5 Things We Love About the Dodge Challenger Shakedown (5 Reasons Why We’d Rather Buy the Ford Mustang Dark Horse) | Daily News Byte

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Since the introduction of the first muscle car, we’ve been fortunate enough to experience some of the most impressive vehicles in American history. Muscle cars allow enthusiasts a large portion of power on the road. They are not only beautiful, but also iconic, simple, and fun to drive.


As cars continue to evolve, brands want to Dodge and Ford aim to provide enthusiasts with an unforgettable and fun iteration of the muscle car. For the 2023 model year, Dodge will introduce a collection of special edition muscle cars known as the Last Call lineup.

The first version in the lineup is the Challenger Shakedown. It celebrates the iconic 2016 Dodge concept while giving enthusiasts a collectible muscle car. On the other hand, Ford has the Mustang Dark Horse, an all-new 2024 Mustang that aims to unlock new performance in the Mustang lineup. Here’s everything we love about these new muscle car models.

10/10 Challenger Shakedown: Sneak Peek

Dodge Challenger Shakedown
Via: Dodge

For the 2023 model year, Dodge introduced the “Last Call” lineup. Within this lineup is the Challenger Shakedown variant. Customers can choose from two variants of the Shakedown – one that boasts a widebody package.

2023 Dodge Shakedown
Dodge

Both models will have two color options, Destroyer Gray and Pitch Black. Either version gives Challenger Shakedown a hidden perspective. The versions get additional red touches, which help the Challenger Shakedown stand out from its rivals.

9/10 Mustang Dark Horse: Fierce Styling

Ford Mustang Dark Horse
Ford

The Mustang Dark Horse boasts some of the most striking visual cues of any modern Mustang. It introduces a new design language to the Mustang lineup with its dual purpose of track and street performance. New visual cues are present both externally and internally.

They help offer a focus on performance, working with the mechanical changes made to the Mustang. Up front, the Dark Horse receives black headlamps, a gloss black grille, and a unique lower front bumper. The side boasts lower side skirts. The rear end of the Dark Horse gets a fixed rear wing, darkened quad exhaust tips, and a race-inspired diffuser.

Related: The 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Is The Most Powerful Yet

8/10 Challenger Shakedown: Commemorative Touches

Dodge Challenger RT Scat Pack - Front
By Dodge

The 2023 Dodge Challenger Shakedown draws a line back to 2016 to celebrate the original Dodge Challenger Shakedown concept. It’s a modern take on the 2016 Dodge concept thanks to the use of the new Challenger R/T Scat Pack.

DODGE CHALLENGER SHAKEDOWN Interior
Dodge

Dodge added a few details to the Shakedown, including the “Last Call” underhood plaque. These touches help make the Challenger Shakedown a true collector’s car.

7/10 Mustang Dark Horse: Dark Horse Visual

Ford Mustang Dark Horse Badge
Ford

Ford gave it some visual upgrades to differentiate the Dark Horse from other Mustangs. These visuals include a bold shadow graphic up front, Mustang Dark Horse badges on the door sills, fenders, and trunk, and a dark anodized Mustang pony on the front of the car.

Ford Mustang Dark Horse Back
Ford

The interior features unique Mustang Dark Horse badging on the screens, with Ford adding an individual chassis number for each Mustang. All of these visuals help make the Dark Horse an aggressive and meaner Mustang. Ford also offers the Mustang Dark Horse with unique Blue Ember Metallic paint that has a cool dark shade.

Related: 2024 Ford Mustang GT Confirmed to Have 480 HP, Dark Horse Model 500 HP

6/10 Challenger Shakedown: Limited Production

2023 Dodge Challenger Shakedown
Dodge

As the Shakedown is the first of seven Last Call models, Dodge will only make 1,000 units. Half of the Challenger Shakedown models will be in R/T Scat Pack trim and will have a Destroyer Gray color.

2023 Dodge Challenger Shakedown front third quarter view
Via: Dodge

Half will feature the R/T Scat Pack Widebody trim, and they’ll have a Pitch Black color. All these models get a lot of features as standard, including the Dynamics Package, Navigation, Technology Group, and more.

5/10 Mustang Dark Horse: Gateway To More Models

Ford Mustang Dark Horse Blue Front
Ford

The introduction of the Dark Horse helps Ford introduce six new racing Mustangs. These Mustangs will compete in multiple series, including NASCAR, GT4, GT3, and NHRA Factory X Racing. Ford will also produce two dedicated track-only Dark Horse Mustangs available only for non-street use and racers.

Ford Mustang Dark Horse Rear
Ford

Racing variants include the Mustang Dark Horse S and Mustang Dark Horse R. The Mustang Dark Horse S is for weekend track enthusiasts, while the Mustang Dark Horse R is for racing only. These new models help introduce the new Mustang to competitive racing.

Related: Here’s Why We Can’t Stop Talking About the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse

4/10 Challenger Shakedown: Premium Interior

The interior of the Scat Pack Dodge Challenger.
By: Stellantis Media

No limited edition vehicle is complete without a few premium touches. Dodge will offer the Challenger Shakedown model with a premium interior, which helps set it apart from its predecessors. Among these unique touches is the “Shakedown” badge on the instrument panel.

2022 Dodge Challenger - interior
by Dodge

Additional interior touches include demonic red seatbelts, red interior accent stitching, and premium black Alcantara or Nappa leather seats with red stitching.

3/10 Mustang Dark Horse: Driver-Focused Immersive Cockpit

Ford Mustang Dark Horse Head On
Ford

The Dark Horse gets the all-new seventh-generation driver-centric cockpit. These include a thicker, flat-bottomed steering wheel, anodized silver paddle shifter, a dedicated drive mode button, bright indigo-blue accent stitching, and more.

Ford Mustang Dark Horse Side
Ford

The driver gets a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster with customizable screens. There’s also a 13.2-inch digital instrument cluster that faces the driver slightly to help create a fully immersive digital experience. These screens help give the Mustang Dark Horse cockpit a fighter jet look.

Related: The 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Is More Than A Muscle Car For The Racetrack

2/10 Challenger Shakedown: HEMI Powerplant

Dodge Charger 6.4-liter 392 HEMI V8 Engine
Via: Dodge

Dodge promises to offer exceptional performance with the 1,000 Challenger Shakedown model. The Shakedown will boast a 392 HEMI V8 under the hood. As standard, the engine will be available with a standard TREMEC 6-speed annual transmission.

6.4-liter 392 HEMI V8
Via: Dodge

To offer satisfying shifting, the transmission has a ZH-Sachs 258mm twin disc clutch with a triple and double cone synchronizer design. Challenger Shakedown owners will also have the option of getting the 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission.

1/10 Mustang Dark Horse: More Athletic V8 Engine

Ford Mustang Dark Horse Engine
Ford

At the front of the new Mustang Dark Horse is the new 5.0-liter V8 engine. The engine boasts the piston connecting rods first seen on the Mustang Shelby GT500. This allows the Mustang Dark Horse to deliver the highest level of performance within the new Ford Mustang family.

Ford Mustang Dark Horse Front
Ford

The engine has many visual changes, including a dual throttle body intake design that helps improve engine breathing. With this, it can easily produce 500 hp and 416 lb-ft of torque. Ford also offers two transmission options for the Dark Horse; a 6-speed TREMEC manual and a 10-speed automatic with sport paddle shifters.

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