Dodge is going electric. America’s most gasoline-soaked automaker has spent 2022 preparing its faithful for the big shift as the Brotherhood of Muscle switches from V8s to volts.
The Charger and Challenger are on the way out, set for retirement at the end of the 2023 model year. Each gets a series of Last Call special editions, then its place in the history books.
This summer, Dodge showed off a concept car illustrating the sort of electric vehicles (EVs) that will take their places. The Charger Daytona SRT Concept wears the same blocky muscular look as a long lineage of Dodge muscle cars. But it’s powered by electrons instead of explosions.
Last week, the world got its second look at the car, along with the first set of specifications hinting at what it can do.
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Now in red, maybe in dealerships
The setting is SEMA 2022 – the Las Vegas convention of the Specialty Equipment Market Association – where automakers and aftermarket parts suppliers display wildly modified concept cars that show off all the creative enhancements they’ll offer the world’s tuner shops.
A caveat — Dodge hasn’t officially said the Challenger Daytona concept would make it to production. So we can’t formally promise that the car you see above will appear on dealership lots. But it’s more polished than many concept cars, so we suspect something much like it will reach sales lots in the next few years.
This time, it will appear in Stryker Red on matte black wheels.
Muscle-car enthusiasts got a glimpse of Dodge’s new all-electric concept car amid its plans to retire the Challenger and Charger models, known for their loud and powerful engines, by 2023. Photo: Carlos Osorio/Associated Press
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Three power levels, each with upgrades
More importantly, Dodge provided some performance details.
At the concept’s debut, Dodge said it could be offered in nine possible configurations. The company will bring three to SEMA.
They include, Dodge says, two 400-volt versions making 456-horsepower edition and 590 horsepower, and “an as-yet-unannounced, factory-delivered, power-level 800-volt SRT Banshee powertrain package.”
A series of upgrade packages, called eStage 1 and 2, could be offered as over-the-air downloads on each, Dodge says. They would provide horsepower boosts creating three steps for each power level.
The company hasn’t said how many electric motors the Daytona uses. Many automakers offer multiple power levels for their electric cars by adding more motors as prices rise. If Dodge follows that method, the low end may be a rear-wheel-drive model with just one electric motor on the rear axle. More powerful models may be all-wheel drive, with one per axle. But we’re speculating.
The company offered no details on range or charging times.
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Still tuning that exhaust note
Dodge made clear that the Daytona is still in development.
The car features the first exhaust system fitted to an electric car. It’s a series of chambered pipes underneath that use actual airflow to produce sound rather than the external speakers some EVs use.
Dodge planned to solicit feedback from attendees at the SEMA show on just what noise the car’s unique “fratzonic” chambered exhaust system should make. At its August debut, we found the note a bit too high for our tastes, so we’re happy to hear that it’s still subject to change.
This story originally ran on KBB.com.