Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept previews a wild electric roadmap

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Dodge has staked its claim as a muscle car brand. Its Charger and Challenger have carried muscle car looks and performance since the mid-2000s. That’s not going to change in the brand’s electric future as shown by the Charger Daytona SRT Concept the brand showed on Wednesday.

The last news from Dodge’s Speed Week in Pontiac, Michigan, is the biggest. Dodge says the Charger Daytona Concept is a preview of things to come, and if any of us were worried that the brand’s electric cars would be boring, that’s no longer a concern.

The Charger Daytona Concept has three features sure to attract attention: an aerodynamic front wing called the R-Wing, a new “exhaust system” to provide a signature sound called the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust (starts at 1:55 in the video above), and the eRupt multi-speed transmission. That’s not to mention a sleek, sexy look that is certain to appeal to traditional Dodge muscle car buyers.

Dodge chose the name Charger Daytona in honor of the first car that went 200 mph on a racetrack, the basket-handled 1970 Charger Daytona of NASCAR fame. While Dodge isn’t providing power specifications, the company says its new Banshee electric powertrain will provide all-wheel drive and help the car outperform Hellcat models in all key measurements. We take that to mean at least two motors, if not more, that team up to make 800 hp or more. Dodge isn’t sharing battery size, either, but said the car has an 800-volt electrical architecture, which will allow fast DC charging times, likely in excess of 200 kw.

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

While most EVs have single-speed transmissions because electric power doesn’t need different gear ratios (the Porsche Taycan has a 2-speed transmission), the Charger Daytona Concept has a “multi-speed” transmission with electro-mechanical shifting to provide distinct shift points that will push occupants’ shoulders into the seat backs, according to Dodge. The car also has a “PowerShot push-to-pass” button on the steering wheel that will increase horsepower to provide a burst of acceleration.

Dodge will also provide a gas-engine sound with its Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust. The system sends its proprietary sound through an amplifier and tuning chamber at the back of the car to push out as much as 126 dB, equal to the sound of a Hellcat. How it’s classified as an exhaust system is yet to be explained, but Dodge says it has a “Dark Matter” sound profile.

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Since performance is yet to be defined, the Charger Daytona’s biggest draw thus far is its design. A two-door hatchback, the car is a modern interpretation of the beloved 1968 Charger in much the same way the current Challenger apes the 1970 Challenger. The nose takes on the blunt, blacked-out look of the ’68 Charger while incorporating the R-Wing, a flow-through opening at the top of the nose that provides front downforce. The R-Wing leads to a sculpted hood with a central bulge that looks like it’s there to make way for a pair of Holley double-pumpers. Carbon-fiber intakes at the lower corners of the front and rear fascias aid aerodynamics by creating air curtains.

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

The nose also sports an illuminated “Fratzog” badge, which appeared on Dodge cars from 1962 to ’76. While Dodge said it had no meaning back then, the brand claims it now represents Dodge’s electrified future. Slim headlights sit at the edges of the nose and the whole front end has a ringed lighting signature that’s echoed in red at the rear similar to the current Charger.

The slab-sided body has very little ornamentation, just a smooth look with a Coke-bottle shape, flush door handles, Banshee fender badges, and Greys of Thunder paint for a graphite look. The car sits on 21-inch wheels with a turbine-like design and Fratzog logo center caps. Six-piston calipers peek out from under the wheels.

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

Dodge Charger Daytona Concept

The Charger Daytona SRT Concept has a black cabin like the current Challenger, but it’s ringed with red lighting that flows into the doors and extends to the center console. Occupants sit on four well-bolstered racing-inspired seats with carbon-fiber backs. Blue and silver accent stitching trims the seats and other elements of the cabin. Carbon-fiber covers the floor and door sills, which have illuminated Daytona lettering, and graphics throughout the cabin provide a circuit-board aesthetic. The lightning bolt on the throttle pedal is a nod to the electric power, while a pistol-grip shifter plays off Dodge’s muscle car past. A steering wheel with a flat top and bottom and paddle shifters adds a sporty touch.

A button on the steering wheel provides access to Auto, Sport, Track, and Drag driving modes that change the dynamics, instrument cluster information, HUD information, sound, and interior lighting.

The dash features a 16.0-inch curved digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch center touchscreen that’s angled toward the driver. The tech continues with an 8×3-inch head-up display. The doors and steering wheel have capacitive-touch controls. A panoramic sunroof opens up what would otherwise be a dark cabin, and the hatchback design opens up useful storage space.

A production version of the Charger Daytona SRT Concept is due in 2024, possibly as a replacement for the current Charger and Challenger, which are due to end production after 2023. It’s expected to ride on Stellantis’ new STLA Large dedicated EV architecture. Just how close it will look to this concept car isn’t known, but if the current Charger is any indication, it should be very similar, if not identical.

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