A Look at the History of Mopar® Branded Dodge Vehicles: Part I

3 months ago Showcase

The Mopar® ’22 Durangos are headed to showrooms across the country, serving as the 12th limited-edition vehicle from the Mopar Brand. This is the second Durango to be featured among those 12 factory-modified vehicles and the ninth time that a Dodge Brand vehicle has been chosen, starting with the original Mopar ’10 Challenger back in 2010. Like the Mopar ’22 Durango, all of these vehicles have been produced in very low numbers, making them some of the rarest of the modern Dodge models. In fact, they are so rare that many people have never seen one in person.

With the Dodge Brand playing such a big role in the history of the Mopar-branded vehicle lineup, we wanted to take a walk down memory lane and look back and the Challengers, Chargers and Durangos that have been part of the annual Mopar vehicle program. There was even a Dart along the way – serving as the only front-drive-based Mopar-branded vehicle.

Mopar 10 Challenger

Back in July of 2010, the company – then known as Chrysler Group LLC – announced a unique program where vehicles would be sold already equipped with a list of aftermarket upgrades from Mopar. In addition to the upgraded components, the package got a unique name that included the model year and the Mopar ’10 Challenger came to life, introducing what would lead to more than a decade of “Moparized” vehicles.

“Our Mopar ’10 Challenger is a collaboration of two iconic brands with tremendous heritage,” said Pietro Gorlier, then-President and CEO of Mopar, of the former Chrysler Group LLC. “Dodge put the heart into this Challenger and Mopar added the soul. The result is a unique, special-edition car that only we can offer.”

On the outside, the Mopar ’10 Challenger was painted Brilliant Black with three optional stripe colors – Red, Silver or Mopar Blue. The exterior portion of the package also included 20-inch forged heritage gloss black wheels, black chrome grille trim, a functional T/A-style hood, vintage hood pins and Mopar logos on the grille, hood, hood-pin caps, body-side stripes and the chrome fuel door.

Inside, the Mopar ’10 Challenger came with unique Katzkin leather seats, a custom leather-wrapped steering wheel with unique stitching, a Mopar shift handle, a serialized dash plaque and Mopar branding throughout the cabin. The package also added a front and rear strut tower brace and a cold air intake system that helped the 5.7-liter HEMI® engine of the R/T trim level breathe a little easier.

“Mopar ’10 has a wicked, sinister appearance that will turn heads,” said Ralph Gilles, then-President and CEO of Dodge, of the former Chrysler Group LLC. “The Mopar brand resonates with hard-core enthusiasts, and this car will too.”

Finally, every Mopar ’10 Challenger came with an owner’s kit that included a certificate with the vehicle’s VIN and build number, a sketch signed by design chief Mark Trostle, a serialized dash plaque and a book that details the package. An owner’s package similar to this one would become a feature of every Mopar-branded vehicle.

Only 500 examples of the Mopar ’10 Challenger were produced.

Mopar 11 Charger

After the successful launch of the Moparized vehicle program in 2010, the brand turned their attention to the Dodge Charger for the 2011 model year. The Mopar ’11 Charger was introduced at the brand’s facility in Centerline, Michigan, and the debut was celebrated outside with a nice, smoky burnout.

“The Mopar ’11 Charger takes the ‘head-turning’ factor up a few notches,” said Pietro Gorlier, then-President and CEO of Mopar, the former Chrysler Group’s service, parts and customer-care brand. “By adding some of the most distinctive accessories to an already strong performer, we’ve created a special-edition car for enthusiasts.”

The Mopar ’11 Charger closely followed the Challenger from the year before in terms of design, offered only in Pitch Black with an offset “driver’s stripe” in Mopar Blue which ran from the front fascia, up over the hood, roof and trunk to the rear fascia. This package also featured gloss black 20-inch “Envy” wheels with Mopar center caps, a unique rear spoiler and Mopar badging on the front and rear of the car.

Inside, the Mopar ’11 Charger sported black Katzkin leather seats with Mopar Blue accent stitching, with a steering wheel that was sewn to match the seats. Engine-turned instrument bezels, a dash plaque with the build number, premium branded floormats, bright pedal covers, unique door sill guards and a Mopar key fob complete the cabin upgrades, but this Mopar vehicle came with a few more performance upgrades than the Mopar ’10 Challenger – a 3.91 rear gear set, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, front and rear strut braces, and stabilizer bars that are thicker than the standard Charger R/T components.

Only 1,000 Mopar ’11 Chargers were produced.

Mopar 13 Dart

Following the Chrysler 300-based Mopar ’12, the brand went a slightly different direction for 2013 – modifying the then-new Dodge Dart. After focusing on rear-wheel-drive, HEMI engine-powered vehicles for the first three years of the program, the company spruced-up the front-drive, four-cylinder-powered compact sedan for 2013.

On the outside, the Mopar ’13 began with a ground effects kit that adds a front chin spoiler, a one-piece low-profile decklid spoiler and a unique rear diffuser. Like the first three Mopar vehicles, the Dart was painted gloss black with a Mopar Blue driver’s stripe and Mopar badging on the grille and trunk lid. A set of gloss black 18-inch wheels wrapped in performance rubber complete the exterior.

Inside, the Mopar ’13 Dart has one of the most striking designs of the brand’s limited-edition vehicle history, with a bright Mopar Blue driver’s seat contrasting against the black driver’s seat and rear seat, all of which have Mopar Blue trim. The steering wheel is also wrapped in black leather with Mopar Blue stitching, matching the shift knob and dash cap with a similar black-and-blue treatment amidst plenty of black chrome and gloss black trim. The Mopar ’13 package came loaded up, including the 7-inch TFT driver information screen, the 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, a wireless charging pad, bright sport pedals, premium floor mats, branded door silt guards and a serialized dash plaque.

In terms of performance upgrades, the Mopar ’13 Dart came with a sport tuned exhaust system, a lowered suspension setup and a brake kit that included cross drilled-and-slotted rotors.

Only 500 Mopar ’13 Darts were produced.

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