Perhaps one of the silliest things about the Dodge Challenger Hellcat is that it was available with a manual transmission. The combination of 700-plus hp from a supercharged V-8 and a clutch pedal was unique, but unfortunately, it was dropped quietly sometime in 2021 while Dodge worked on a new powertrain calibration. Next year will be the last for the both Challenger and the Hellcat, and not only is Dodge doing a ton of special-edition models, but the manual is also making a return appearance.
Our colleagues at Car and Driver uncovered the good news on Wednesday. While the configurator for the 2023 Challenger isn't live yet, the automaker confirmed to C/D that the manual is officially back. We've reached out to Dodge for clarification on which specific Hellcat variants can be ordered with a manual, though we presume it will only be the "base" 717-hp models in narrow- and wide-body form, not the 807-hp Redeye or Super Stock.
With 717 hp in its current iteration, the Hellcat remains one of the most powerful manual-transmission cars on sale today. To best it, you'll need an 864-hp Pagani Utopia or the 1355-hp Koenigsegg CC850, if you count its wacky transmission as being truly manual. Put another way, the Hellcat is the most powerful manual car normal(ish) people can buy.
It's always hard to determine future classics, and the Hellcat was built in not-insignificant numbers, but of the 1000-plus new and used Challenger Hellcats listed on Cars.com right now, only 111 are manuals. It's fair to assume that there won't be many manual-transmission 2023 Challenger Hellcats, relatively speaking, so there's a very good chance this will be a future classic.
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