With its basic Charger and Challenger muscle automobiles set to exit of manufacturing on the finish of the 2023 mannequin yr, Dodge could have an enormous void to fill.
However the model isn’t getting out of the efficiency enterprise. It’s simply altering the best way it should ship the numbers. The brand new Dodge Charger Daytona SRT idea gives a touch of what’s coming because it trades its conventional V-8 for battery-electric energy.
A deep, guttural roar erupts from a room off to the aspect of the Stellantis design dome in Auburn Hills, Mich. To followers of basic muscle automobiles, it’s music to the ears and, in years previous, would have signaled the rollout of the newest Dodge muscle automobile. However the efficiency automobile model is pulling the plug on the acquainted Dodge Charger and Challenger fashions subsequent yr.
So, it left the group of journalists gathered for a model background briefing slack-jawed because the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT idea rolled onto the ground. A thinly disguised prototype of the manufacturing mannequin due out in 2024, the Daytona’s “Fratzonic chambered exhaust” produces the identical menacing rumble because the acquainted Hellcat engine. And that’s simply one of many surprises that can include the primary all-electric Dodge muscle automobile.
When the manufacturing coupe arrives in only 2 years, it initially will provide three distinct efficiency ranges. However house owners will be capable of digitally unlock as much as 9 utilizing over-the-air replace expertise, officers have revealed. And so as to add to the basic muscle automobile really feel, the manufacturing mannequin will change into one of many solely all-electric autos to function a multispeed transmission.
All About Angle
“Dodge is about muscle, perspective and efficiency, and the model carries that chip on its shoulder and into the BEV phase by means of an idea loaded with patents, improvements, and efficiency options that embody the electrified muscle of tomorrow,” mentioned Dodge model boss Tim Kuniskis.
In the course of the background session final week, Kuniskis acknowledged that Dodge discovered itself in a troublesome place just a few years in the past. Whereas there are nonetheless loyal consumers for the Charger sedan and Challenger coupe, demand has been steadily sliding.
“No one desires automobiles anymore,” he mentioned, including, “As quick because the flip to utility autos occurred, one thing even quicker was coming, the flip to electrification.”
The 2023 mannequin yr will see Dodge introduce its first battery-based mannequin, the brand new compact Hornet crossover provided with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain on the dearer R/T package deal. However with it now time to interchange the long-in-the-tooth Charger and Challenger fashions, model officers determined it was time to take an actual threat.
The Charger Daytona SRT exhibits what’s coming. Formally, it’s only a idea car, however Kuniskis and different officers all however confirmed that what you see is just about what you’ll get in 2024.
No ‘Science Undertaking’
“This isn’t a science mission,” mentioned Kuniskis. “Some idea automobiles are. This isn’t.”
The all-electric muscle automobile picks up on quite a lot of basic Dodge design cues, although they’re blended with some decidedly trendy options. The lengthy nostril is a paean to the legendary Dodge Daytona hatchback, for one factor. And whereas the outgoing Charger is a sedan, the idea returns to the nameplate’s two-door previous.
“There’s a brutality” to the looks, instructed designer Jeff Gale.
Lengthy, low, broad, and menacing, the Daytona Charger provides particulars we’ve come to anticipate from trendy battery-electric autos like flush, pop-out door handles, and entrance and rear lightbars highlighting the triangular Dodge brand.
There’s additionally the entrance “R-wing” that provides a basic contact whereas balancing each high-speed dealing with and range-extending aerodynamics. And with the battery pack and motors mounted under the load ground, the Daytona’s wheels have been moved additional out to the corners than any earlier Dodge mannequin. Then add the all-new Banshee fender badges that can be used for future, all-electric Dodge muscle automobiles.
A True Muscle Automobile
Although the Daytona has a 25% decrease aerodynamic drag than the present Charger, “That is no melted jellybean,” like so many trendy EVs, instructed Kuniskis. “It seems like a real muscle automobile.”
That carries over to the within. Sure, there are the requisite LCD screens, a completely digital gauge cluster, and a large infotainment touchscreen. You may even add a big head-up show.
However the idea options aggressively styled sport seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. There’s a completely programmable ambient “Angle Adjustment Lighting” system that enhances the menacing persona.
Among the many trick touches, a jet-style cowl pops as much as reveal the Daytona’s “Launch” ignition button. And it will get a pistol grip shifter. And that’s one of many locations the place the all-electric coupe actually distinguishes itself.
Specs TBD, However Anticipate It to Be Fast
Dodge officers are being coy in terms of drivetrain specifics. They’ve hinted that the manufacturing mannequin will provide a number of motor configurations and a minimum of two totally different battery pack choices. The Daytona idea is all-wheel-drive, and that seems to be the place all future variations of the manufacturing automobile go, as effectively.
If nothing else, electrical motors can churn out gobs of horsepower and torque. The Tesla Mannequin S Plaid and the Lucid Air Dream Efficiency version each make greater than 1,000 horsepower and might launch from 0 to 60 in only 2 seconds.
Kuniskis sidestepped repeated questions concerning the Daytona’s numbers, although he cautioned that Dodge gained’t essentially goal to be the quickest off the road, a minimum of not when the sunshine modifications. Working the quarter-mile may very well be one other matter.
Considerably, he indicated the Daytona can be “track-ready,” that means it should ship peak energy lap after lap, in contrast to many present EVs that shortly begin to wheeze.
As much as 9 Energy Ranges
Daytona additionally contains a new PowerShot button — a lot the identical as discovered on the brand new Hornet R/T. Press it and also you get an instantaneous, albeit quick, burst of extra energy for passing, whether or not on the road or the monitor.
Initially, the manufacturing Daytona can be out there with three manufacturing facility energy ranges. However consumers will then be capable of order from a complete of 9 by means of Dodge’s Direct Connection net service. They’ll be routinely downloaded utilizing the muscle coupe’s over-the-air replace expertise.
“It’s all concerning the driving expertise,” the model boss instructed GearJunkie after the formal preview ended. And Dodge is including a number of distinctive options to reinforce that have.
An EV With an Exhaust and a Multispeed Gearbox
That begins the second you hit the Launch button, the Daytona responding with a Hellcat-like 126-decibel roar.
“Whereas most BEVs embrace their just about silent electrical motors, that simply wouldn’t do for Dodge,” the automaker mentioned in an announcement describing the bizarre system.
“The industry-first Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust pushes its one-of-a-kind efficiency sound by means of an amplifier and tuning chamber positioned on the rear of the car. The Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust represents the following era of tactile, bone-shaking, muscle perspective, making a visceral “Darkish Matter” sound profile expertise.”
And it’s paired with the Daytona’s eRupt Transmission. With uncommon exception — notably the all-electric Porsche Taycan — EVs depend on single-speed gearboxes. Whereas electrical motors can deal with prime revs that even Components One groups would envy, this can improve efficiency and in addition assist enhance vitality effectivity, in response to Dodge engineers.
It additionally provides the visceral punch muscle automobile followers are accustomed to, added Kuniskis, noting that eRupt expertise will carry over into manufacturing.
Extra to Come, Together with Pricing
Whereas Dodge is being circumspect in terms of powertrain particulars, the model chief did be aware that the Charger Daytona will initially use a 400-volt electrical structure. However it should add an upgraded 800-volt possibility that, he indicated, will enhance each efficiency and charging speeds. It’s not clear how lengthy after launch the improve can be launched.
The exact timing of the manufacturing Charger Daytona has but to be revealed, together with pricing. However it ought to present up in Dodge showrooms earlier than the top of 2024. Pricing, mentioned Kuniskis, is “TBD.”