Dodge unveiled an EV concept on Wednesday 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 is a nod to the 200-mph NASCAR track milestone of its gas-powered ancestor — isn’t just a design exercise, according to the Stellantis brand. Unveiled at M1Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan during the Dodge Speed Week event series, the Charger EV concept is kind of a placeholder for the production version coming in 2024. Dodge has been talking about this day since last summer, but now consumers are beginning to see exactly what the automaker has in mind.
It’s unclear how much of the concept shown on Wednesday will make it to the final production version. A company spokesperson did tell TechCrunch that “we’re calling it a concept…it’s 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 pricing details. It shared many specs and design details, clearly using some of the original Dodge Charger DNA.
Dodge highlights three main areas 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 electromechanical 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 makes it as loud as a Hellcat-powered Dodge by pushing sound through an amplifier and a tuning chamber at the rear of the vehicle.
Tim Kuniskis, CEO of the Dodge brand under Stellaantis, didn’t mince words in a statement when he said, “Loader Daytona does more than determine where Dodge is going, it will redefine American muscle in the process.”
That’s an ambitious goal, and the bar for Dodge’s success seems to start with the upcoming EV that surpasses the power, performance and sound of the gasoline-powered Dodge SRT Hellcat.
Like its gas-powered brethren, the powertrain in the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept even gets special branding. The 800v propulsion system, called Banshee, makes the EV faster than a Hellcat in all key performance metrics, according to Dodge. The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept also has standard four-wheel drive and a push button on the steering wheel called PowerShot that will produce an extra punch of power.
Dodge pulled back from its past when it designed the Charger EV concept, even though it has many modern elements, such as the R-wing, a more aerodynamic shape and the panoramic glass roof. Some of the historic kinks include a white illuminated three-point Fratzog decal originally used on the Dodge muscle cars from 1962 to 1976. Then there’s the front grille with its vertical details reminiscent of the 1968 Dodge Charger. The automaker’s designers took that 1968 grille design and extended the interior textures as well.
Inside the vehicle are many of the modern details expected in a new EV, including a 12.3-inch center screen, a curved 16-inch instrument panel and an 8-by-3-inch Head-up Display (HUD).