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Dodge CEO Says Engine Failures Are Reason For Delay Of Special ‘Last Call’ Model!

Seven Engine Failures Have Prompt Dodge To Push Back Its Reveal Date...

Just over a month ago, Dodge announced that the introduction of the brand’s seventh and final 2023 ‘Last Call’ commemorative edition model had been set back.

Direct Connection Dodge Challenger SRT development vehicle (codenamed DC-170) (Dodge).

That car was originally scheduled to make its debut at this week’s 2022 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the time, Dodge released a press statement indicating that product and supply challenges were causing the reschedule of the debut.

But last week, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniski shed some light on the situation, during a background briefing outlining Dodge’s plans for SEMA this week.

Dodge has been testing a new modified HEMI V8 for this last ‘Last Call’ Dodge Challenger. “But we ran into some problems,” Kuniskis stated. Unfortunately for Dodge engineers, seven of their test engines have suffered catastrophic failures by blowing up when pushed to their limits.

Direct Connection Dodge Challenger SRT development vehicle (codenamed DC-170) (Dodge).

Dodge has yet to remedy a guaranteed fix for the situation. But the American performance brand has decided to rather than rush the car to an unveiling, work on solving the issue first.

“I think we’ve got it figured out, if we don’t blow up any more engines,” said Kuniskis. “We think we got it fixed but I am still holding my breath.”

It’s no secret that Dodge has been working on a new drag racing-oriented Dodge Challenger as a ‘last hurrah’ not only to the current Challenger, but the entire L-series HEMI-powered platform. Rumors broke earlier this year that a new quarter-miler was being developed to run on ethanol. Our sources indicated a possibility of the new car to debut with 909 horsepower on tap on either E85 or E100 race fuel.

Drag Racing-Oriented ‘Last Call’ Challenger teased at the Dodge Speed Week event in August. (MoparInsiders).

The limited edition model was teased back in August at the Dodge Speed Week event at M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan. Covered with a special car cover, the car teased a new Michigan license plate with the tag ‘1FAST29″, indicating more than likely its 900+ horsepower rating.

While there were no clear specifics released on the vehicle. But Kuniskis did enlighten everyone that if the new plan goes according to plan, the car should make a debut sometime in Q1 2023.

Source: The Detroit Bureau

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only a Co-Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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Not only that, but from what I understand you won't even be allowed to order the 7th last call edition unless you previously purchased a Dodge Demon. So it will be VERY limited and most likely ridiculously priced. Why is Stellantis/Dodge doing any of this? Abruptly stopping production of Hemi cars, severely limiting dealer allocations, attempting to create a buying frenzy by offering limited last chance models that are nothing more than trim and decals, etc...

I strongly suspect this "7th edition" late release has more to do with a last minute decision to do something really special (other than decals & trim) after reading all the negative pushback they received from the first six editions. In any case, as a long time Mopar lover from my very first purchased way back in 1974, I can only say I am very disappointed in the new direction. But then again, I am from another generation...

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