Dodge revealed Wednesday an EV concept that looks — and even sounds — like the gas-powered Charger muscle car that will be discontinued next year.
The two-door Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept — the Daytona name a nod to its gas-powered ancestor’s 200 mph NASCAR track milestone — is not just a design exercise, according to the Stellantis brand. The Charger EV concept unveiled at M1Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan during Dodge Speed Week event series is a placeholder of sorts for the production version coming in 2024. Dodge has been talking about this day since at least last summer, but now consumers are starting to see exactly what the automaker has in mind.
It’s unclear just how much of the concept shown Wednesday will make it to the final production version. A company spokesperson did tell TechCrunch that “we call it a concept … it is very close to production.” Which means it’s worth taking a closer look at the concept that will replace the gas-powered version.
Like so many concepts, the automaker didn’t share details on pricing. It did share lots of specs and design details, which clearly uses some of the original Dodge Charger DNA.
Dodge emphasizes 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 electro-mechanical shifting and finally, an exhaust that can reach 126 decibels. Yes, the automaker put an “exhaust” on an EV and gave it a dB that will make it as loud as a Hellcat-powered Dodge by pushing sound through an amplifier and tuning chamber located at the rear of the vehicle.
Tim Kuniskis, CEO of the Dodge brand under Stellantis, didn’t mince words in a statement when he said “Charger Daytona does more than define where Dodge is headed, it will redefine American muscle in the process.”
That’s an ambitious target and Dodge’s bar for success appears to start with the upcoming EV exceeding the power, performance and sound of the gas-powered Dodge SRT Hellcat.
Like its gas-powered brethren, the propulsion system in the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept even gets some special branding. The 800v propulsion system, dubbed Banshee, makes the EV faster than a Hellcat in all key performance measures, according to Dodge. The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept also has a standard all-wheel drive and on push-button on the steering wheel called PowerShot that will produce an extra burst of horsepower.
Dodge pulled from its past when it designed the Charger EV concept even though it has lots of modern elements, like the R-wing, a more aerodynamic shape and its panoramic glass roof. Some of the historical nods include a white illuminated three-pointed Fratzog badge that was originally featured on Dodge muscle cars from 1962 through 1976. Then there is the front grille with its vertical details that are reminiscent of the 1968 Dodge Charger. The automaker’s designers took that 1968 grille design and pulled into the interior textures as well.
Inside the vehicle are many of the modern touches one expects in a new EV, including a 12.3-inch center screen, a curved 16-inch instrument cluster and a 8-by-3-inch Head-up Display (HUD).