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Dodge is ready to make a lot of noise in the electric car space.
The Charger Daytona SRT Concept is a preview of the first battery-powered muscle car the brand will launch for the 2024 model year.
Dodge is ending the production of its current internal combustion engine-powered Charger sedan and Challenger coupe models in December 2023 and will succeed them with a production version of the concept, which Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said is “not a science project” and is very close to what customers will be able to buy.
The Charger Daytona SRT is a two-door hatchback with seating for four with styling inspired by Dodge’s muscle cars of the 1960s and 1970s, but with a modern twist.
The front end features a wing along the leading edge of the hood that Dodge calls the R-Wing. It makes the car look like it has an old-school blunt front end while allowing air to flow under it to improve its aerodynamic profile for increased range and performance.
The interior is designed around two digital displays. The instrument cluster is a curved display while the central touchscreen is canted 10-degrees toward the driver. A full and fixed panoramic glass roof covers the entire passenger compartment and the rear seats fold down to expand cargo carrying capability.
Full technical details have not been released, but Dodge said the concept is equipped with the top of the line Banshee powertrain, which will exceed the current Hellcat V8’s 808 hp rating and make it quicker and faster than any of the vehicles that have been powered by that supercharged engine.
Dodge’s parent company Stellantis previously said that the electric platform the Charger Daytona SRT will be built on will be able to accommodate a dual-motor powertrain with up to 885 horsepower and be capable of accelerating to 60 mph in under two seconds. Those figures have not been confirmed for the Charger Daytona SRT.
With the Tesla Model S Plaid already that quick, Kuniskis told Fox News Digital that the goal isn’t necessarily be beat it, but to deliver the performance in a more exhilarating way, and the Charger Daytona SRT has a feature that aims to do just that.
Most electric cars have a single gear and accelerate seamlessly, but the Charger Daytona SRT is equipped with a multi-speed transmission called the eRupt that can slam the passengers into the seats with electro-mechanical gear changes, either automatically or when the driver pulls on the retro pistol-grip shifter.
“Linear acceleration is awesome, not exciting. It’s just not,” Kuniskis said, adding that any loss in energy efficiency by using the eRupt is of little concern.
“Don’t care, it’s badass. It’s a muscle car, man.”
The Banshee powertrain will also have a PowerShot feature that increases its power beyond the normal maximum for short bursts of acceleration.
Models in three power levels will ultimately be offered with each able to be boosted in two steps through hardware and software upgrades through Dodge’s Direct Connection parts catalog.
Passengers and passersby will be treated to something never heard before from an electric car: a loud exhaust. The Charger Daytona SRT is equipped with a patent-pending invention Dodge calls the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust.
Fratzog is the name of the triangular heritage Dodge badge that’s being resurrected as the logo for its future electric vehicles.
Rather than just using a speaker to play synthetic motor noises, the chambered exhaust is similar to a pipe organ, pumping air through a series of tubes to create a sound it calls “dark matter” in concert with changes in speed and the eRupt gear shifts.
Kuniskis said the engineers thought about all of the elements that create noise in a V8-powered car and incorporated them into the sound, which exits from beneath the rear bumper.
“Throttle position, speed of opening of the throttle, whether you’re shifting, whether you’re not shifting, load of the engine, whether you’re decelerating, all of the inputs that go into making the difference in sound today, we need to then pipe those in through an algorithm to create the movement of air,” Kuniskis explained.
When it idles it even makes a noise that mimics the firing pattern of one of Dodge’s Hemi V8 engines.
Kuniskis hasn’t said if a four-door version will be offered or what pricing will be, but the production version of the Charger Daytona SRT will be in showrooms by the end of next year.