailbreak trims of the Charger and Challenger and increase the output? If you want to find out, then you might want to check out the SRT Hellcat Redeye Jailbreak trim of the Charger or Challenger or the SRT Super Stock trim of the Challenger. This engine delivers 797 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque on each of these models, except for the Challenger SRT Super Stock, which gets 807 hp. An eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard on all models with this engine.

If you want to know how powerful this engine is, then just take a look at the Challenger SRT Super Stock. It comes with standard drag radial tires. That’s because it can go from zero to 60 mph in just 3.25 seconds. It can also rule the road, with the ability to complete the quarter-mile in just 10.5 seconds at 131 mph. Still, it gets pretty good fuel economy for a muscle car. When you choose this engine for your Charger, you will get an estimated 15 MPG combined fuel economy, while the Challenger will give you 16 MPG combined.

A silver 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is shown from the rear.

6.2-liter Hellcat Demon Supercharged V8

Few engine nicknames are as well-earned as this one. Its output and performance are truly demonic, turning your 2023 Dodge Challenger into a vehicle so fast you are liable to get wherever you are going before you’ve even left home! Seriously though, the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 has the most powerful engine currently offered on any muscle car.

This engine comes with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, giving it 1,025 hp at 6,500 RPM and 945 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 RPM. This is enough to get the Challenger SRT Demon 170 from zero to 60 mph in just 1.66 seconds, or about the time it took you to blink your eyes. Dodge suggests that you run this engine only on E85 fuel.

In comparison to the Challenger Super Stock, the SRT Demon was able to complete the quarter-mile in just 8.91 seconds at 151.17 mph. This is the kind of performance and road holding you only usually see on the track at NHRA events. If you think this is the one for you, then you’d better move almost as fast as this car since Dodge only made 3,000 of these for the 2023 model year.

A Piece of Muscle Car History

With Dodge moving away from conventional gas engines, the 2023 Charger and Challenger may be your last chance to get a true American muscle car. With so many choices for trims and engines, you will have no problem choosing one to power you into the future. Now that the word is out, it is time for you to make your move. Come in today and drive out with the 2023 Dodge Charger or Challenger, and make your own muscle car history!

Posted in Dodge Dealership