It’s happening… American Muscle gets into the EV Era
The days of powerful American muscle cars with roaring V-8 engines and thunderous exhausts may be coming to an end, but Dodge is determined to keep the spirit alive. With the Charger and Challenger models set to retire after 2023, the American automaker has revealed a new concept vehicle that aims to usher in the next generation of muscle cars.
Introducing the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept, an electric performance coupe that promises to be the future of electrified muscle. Boasting an 800-volt electrical architecture called Banshee, the Daytona SRT is designed to be faster than the iconic Hellcat model.
In addition to its impressive powertrain, the Daytona SRT concept also features a multi-speed transmission, a temporary horsepower boost button, and an “exhaust” system that replicates the iconic sound of a muscle car. These features, along with its sleek and sporty design, make the Daytona SRT Concept the perfect successor to the outgoing Charger and Challenger models.
Dodge is determined to keep the legacy of American muscle cars alive, and the Charger Daytona SRT Concept is the first step in that direction. With this new electric performance coupe, Dodge is proving that the future of muscle cars is electric, and that the spirit of American muscle will live on for years to come.
The heart of the new Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept is its 800-volt electrical architecture, known as Banshee. This high-voltage system is double the voltage of many other electric vehicles, which allows for faster charging, better cooling for the electric motors, and lighter wiring. The Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron GT, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Kia EV6 also use 800-volt architectures.
Dodge has yet to reveal any specific performance or powertrain details for the concept, but the company claims that the Daytona SRT will be faster than its Hellcat V-8–powered cousins “in all key performance measures.” A push-to-pass button called PowerShot will provide a temporary power boost. Unlike its ICE-powered, rear-wheel-drive predecessor, the Daytona SRT is all-wheel drive, demonstrated in true Dodge fashion with a four-wheel burnout from a teaser video posted in July of last year. It will also get six-piston brakes, and regenerative braking will surely be incorporated as well.
For a more authentic muscle car experience, the Daytona SRT will have a multi-speed transmission, which Dodge says will give drivers the feeling of “distinctive shift points.” It is likely an automatic and similar to the Taycan and e-tron GT, which use a two-speed automatic gearbox for improved acceleration and efficiency.
One of the most unique features of the Daytona SRT is its exhaust. Dodge has designed its Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust to amplify the electric motors’ near-silent hum into a 126-decibel cacophony worthy of the SRT badge. The Fratzonic is a variation on Fratzog, the logo featured on Dodge muscle cars in the ’60s and ’70s.
Inspired by the tall wing of the original 1969 Charger Daytona, the first NASCAR vehicle to hit 200 mph, the Daytona SRT has a front opening called the R-Wing. The R-Wing is meant to provide better aerodynamics and enhance downforce, assisted by four intakes on the car’s front and rear. The rest of the exterior, evocative of the original Charger’s shapely silhouette, builds on smooth lines and an athletic stance, though the Daytona SRT’s front and rear lights and overall profile are clearly still an evolution of the current Charger and Challenger.
Despite an unmistakable emphasis on performance and muscle, the Daytona SRT aims to be somewhat practical, too. The interior mockups look sleek and modern, and a hatchback design with fold-flat rear seats should provide ample cargo space. Paddle shifters on either side of the squared-off steering wheel control the PowerShot feature and select one of the Daytona SRT’s multiple drive modes.
The Daytona SRT is an ambitious concept, but whether it can live up to all the claims it makes remains to be seen. A production version of the car could come as early as 2024, and only then will we know whether an electric car can also be a muscle car.