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Inside the Billion Dollar Factory That Produced the Very Last Dodge Challenger

A 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger built 13 photos
Photo: FRAME | YouTube
A 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger builtA 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger built
Dodge is retiring the Challenger with no sign of a successor in sight, but it is still planning to keep the nameplate as a precautionary measure, hoping to send a Challenger to the road one day again, one way or another. The last Challengers have already rolled off the production line. And this is how they were made.
The production of the L platform has come to an end. The structure has been underpinning the Dodge Challenger and Charger, as well as several other models, since 2004. The last Challenger to roll off the production line at the Stellantis factory in Brampton, Ontario, was a 2023 SRT Demon 170.

The car was painted in Pitch Black paint and was powered by the almighty 6.2-liter HEMI V8, which pumped out an impressive 900 horsepower (912 horsepower) and 810 pound-feet (1,098 Newton meters) of torque.

The Challenger SRT Demon 170 has been labeled as too quick for its own sake. It takes just 1.66 seconds to flash from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 kph) and runs the quarter mile in 8.91 seconds at 151.7 mph (2441. Kph), on its way to a top speed of 215 mph (346 kph).

That is exactly why it was banned from drag racing by the National Hot Rod Association unless it is equipped with a roll cage and a parachute.

A 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger built
Photo: FRAME | YouTube
The model used to see the light of day in a state-of-the-art robotics-based assembly facility in Ontario, which covers 2,950,000 square feet (274,000 square meters) of floor space. The first Challenger SRT Hellcat, VIN 700001, rolled off the assembly line in Brampton, Ontario, on August 19, 2014.

That muscle car was sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas for $825,000, with the money going to Opportunity Village, a non-profit charity that protects and supports those with intellectual disabilities in the Las Vegas area.

Now, Stellantis put an end to the production where engineers used forming limit diagrams to analyze the maximum amount of deformation a sheet of metal can hold before it fails. Steel and aluminum were stockpiled and used during the manufacturing process for the body panel components.

Several robots used to weld the stamped parts to form the body frame, while a coordinating measuring machine was used in the metrology lab to measure the vehicle components and compare them to the CAD (computer-aided design) data.

A 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger built
Photo: FRAME | YouTube
Robots also applied seam sealant to protect the joint areas from corrosion and improve the longevity of the structure. Afterward, six-axis robots used color changers and dosing pumps to minimize product waste in the painting station. An overhead conveyor system transported the vehicle while the underbody assembly took place.

The designing stage also takes into account the optimization of space for the 6.2-liter HEMI V8 engine and other systems, while trying to minimize the use of materials and resources. The V8 engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, featuring a higher stall-speed torque converter.

The workers installed the front suspension of the Dodge Challenger, consisting of a double wishbone configuration, specifically designed to allow easy tuning of the characteristics of the vehicle.

Next step up was the installation of the grille, which allows the air to flow through the cooling module, maintaining the performance of the vehicle. The rear and front fascia components, such as the bumpers, are also installed manually during the latest stages of the production process, before the car drives goes to quality control.

A 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the last Challenger built
Photo: FRAME | YouTube
The plant used to build the Chrysler 300, as well as the Dodge Charger and Challenger. Stellantis killed each and every one of them.

Massive investment into electrification

In 2022, Stellantis announced a $2.8 billion investment in the Windsor and Brampton assembly plants. For the Brampton facility, the move was synonymous with making a transition to what the group refers to as the "flexible architecture" to support the brand's electrification plans.

The Brampton manufacturing center will undergo retooling and modernization in order to be capable of building electric cars. However, at least for starters, tagged as the world's first electric muscle car, the all-new Dodge Charger Daytona EV will go into production at the Windsor Assembly Plant, a move that the brand confirmed during the official unveiling of the model.

Sitting on the same STLA architecture, the ICE-powered Charger will be made there as well. It will be powered by the automaker's 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder with either 420 or 550 horsepower.

Meanwhile, the electric Charger Daytona will come with as much as 670 horsepower in its Scat Pack shape for a run from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 96 kph) in 3.3 seconds. Meanwhile, the Charger Daytona R/T will have to do with 496 horsepower for an acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.

The site will reportedly be capable of building as many as 130,000 Chargers in 2025, which will be its first full year of production. Before the Brampton site starts operating again, it will be the Windsor factory that will also build an electric crossover bearing the Dodge badge.

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