Dodge unveils electric muscle car concept Charger Daytona SRT

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept car

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DETROIT — Dodge unveiled a new concept car on Wednesday, the Charger Daytona SRT, as a preview of its first all-electric muscle car, expected in 2024.

The two-door coupe is the first look at what the upcoming vehicle, which will replace Dodge’s current gas-powered Challenger and Charger muscle cars, is expected to look like. The car also features several new technologies designed to make it feel and drive like a traditional muscle car.

“This car, in our opinion, will redefine American power,” said Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis, who is known for his over-the-top vehicles such as the Hellcat models with over 700 horsepower, during a media briefing.

The concept vehicle looks like a futuristic, yet retro version of the current Dodge Challenger with a more aerodynamic, yet muscular design. Most notably, the front has a large opening for air to pass through, which the company calls an “R-Wing.”

The “R-Wing” of the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept car has a Fratzog logo in the center.

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The front wing and the “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust” and “eRupt” multispeed transmission — names befitting “Back to the Future” movies — are patented, according to the company.

The multi-speed transmission and exhaust are particularly unique, as electric vehicles only travel in one “gear” and are relatively quiet apart from the required safety noises.

‘Not a scientific project’

Automakers regularly use concept vehicles to gauge customer interest or to show the future direction of a vehicle or brand. The vehicles are not intended to be sold to consumers.

However, Kuniskis says many of the Charger Daytona SRT’s technologies and design elements are expected to become a production vehicle.

“This is not a science project,” he said. “It looks like a Dodge, sounds like a Dodge and drives like a Dodge.”

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept car

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Kuniskis said electric muscle car production is expected to launch in 2024 with three different performance levels, but will eventually expand to nine. The concept car is equipped with an 800 volt “Banshee” drive system.

Dodge declined to release expected performance stats for the concept car or the yet-to-be-named production muscle car.

The upcoming 2024 EV will replace Dodge’s gasoline-powered Charger and Challenger muscle cars, which the automaker said Monday would be discontinued by the end of 2023.

New technology

According to Kuniskis, the patent-pending technologies are intended to preserve the sound and driveability of Dodge’s current gasoline-powered Charger and Challenger for future all-electric muscle cars.

While EVs can be fast with “linear acceleration” delivering amazing 0-100km/h times, they often lack the driving dynamics that many sporty car owners appreciate. It’s a problem that car executives have been trying to solve privately as the industry moves to EVs.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept car

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“We said, ‘Okay, if it’s going to happen, let’s do it like Dodge,'” Kuniskis said. “We’re not going there to do the same. Dodge will lose our way if we try to do the same as everyone else.”

The concept Charger’s exhaust system, which Kuniskis said is as loud as a Hellcat engine, pushes sound through an amplifier and a tuning chamber at the rear of the vehicle. He compared it to a brass organ with chambers and pipes.

The eRupt technology, he said, is a multi-speed transmission “with electromechanical shifting” that “delivers distinctive shift points” like today’s muscle and performance cars.

According to Stephanie Brinley, principal analyst at S&P Global, the innovations could help maintain both its performance characteristics and its buyers, who have bought millions of Challengers and Chargers over the years.

“It’s exactly what you would expect from a two-door Dodge EV,” she said. “It looks good, it sounds like a role and it’s quite exciting.”

heritage signals

Much of the concept vehicle was inspired by the history of Stellaantis-owned Dodge, officials say. The name itself – Charger Daytona SRT – is made up of nomenclature that Dodge has often used.

The “R-Wing” is inspired by the “nose cone” front end of the 1969-1970 Charger Daytona. And while the current Charger is a four-door vehicle, the original generations from the 1960s onwards were two-door, just like the concept.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept car

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The “Fratzonic” exhaust is a reference to a Dodge logo used from 1962 to 1976, the “Fratzog”, a word invented by a designer. It has a split deltoid muscle made of three arrowhead shapes that form a three-pointed star.

Kuniskis said some design elements and technologies are expected to affect the vehicles’ electric range, but it’s not something Dodge is necessarily concerned about.

“Doesn’t matter, it’s tough…it’s a muscle car,” Kuniskis said.

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