Dodge has previewed a next-generation muscle car cloaked in retro styling and featuring a familiar name… but it’s electric.
The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept, the brand says, “drives like a Dodge, looks like a Dodge and feels like a Dodge – and just so happens to be a battery-electric vehicle”.
It’s all-wheel drive and powered by a new 800V propulsion system Dodge has christened Banshee and, though Dodge hasn’t released any information on outputs, battery size or range, it’s detailed various components and features.
Electric vehicles are known for being exceptionally quiet and, while some brands like Porsche and BMW have added artificial propulsion sounds for the cabin, Dodge has gone a step further.
The Charger Daytona SRT Concept features what Dodge calls a Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust, an “industry-first BEV exhaust” that can reach 126 dB. That makes it as loud as a Hellcat-powered Dodge.
Sound is pushed through an amplifier and tuning chamber located at the rear of the vehicle.
It has a futuristic “idle” sound, while a prod of the throttle produces a wild sound which you can listen to in the video above.
It’s one of three “game-changing, patent-pending features” Dodge says “will rewrite the rules of the BEV segment”.
The other two are the R-Wing, a unique aerodynamic pass-through that resembles a rear spoiler on the concept’s front end and enhances downforce, and the eRupt, a multi-speed transmission with an electro-mechanical shifting experience.
The latter features artificial shift points, while there’s also a PowerShot push-to-pass feature activated via a button on the steering wheel that delivers a jolt of extra power.
Drive modes consist of Auto, Sport, Track and Drag, and are adjusted via the steering wheel.
Dodge promises performance that exceeds that of Dodge’s SRT Hellcat supercharged V8 engine. Parent Stellantis has previously confirmed vehicles on the STLA Large architecture will offer electric motors that each produce between 150 and 330kW of power.
That points to as much as 660kW from a production version, more even than the 603kW-626kW outputs of the outgoing Challenger SRT Demon.
The company has previously confirmed it’ll begin producing an electric muscle car in 2024, with the 2023 model year to be the last for the outgoing V6- and V8-powered Charger and Challenger.
The concept wears the Charger Daytona SRT nameplate for a number of reasons, and not just because the name “Charger” goes hand-in-hand with an EV.
The Charger Daytona was the first vehicle to break 200mph (322km/h) on a NASCAR track back in 1970, while the Charger Daytona SRT Concept’s styling features numerous heritage design cues.
That includes Dodge’s old Fratzog logo, used from 1962 to 1976, which is featured at both the front and rear and illuminated. It’ll be used on Dodge’s electric vehicles, with the two slashes – or Rhombi – being used on combustion-powered models like the new Hornet.
The hips have almost coke-bottle contours like iconic Dodge models of the late 1960s and early 1970s, while the full-width assembly incorporating the headlights is strongly reminiscent of the 1968-70 Charger and is designed to make the Charger instantly recognisable at night.
Charger purists who scoffed when Dodge resurrected the nameplate for a sedan back in 2006 will be pleased to see the name return to a coupe, though Dodge says it actually has a hatchback.
With rear seats that fold flat, Dodge says the concept is “a beast at the track that can still meet every day needs” and offers “unexpected utility and storage capacity from a muscle car”.
The concept is finished in Greys of Thunder, per Dodge’s tradition of giving its colours playful names, while there are carbon-fibre intakes at both the front and rear to improve aerodynamics.
There are flush door handles and 21-inch alloy wheels garnished with red Fratzog logos, behind which sit grey six-piston brakes.
Brushed aluminium “screaming” Banshee badges sit on the fenders, but Dodge says it has avoided excess decoration.
Inside, there’s a driver-focused cockpit with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system angled towards the driver, while ahead of the steering wheel sits a curved 16-inch digital instrument cluster and a head-up display.
There’s dramatic ambient lighting wrapping around the dash and spilling onto the doors, and Dodge says the parametric texture found in the cabin pays homage to the 1968 Charger.
There’s a squared-off steering wheel, with the centre spoke not connected to the rim to give it a floating feel.
Touch-capacitive switches can be found on the steering wheel as well as the doors.
There’s a classic pistol-grip transmission shifter, while the start button is hidden under a jet-fighter inspired cap.
The racy sports seats are lightweight and slim and feature a perforated Fratzog pattern, while a panoramic glass roof lets plenty of light into the cabin.
Down back, there’s a carbon-fibre “tub” floor and hatch, while the Charger SRT Daytona concept promises more storage space than any Dodge muscle car prior.
“The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept exists because performance made us do it,” said Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis.
“Dodge is about muscle, attitude and performance, and the brand carries that chip on its shoulder and into the BEV segment through a concept loaded with patents, innovations, and performance features that embody the electrified muscle of tomorrow.
“Charger Daytona does more than define where Dodge is headed, it will redefine American muscle in the process.”
The new STLA Large architecture will underpin a range of vehicles across the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands, and the company provided a breakdown of these models last year.
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