We knew that Dodge has been working on a battery electric vehicle (BEV) thanks to a video from Tim Kuniskis last summer and at the end of that video, there was a burnout of what appeared to be a classic Dodge Charger silently smoking all four tires. That was a computer generated image, but today at the M1 Concourse, Kuniskis and his Dodge team introduced the actual car.
“The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept exists because performance made us do it,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand chief executive officer – Stellantis. “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. The Charger Daytona SRT Concept can do more than run the car show circuit; it can run a blazing quarter-mile. And when it comes to product cycles, it outruns Darwin. Charger Daytona does more than define where Dodge is headed, it will redefine American muscle in the process.
One day ago, the brand’s first-ever electrified performance vehicle was unveiled, the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet. Today, we revealed a peek at our eMuscle future with the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept. When we said it was going to be an electric summer for Dodge, we meant it.”
The new Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept is an all-electric muscle car, but it is not silent. It is the first BEV to come with an audible exhaust system that acts similar to the exhaust system on a Hellcat car. It makes idle sounds and screams when the driver revs the motor, but Dodge didn’t just stick a speaker under the back end and have it play V8 exhaust noises. Instead, the team developed the Fratzonic exhaust system, which offers a very unique tone that is engineered to offer the sound of electric being converted to horsepower – but that is just one of the many impressive aspects of this Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept.
Today, we bring you a look at all available information on this gorgeous new electric concept car.
Battery Electric Power
First and foremost, we have the reason why some people will love the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept, which is also the reason why some people will hate it. This Charger is powered by an 800-volt electric drive system, which sends the power to all four wheels through the patented Dodge E-Rupt multispeed transmission. It is no secret that some driving enthusiasts don’t like the linear feel of electric propulsion, so the Dodge E-Rupt transmission offers an “electro-magnetic shift experience” that replicates the feel of a transmission shifting. The car will feature a variety of drive modes, including Track and Drag, along with the new PowerShot feature – which offers 15 seconds of extra power at the push of a button (Dodge has not announced the increased output of PowerShot with this vehicle).
Another aspect of the electric vehicles that many muscle car fans – myself included – do not like the the fact that they are silent, so Dodge went ahead and fixed that as well. The Charger Daytona SRT Concept features the patented Fratzonic chambered exhaust system, which projects a unique “exhaust” sound from the rear of the car via an amplified tuning chamber system. At its peak, the Fratzonic exhaust system reaches 126 decibels – the same sound level as the SRT Hellcat – but as mentioned above, this EV doesn’t run on a V8 soundtrack. Instead, the engineers created a unique exhaust sound that is unmistakable at idle and on a hard pull. There is nothing like it in any segment, let alone the BEV segment.
Dodge plans to offer three trim levels of the Charger BEV, each of which will have a total of three power levels from Direct Connection for a total of nine configurations. The vehicle shown here is the top-of-the-line model, named the Banshee. Dodge expects the Banshee name to quickly sit alongside Hellcat and Redeye in the automotive history books, with the brand that their first BEV is “faster than a Hellcat in all key performance measures”. We expect that means that is offers better acceleration and better top speed, so in theory, the vehicle shown here should be able to comfortably run a 10-second quarter mile and hit 200 miles per hour.
Stunning Exterior Design
Unless you pay no attention to the automotive news, you knew that there was a Dodge battery electric vehicle on the way and if you paid attention to Kuniskis’ hints last year, you knew that it would be a Charger. However, even after seeing that mysterious classic-looking car smoking all four tires in the Dodge video that forecasted the electric future, few of us expected the brand to actually create an EV that looks like a classic Dodge Charger – but that is exactly what they have done.
You can hate the electric drivetrain all you want, but there is no denying that the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept is a stunning work of art. From front to back, the design clearly has heavy influences from the second generation Charger (1968-1970), including the very upright front fascia and grille. With every other electric vehicle being shaped like a piece of chewed up gum melting on a hot sidewalk, it seems impossible for this Charger to offer the levels of aerodynamics of the competition, but that is where the R-Wing comes into play.
While at first look from the front, the grille appears to be flat and closed-off, similar to the 68-70 grille, the upper portion is actually open. This allows air to flow across the grille, up over the hood and across the roofline. As you can see in the graphic below, the air flows over the Charger Daytona SRT Concept in much the same way that it flows over a curvy little hatchback, but it looks like a proper muscle car with hard lines all over the place. The R-Wing is aided by other aerodynamic efforts around the car, including various air curtains and sculpting to help make this car 25% more slippery than the current Dodge Charger Hellcat – even though it appears to have a boxier form across the front end.
Along the side, we see the next big news with the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT EV Concept – it is a two-door. However, with the longer wheelbase and added rear seating space, this isnt just a Challenger with a different body. In fact, the cabin feels more like a 2+2 sedan thanks to the added rear space, but like the classic Mopar muscle car, the first Dodge EV only has two doors. Well, technically it is a three-door hatchback, with the rear glass lifting up to offer easy access to the cargo area, but for the sake of muscle car discussions, the two-door Charger is back.
In addition to the stunning physical shape, the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept features similar signature lighting to what we have seen on past Challenger and Charger models, including a white illuminated grille with nearly hidden headlights and a glowing Dodge Fratzog badge in the middle. Out back, this Charger carries on the “race track taillight” design in beautiful fashion, around a red glowing Fratzog logo. The rear diffuser sports the “Fratzonic” exhaust logo, which is the only wording anywhere on the exterior.
Finally, the Banshee model shown here wears 21-inch center-lock wheels with 305mm tires up front and 325s out back, all over gigantic Brembo brakes.
Stylish, High Tech Cockpit
Dodge has put loads of technology into their ICE-powered vehicles in recent years, so it comes as no surprise that the Charger Daytona SRT Concept is packed with premium modern tech. There is a huge, 16-inch curved screen that serves as the gauge cluster and driver’s information screen just beyond the unique, flat-bottomed steering wheel along with a 12.3-inch infotainment screen mounted atop the center stack.
The 2+2 seating configuration showcases a carbon fiber structure covered with premium materials for a proper, high end look on the race-inspired buckets at all four seating positions and above them, a huge panoramic glass roof. The unique sculpting that flows through the dashboard and door panels has a sort of electrified look to it, with more of that in the storage compartment under the shift console. The rear seats fold flat to create a huge storage area while the carbon fiber floor tub helps to reduce overall vehicle weight.
While the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept might not be everyone’s ideal muscle car, always-increasing federal regulations are forcing automakers to offer battery electric vehicles. Most automakers are offering boring, low performance BEVs that prioritize range and efficient but for Dodge, they are still focused on high performance. Thanks to Dodge, the electric future won’t be as bleak and boring as it is for many other brands.