Dodge has previewed its electric future with the Charger SRT Daytona concept, and the brand’s CEO appears to have teased the reveal of another electric muscle car.
“The new Charger Daytona will redefine American muscle, and don’t worry, you know us. We haven’t fully pulled back the curtain on this car… or maybe these cars just yet,” said Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis at a presentation for its V8 send-off special, the fire-breathing Challenger Demon 170.
Mopar Insiders reports word from sources that next-generation Charger and Challenger models will be unveiled at the Woodward Dream Cruise this August. Alternatively, they could be revealed at another Speed Week event hosted by the brand.
“While everyone else is going to bring an electric car to market, Dodge is going to bring a muscle car and use electrification to make it not more politically correct, but to make it faster and Dodge-ier,” Mr Kuniskis said of the production Charger.
“So efficiency be damned, we always wanted to do a ’68 Charger and this was our chance.”
It’s unclear if the Charger SRT Daytona will gain a couple of doors in the transition to a production vehicle.
The outgoing 2011-vintage V6- and V8-powered Charger is a four-door sedan, as was its 2006 predecessor.
This was a break in tradition for the nameplate, which was always applied to a coupe even if it transitioned from a sporty car to a personal luxury coupe to a compact, and from rear- to front-wheel drive.
The Challenger, in contrast, has always been a coupe, though a factory convertible was offered in 1970 and 1971.
Talking to Muscle Cars and Trucks earlier this year, Mr Kuniskis said Dodge will lock out aftermarket tuners from its upcoming EVs and instead direct customers to upgrade kits purchasable from its dealerships.
“We don’t want to lock the cars and say you can’t modify them. We just want to lock them and say modify them through us so that we know that it’s done right,” said Mr Kuniskis.
The Dodge CEO said there will be a desire to hack their EV system, but he wanted “to try and shut that door before that door even opens”, that way the company can spend its time “coming up with more modifications for you instead of, literally, trying to whack-a-mole the hackers”.
Upgrades or “crystals” for Dodge EVs can be purchased through the company’s Direct Connection and Power Broker program.
Mr Kuniskis sought to reassure potential buyers by saying the “crystals are tied to the car, tied to the VIN, tied to the ECM of that car”, so all subsequent owners will be able to use all purchased upgrades for a particular vehicle.
Dodge has confirmed a number of eStage “crystals” for the production version of last year’s Charger Daytona SRT EV concept.
Chargers equipped with the 400V electrical architecture can be upgraded from 340kW in the base model to either 370kW with an eStage 1 “crystal” or 400kW with an eStage 2 “crystal”. The step-up model can be tuned from the standard 440kW to either 470kW or 500kW.
The automaker has yet to announce what upgrades will be available for cars fitted with the flagship 800V system. So far Stellantis has only confirmed said the car will be available in tunes up to 660kW.
Due in 2024, the new Dodge muscle car will be one of the first vehicles to utilize the STLA Large Architecture, which will eventually underpin cars offered by Alfa Romeo, Chrysler and Jeep. Battery offerings are said to range from 101 to 118kWh, allowing for a maximum range of up to 800km.
Although it is engineered around the needs of electric drivetrains, STLA Large is a “multi-energy platform” that supports internal combustion engines.
Despite speculation straight-six engines will one day be offered in the Charger, Kuniskis said: “I can put an ICE engine in it. It doesn’t mean we’re going to.”