Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

This week has been a bit bittersweet for Mopar fans. Some great variants and options for the Charger, Challenger and Durango are making a comeback, but mostly because those first two models are only a little over a year old in production. Dodge hopes to cheer people up with this one, the Charger Daytona SRT Concept, which is a preview of the future of the brand’s electric muscle cars. We think the fans will be happy enough.

The design is based without apology on the second generation Dodge Charger introduced for 1968. Dodge says it is “subtle”. I thought we’re not sure if Dodge knows what “thin” means, which people there would probably take as a compliment. In any case, the car looks good. It has the same boxy shape, large raised rear fenders and three-volume roofline as the classic model. It also has the large rectangular front grille and only two doors. Dodge is quite proud of the nose. The grille does not open to any type of powertrain. Instead, it’s an aerodynamic passthrough, which allows for low drag, but with a classic design. It is this aerodynamic nod that led to the concept being named after the special Charger Daytona homologation aerodynamicist. And the bridge on the front that provides the classic look is called the “R-Wing”.

The exterior also features some very smooth 21-inch center-lock wheels with turbine-inspired details. They are wrapped in 305mm tires at the front and 325mm tires at the rear. And they are stopped by six-piston brake calipers. The Charger Daytona also hides a sedan, making it extremely practical.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept

Moving inside, the design is actually quite grounded in reality. There are some slightly conceptual design flourishes like the highly sculpted texture with ambient lighting that wraps around the doors, as well as the slotted, sliding center console, which is actually somewhat reminiscent of that of the Chrysler Turbine Car. But the large screens (16 inches for the instrumentation, 12.3 for the infotainment and 8.3 for the HUD), leather trim and overall layout are all extremely plausible for a production car. Some other fun touches that are also plausible are the modern version of the pistol grip gearbox and the starter button placed under a safety cover like a jet fighter.

Dodge is still keeping quiet about the powertrain details, but has shared some interesting parts. The powertrain uses an 800-volt electrical system called the “Banshee”, which inspired the “screaming banshee” badges on the bumpers. This should allow it to handle fast charging of up to 350 kW. Dodge also claimed that the Charger Daytona is all-wheel drive and faster than a current Hellcat. It gets a PowerShot overboost button like the newly revealed hornet, which can be used at any time. Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis noted that this concept is “not a science project” and is previewing future models that will launch in 2024. Dodge reps also noted that there will be multi-release versions of this powertrain. along with probably 400-level basic volt versions. Plans are also in place for Direct Connection aftermarket updates.

In addition to these key details, there are a couple of other unusual mechanical features for the Charger Daytona SRT. One of them is the inclusion of a multi-speed transmission. No details were given on how many ratios or how the gearbox works. It wouldn’t be the first multi-speed transmission in an EV, as the Porsche Taycan has a two-speed setup, but that’s going to be unusual nonetheless. And Kuniskis said the only real reason is because the car’s team liked the feel of the gear changes when driving hard.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept

Continuing with that theme is the Fratzonic chamber exhaust system. Kuniskis pointed out that this is not just an external speaker system. It is actually a system of pipes with various chambers tuned to make noise, presumably with air being pumped through it. Basically like a brass instrument or as Kuniskis compared it, a pipe organ. It is tied to information such as speed, throttle input, and other information. Dodge proved it for us, and it sounded surprisingly good, with hints of the V8’s turbine and rumble, with a bit of a rasp on the high end. It is also loud, with a volume of up to 126 decibels, the same as the exhaust from a Hellcat. And like the multi-speed transmission, it’s just there to add to the experience.

Dodge wouldn’t say if the Charger Daytona SRT went into production as a similar model of its own. It implied that this was a preview of a couple of muscle car variants that will launch in 2024. We imagine it will be a split product basically like the current Charger and Challenger, with one as a four-door and the other as a two-door. And we would expect those products to be strongly inspired by this concept, which already does not seem far from production feasibility. We are definitely excited to try them out in a few years.

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