At least the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Banshee electric muscle car concept does. It is the formal introduction to Stellaantis NV brand enthusiasts of the vision for premium equipment for Dodge’s battery-electric muscle car that will enter production in 2024 after the Challenger and Charger, as they were known, disappear after 2023.
Muscle defined Dodge’s performance image. While EVs have shown themselves to be fast and deliver peak torque instantly, muscle fans, especially those who love the roar of a supercharged V-8, have been skeptical. With government regulations requiring better fuel economy and cleaner vehicles, Dodge has to take a turn and find a way to stay true to what its enthusiasts adore and differentiate itself from the competition.
“We can watch streaming videos at home and say we’re not a part of it,” Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said of the electric shift ahead of the vehicle’s unveiling during the third and final day of “Speed Week” of the brand. ” festivities at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac. “The party has begun. The band is booked. This is happening, so we said, ‘Okay, if it’s going to happen, let’s go there like Dodge. Let’s ruin this party and do it differently from everyone else.'”
Forget silent EVs. Dodge chose the Banshee name for the sound of its production-patented “Fratzonic” exhaust system, an exhaust system that, instead of emitting pollutants, moves air like a pipe organ through an amplifier and tuning chamber. Through an exhaust pipe, the system projects a sinister growl and a buzzing scream at the 126-decibel rpm—as loud as the Hellcat’s vroom.
“We think we’re going to be part of the market that people probably don’t see coming,” Kuniskis said, “but they will definitely hear it coming.”
Like the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron, the Banshee has a transmission, a patented “eRupt” multi-speed system with electromechanical shifting. And to improve the aerodynamics of the current vehicle by 25%, Dodge pulled from the history books the nosecone design of the Charger Daytona, which in 1970 became the first vehicle to break 200 mph on a NASCAR track, banning it.
The Banshee adds a patented “R-Wing” to the front of the vehicle in honor of Gary Romberg, the rocket scientist who designed the ’70s racer, to make it look like a more traditional muscle car.
It’s a long, low two-door charger – not the current charger’s four doors – with a new large hatch in a “Greys of Thunder” exterior paint. As teased before, the Banshee marks the return of the Dodge Fratzog logo from the ’60s and ’70s, illuminated on the ’68 charger-inspired grille and taillight. Carbon fiber intakes on the front and rear of the lower fascias also help with aerodynamics. There is no frunk on this EV.
“It looks like a real muscle car, aerodynamic like a full BEV,” Kuniskis said, “but not melted jellybean.”
Lenny Melton, 44, of Charlotte, North Carolina, who is in town for Roadkill Nights and the Woodward Dream Cruise, agreed, “It’s great,” he said. “It looks like a muscle car should look like.”
Dodge keeps the performance figures a secret, although it says they exceed the Hellcat engine. There were no details about the range or time from 0 to 60 mph and little information about the battery. The Banshee is an 800-volt propulsion system, although Dodge plans to offer three power levels, including a 400-volt option, Kuniskis said.