- Dodge finally reveals its first battery electric vehicle.
- The Charger Daytona SRT Concept has everything you expect in a Dodge muscle car.
- Yes, that includes an exhaust pipe. No, we're not kidding.
For a brand so strongly associated with gas-guzzling cars and SUVs, it was understandably shocking when Dodge announced plans to go full EV in the near future. But now that the automaker has unveiled its all-new, all-electric Charger Daytona SRT Concept, we're convinced that the vehicle will look, feel and — oh yes — even sound like a Dodge when a production version hits dealerships in the not-so-distant future.
That's right, Dodge created an EV with an exhaust pipe. The so-called Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust uses an amplifier to approximate engine noise — no doubt added to appease Dodge diehards who enjoy the fire and fury of a Hellcat exhaust note. Indeed, the automaker notes the sound emitted measures as high as 126 decibels, or about as loud as a Hellcat. The Charger Daytona SRT Concept also features a multi-speed transmission and a front aerodynamic wing meant to retain the signature profile of the two-door Dodge Challenger.
The Daytona is not the first electric vehicle to feature a multi-speed transmission (the Porsche Taycan is the most notable to feature one), but the one you'll find in the Dodge is described as "an electro-mechanical shifting experience." The automaker refers to the transmission as "eRupt" and says the shift points are meant to simulate the pause-thrust effect you get in a gasoline vehicle. Like the upcoming 2023 Dodge Hornet, the concept is equipped with the PowerShot feature, which provides a temporary overboost for even quicker acceleration than normal.
There are many winks, nods and throwback elements throughout the vehicle that will be familiar to Dodge fanatics. Of note are illuminated Fratzog badges on the front grille and taillamp, a callback to a logo first used on a 1962 Polara.
The name of the battery architecture — at 800 volts, the concept would be able to fully utilize the quickest DC fast chargers currently available — is itself a wink and a nod: "Banshee." That was a rumored code name for a V8 engine back in the late 2010s ... or a recurring vehicle in the Grand Theft Auto video game series that looks an awful lot like a Dodge Viper. Who can say?
The two-door Daytona concept features a panoramic glass roof, which remains in vogue for electric vehicles (see: Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y). Dodge also noted the rear seats fold flat, which will no doubt improve storage — though perhaps it's surprising that the vehicle doesn't come in four-door configuration.
Drivers will be able to engage Auto, Sport, Track and Drag modes from the steering wheel. There's currently no mention of launch control, though the existence of the PowerShot feature suggests launch control would be included on a production version of this concept.
We knew Dodge would, inevitably, be dragged kicking and screaming into the future. Perhaps it was more inevitable still that it would insist on coming into the future on its own terms.