Dodge is creating the EV drag racer of the future

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept is the perfect preview of the brand’s all-electric muscle car future. Important for Dodge customers and muscle car fans: the EV drives like a Dodge, looks and feels just like any other Dodge. Three new patent-pending features are at the heart of what sets the Charger Daytona SRT Concept apart.

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The three new patent-pending features for Dodge

The first feature is an aerodynamic R-Wing up front that helps maintain Dodge’s signature Muscle Car profile while improving aerodynamic efficiency. Next up is the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust – an industry first electric vehicle exhaust system that creates the performance sound to rival the SRT Hellcat. The third new feature is the eRupt multi-speed transmission that includes an electro-mechanical shifter powered by an 800-volt Banshee propulsion system. If you don’t speak automotive, this is a pioneering use of EV power, while also being a nod to a nostalgic stick-shift past. More on that in a minute.

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The design also references previous Dodge sports concepts, but has been updated to a modern shape. The grille and taillights feature illuminated Fratzog badging to symbolize Dodge’s electrified future and the brand’s commitment to its heritage. The vertical details of the exterior grille are reminiscent of the styling of the 1968 Dodge Charger Concept.

Front view of the Daytona SRT with sleek design

Interior of the performance EV

Inside, the interior is more modern and lighter. The driver-oriented cockpit is retained. The parametric texture of the interior is also inspired by the 1968 Charger grille. A fighter jet-inspired hood on the center console flips up to activate the starter button. The shifter is shaped like a pistol grip but has a modern style.

Meanwhile, the roof is fitted with panoramic glass, which is definitely a more modern element. Folding rear seats and a hatchback provide more storage space. We like the modern take on a hatch that blends seamlessly into a passenger car’s design because it’s more accessible and attractive.

Red interior of the Daytona SRT concept car

Driving characteristics for the electric Daytona SRT

So, how does it drive? The concept has Auto, Sport, Track and Drag modes, which change the driving dynamics, display graphics, sound and interior lighting. That should tell you that this car is ready to fight. The Sport mode in any luxury EV is often enough to pull your socks off or rearrange your lunch, so we’re eagerly awaiting what the Track and Drag modes will do. This concept also has a PowerShot button that gives you extra power to overtake people on the road. There’s more than enough power and finely tuned racing dynamics for an inner-city drag race.

This car has two doors, making it perfect for a car enthusiast ready to embrace the future and the past, along with some serious driving chops. EVs have all operated in one gear until now, because traditional gears are unnecessary when electric motors deliver so much instantaneous power to the wheels. However, we all knew the day would come when a car would produce so much power that it could use other gears, or replicate the fun driving experience of traditional stick-shift sports cars. Whatever this Dodge concept does, it should be a Hellcat experience.

This longtime automotive tech journalist once drove a Challenger on a closed circuit up to 215 miles per hour on the first straight without breaking a sweat. (To be clear, the writer broke into a sweat. The car didn’t.) With electric vehicles starting to offer equal or greater power, acceleration, and range than traditional combustion vehicles, the Dodge Charger EV concept should give us a taste of what what electric cars are really capable of, and how we don’t have to give up the best elements of sports cars to be sustainable.

Side view of the concept EV

The future of powerful electric cars

We look forward to a screamingly fun EV future where we all drive a little bit faster, not some monochromatic autonomous nanny society where our range is always exhausting. The future of EVs is fun.

How do we know this? Because brands like Dodge are embracing the creation of “exhaust” systems that can gradually transform into a car culture that likes the sound of a blazing fast EV engine for its own merits, without dropping the most nostalgic elements of our automotive past. As auto brands begin to create EVs that reflect the automotive culture’s historic past and provide a fun glimpse into the future potential of EVs, the future of EVs will appeal to both sustainability and the car enthusiast. You can’t win them all, but Dodge is definitely going for it.

“The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept exists because performance drove us to do it,” said Tim Kuniskis, Chief Executive Officer of the Dodge brand – Stellantis. “Dodge is all about muscle, attitude and performance, and the brand carries that chip on its shoulder and into the BEV segment through a concept brimming with patents, innovations and performance features that embody the electrified muscle of tomorrow. The Charger Daytona SRT Concept can run more than the auto show circuit; it can run a blazing fast quarter mile. And when it comes to product cycles, it’s faster than Darwin. Charger Daytona does more than define where Dodge is going, it will redefine American power in the process.

For once, American auto industry, we agree with you. That’s not a blunder or PR hype, that’s just the future. The 800-volt Banshee drive system in this Dodge concept is the first Dodge electric vehicle to outperform a Hellcat in all major performance metrics, which is a 710-horsepower Durango in case you’re keeping score. If you haven’t driven a down-and-dirty Dodge lately, that’s plenty fast enough.

+ Dodge

Images via Stellantis

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