Murphy’s tenth law states that “Mother nature is a …” with the three dots being a word I won’t put in print. Unfortunately, that tenth law always seems to kick in here on the Texas Gulf Coast whenever I have a fun vehicle booked to review for the week.
In this case, I was absolutely excited to drive the 2023 Dodge Challenger R/T Shakedown Edition, part of Dodge’s “Final Call” series of special editions to send these cars off into the sunset. The week I had this car, I had *ONE* afternoon with it that it wasn’t pouring down rain to the point of nearly flooding. You know what? One afternoon of driving the Challenger is better than a week with some vehicles.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have driven many different versions of the Challenger since it came on the market in 2008, and every single one has felt special. The Challenger is the exact formula that helped turn me into the motorhead that I am. Make a car that looks completely badass, add a massive engine, add fantastic exhaust noises, and make it go *really* fast. The Challenger has hit on all those marks year after year, and I still smile every time I start one. They’re just so much fun.
Unfortunately, all good things must end, and the current Challenger doesn’t get to escape that fate. In true Dodge fashion, they’ve decided to celebrate the end and throw a massive party instead of just going off into the sunset by offering seven special edition Charger/Challenger models called the “Last Call” editions.
The Shakedown Edition tester I had during the week of rain is the first of the Last Call editions, of which 500 each will be made in narrow-body and widebody editions. That’s only 1000 Challenger Shakedown units, making this car an instant classic.
The Challenger Shakedown Edition is powered by the fantastic 6.4-liter V8 Hemi engine, which makes 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels by way of an 8-speed automatic transmission. Driving mode profiles can be set for comfort, street, or track performance. An Individual setting lets you customize steering, throttle, and suspension settings for the perfect personal drive mode. A six-speed manual transmission was available for those wanting to row their own gears.
The Challenger Shakedown’s Pitch Black exterior gives it a very striking and aggressive look. The Shakedown features special matte black stripes with a red accent line that runs the length of the vehicle. The 392 badges are highlighted in red on the sides. A Mopar Shaker hood and Shaker intake are also standard, as is a Shaker underhood decal. The 20×11-inch Carbon Black Warp Speed wheels are a Widebody exclusive, while the narrowbody versions get 20×9.5-inch low gloss Slingshot wheels.
If you want a full review of a Dodge Challenger that wasn’t weather impaired, check out my review of the Dodge Challenger R/T 392 and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat. I absofreakinglutely love these cars, and I would own one if I had more garage space. Dodge has truly captured the spirit of Modern Muscle with the new Dodge Challenger Last Call series.
With an MSRP of $69,190, the Dodge Challenger Shakedown is a strong value, as all models come equipped with the Plus Group, Technology Group, Navigation, Carbon Group, and Dynamics package. That’s less than $70k for a fully loaded, proper American muscle car. If you have been on the fence about buying one, now is the time before it runs out. Sadly, these kinds of cars will never be available to buy new again. While I’m confident we’ll see the Challenger nameplate again, it won’t be with a monster V8. Get them while they’re hot!