Dodge on Wednesday unveiled an EV concept that looks – and even sounds – like the gas-powered muscle car Charger, which will be discontinued next year.
The two-door Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept — the Daytona name is a nod to its gasoline-powered ancestor’s 200-mph NASCAR milestone — isn’t just an exercise in design, according to the Stellantis brand. The Charger EV concept, unveiled at the M1Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan during the Dodge Speed Week series of events, is sort of a placeholder for the production version coming in 2024. Dodge has been talking about the day since at least last summer, but now consumers are starting to see exactly what the automaker has in mind.
It’s unclear how much of the concept shown Wednesday will make it into the final production version. A company spokesman told TechCrunch that “we’re calling it a concept…it’s very close to production.” It’s worth taking a closer look at the concept that will replace the gas-powered version.
As with so many concepts, the automaker didn’t share any pricing details. It shared many specifications and design details that clearly use some of the original Dodge Charger DNA.
Dodge is emphasizing three main areas that it says will “rewrite” the rules of the battery-electric segment: a front R-wing that acts as an aerodynamic pass-through, a multi-speed transmission with electromechanical shifting, and finally an exhaust capable of reaching 126 decibels. Yes, the automaker has fitted an electric vehicle with an “exhaust” and given it a dB that makes it as loud as a Hellcat-powered Dodge by forcing the sound through an amplifier and tuning chamber at the rear of the vehicle.
Tim Kuniskis, CEO of the Dodge brand at Stellantis, didn’t mince words in a statement, saying, “Charger Daytona is defining more than just where Dodge is going, it will redefine American power in the process.”
That’s an ambitious goal, and Dodge’s bar of success appears to be starting with the upcoming electric vehicle, which will surpass the power, performance and sound of the gas-powered Dodge SRT Hellcat.
Like its gas-powered brothers, the drive system in the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept even gets special branding. The 800-volt propulsion system, dubbed the Banshee, makes the EV faster than a Hellcat on all key performance metrics, according to Dodge. The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept also has standard four-wheel drive and a push button on the steering wheel called PowerShot that generates an extra boost of horsepower.
Dodge has turned from its past when developing the Charger EV concept, although it has many modern elements such as the R-wing, a more aerodynamic shape and its panoramic glass roof. Historical nods include a white-lit three-pointed Fratzog emblem originally seen on Dodge muscle cars from 1962 to 1976. Then there’s the front grille, with its vertical detailing reminiscent of the 1968 Dodge Charger. The automaker’s designers took the 1968 grille design and dragged it into the interior textures as well.
Inside the vehicle are many of the modern touches you’d expect from a new electric vehicle, including a 12.3-inch center screen, 16-inch curved instrument cluster and 8 x 3-inch head-up display (HUD ).