Dodge made a significant change to the Challenger SRT Hellcat for recent model years (after mid cycle 2021) by removing the standard six-speed manual transmission. However, the Tremec TR-6060 gearbox was still available for the lower Hemi Challenger trims, while the upper Hellcat Redeye trims never offered the six-speed option. Dodge explained that they needed to recalibrate the Powertrain Control Module for the stick-shift supercharged 6.2-liter V8, but assured enthusiasts that the manual transmission would make a comeback in the future.
Initially, there were doubts among enthusiasts about whether Dodge would follow through on its promise, given recent trends of removing fun features from vehicles. However, the automaker surprised everyone by keeping its word. Challenger order guides from the previous summer showed that the six-speed manual transmission was once again the standard choice for the Hellcat and Hellcat Widebody versions. It has now been confirmed that the dealer order system allows customers to order manual transmissions for both the narrow and widebody Hellcats.
It’s important to note that this change only applies to the 717-horsepower versions of the Challenger. As of now, the updated information has not been reflected on Dodge’s website. However, it looks to have been confirmed via the Hellcat.org forum that interested buyers can build a Challenger online and then email the build PDF to a dealer, specifying their preference for the manual transmission. Supposedly, the dealer will waive the $2,995 charge for the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic in place of selecting a 6-speed manual.
Potential buyers who decide to wait for the manual transmission’s return should not expect to pay a substantial premium. The current MSRP for the 2023 Challenger SRT Hellcat listed on the Dodge site is $67,595. Adding the $2,995 charge for the eight-speed automatic, the $1,700 gas-guzzler tax, and the $1,595 destination fee, the total price comes to $73,885. This presents an opportunity for buyers to secure a good deal in the last year of production for the Challenger, especially if they can find a dealer willing to sell at the MSRP. Also, get it while you can because this may be the very last year or two of such a vehicle, never mind one with a manual transmission.