The bastion of large and noisy engines continues to crumble. It was no secret that Dodge was working on an all-electric muscle car to carry the Charger name into the future. We’re now a step closer to that inevitability, previewed by the freshly unveiled Dodge Charger Dayton SRT Concept.
This unmistakably Dodge creation dressed to kill is meant to feature an all-electric powertrain under its chiselled proportions. The American marque has a clever line to justify its transition to electric: Performance made us do it. Given that all the top hypercar performance figures in the world today use electric motors, especially to dominate the drag strips, they’re not wrong.
Details of this all-powerful electric propulsion system are scarce, except that it will be all-wheel-drive as standard, use an 800V electric architecture, and it will be quicker than the 797hp Hellcat in every aspect. Dodge also has a new name for its upcoming line of extreme electric muscle, more powerful than the badges that came before it (like Hellcat and Redeye): Banshee.
There can be many interpretations behind this nomenclature. The word itself is defined as the noun for a spirit whose wailing warns of the death of a loved one. One can surmise that the term symbolises noise and loss. Dodge is losing its iconically noisy V8 performance engines with the transition to electric, and the new moniker could be referring to that.
An EV with an exhaust?!
Or, it could be referring to a future of EVs where the performance car from Dodge stands out as the loud one. This brings us to the coolest trick up the rear end of the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept — the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust. The manufacturer is getting a bit loose with the automotive terminology here (like Porsche who still uses the Turbo variant name for its top-spec Taycan EV which, of course, does not use one), but there is some logic to it.
The system is located at the rear of the vehicle and is designed to emit performance sounds of up to 126 dB, a lot like an exhaust minus the harmful gases. Dodge is working on a distinctive sound profile for its range of electric muscle, which while artificial, might just be more appreciated than the UFO-style whoosh noises engineered by most other brands in the electric-performance segment.
Another cool feature Dodge is promising for its performance range of EVs is a multi-speed transmission called eRupt with electro-mechanical shifting. Unlike the two-speed gearbox in sports EVs like the Porsche Taycan, Dodge’s system will have more and promises to offer an experience closer to conventional gear shifts. The Charger Daytona SRT Concept also has a “boost” button, called PowerShot, a push-to-pass feature.
While the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept is quick to establish a visual presence that is hard to ignore, there is a lot more to unpack when you get into the details.
The front end is where things are most exciting with a distinctive aerodynamic element called the R-Wing. It pays homage to the nose of the original Charger Daytona but is more aerodynamically effective on the electric concept here. The triangular Fratzog logo takes centre stage in the bonnet-wing. There are carbon fibre intakes tucked into both sides of the front bumper further assisting the performance package.
The grille design and the logo are illuminated, highlighting its impressive width in the dark. Look at it from above and you can notice the bulge in the centre of the bonnet, one that used to indicate the presence of a large supercharger.
In profile, the Charger Daytona SRT Concept features smooth lines and sculpted surfaces. Unlike the outgoing road car wearing the Charger moniker, this concept is closer to the original as a long-body two-door fastback. The only proportions that irk me are the rear, that tail should have been longer like the one on the 1968 Charger since there are other design aspects inspired by the same.
From this angle, we also get a good look at the turbine-styled 21-inch wheels with the Fratzog logo brightly visible on the centre locks. They and the Brembo brake callipers offer a nice contrast to the otherwise dark silhouette of its design.
Looking at its rear end, head-on, suggests nothing but squatted muscle. Its wide-track wheels seem to be bulging out of the bodywork, wide as it is, and the tail end just ties it all together. The taillight section mirrors the front of the old Charger with the vertical slats, its outline illuminated with the Fratzog icon in the centre.
The bumper is chunky but each end features large openings for that performance-oriented look. At the bottom, there is a diffuser-like design element that houses the Fratzonic “exhaust” and is marked as such.
Simple, practical, engaging: A typical muscle car interior
The electric Charger is a four-seater. The cockpit is a blend of futuristic and conventional, highlighted by the ominous red ambient lighting stretching across the front door cards and the dashboard. Dodge calls it Attitude Adjustment Lighting (wonder if they got clearance to use that term from John Cena and the WWE).
There are two key displays in this futuristic EV cabin: the 16-inch curved digital driver’s display, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen interface angled towards the driver for the infotainment and various powertrain modes. The concept has no door handles, but those controls are housed under the upholstery surface, backlit to be seen when needed. It has a relatively conventional steering wheel, chunky and wrapped in some form of leather, with touch-based controls and a backlit SRT badge in the middle.
The console tunnel between the front seats accommodates a drive selector fashioned to mimic a pistol-grip. Behind the stick, we have a fighter jet-styled cover for the start button, its inside is engraved with the letters ‘LAUNCH’. It would have been cooler if that were the button for the push-to-pass PowerShot system. But this is about as American as it could get for just one part of the console design: guns and jets. I’m surprised they don’t get Maverick to be the spokesperson for this one.
In its concept form, the Dodge Charger Daytona’s cabin has an ultraviolet theme with plenty of blue accents to highlight its electrified nature. There are elements of visible carbon fibre to indicate its racing DNA while others are somewhat hidden such as the tub and the hatch panel. It also comes with lightweight seats for the sporty cabin and the panoramic glass roof makes it feel roomier.
Dodge also states that this design also allows for more luggage space than any previous muscle car from the same brand. Add an extra tick for practicality. Like the current Charger, this electric one will allow you to drop the kids off in the morning, carpool to work, and stop at the drag strip on the way back before finally pulling up and plugging it in at home without a worry.
When’s it coming?
Well, assuming the world doesn’t spiral into any more global crisis, the production-spec Dodge electric muscle car should debut in 2023 with a US-market launch in 2024. While we will mourn the loss of the big V8s for time, there are positive signs that the spirit of American muscle cars will be carried through to the electric era.
What do you make of the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept? Are you also a fan of its looks and looking forward to hearing that EV “exhaust” system? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons blog for more cool updates from the car world. You can also follow us on Instagram for more automotive content.