Dodge says its future electric cars will be hard for speed shops to hack

Dodge claims that speed shops and performance ‘tuners’ will have a harder time getting more power from the US brand’s future electric vehicles – allowing the company to take advantage of its own suite of internal upgrades.

Dodge plans to make it harder for independent speed shops to get more power from its future electric cars, effectively forcing customers looking to go faster to spend money on the US automaker’s in-house upgrades.

In an interview with an American publication autoscopes, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said the US company’s future electric cars are not impossible to customize by independent mechanics and speed shops — but customers would be strongly encouraged to get upgrades through the Dodge dealer network.

“We don’t want to lock the cars and say you can’t modify them,” said Mr Kuniskis car scoops at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.

“We just want to lock them in and say they need to be changed through us so we know it’s done right.”

Mr. Kuniskis believes that car dealers will lose revenue from electric cars because battery-powered vehicles require less ongoing maintenance compared to petrol and diesel vehicles, forcing companies to recoup lost revenues by offering exclusive customizations.

In August, Dodge unveiled the Charger Daytona SRT Concept—a preview of the company’s electric muscle cars that will replace the current V8-powered Challenger coupe and Charger sedan.

As reported last week, Dodge has proposed three basic performances for the production-ready electric charger – two versions with 400-volt power systems (a 340 kW entry-level model and a 440 kW mid-range) plus a flagship 800-volt model to be called the SRT Banshee.

Dodge will sell “eStage 1 and eStage 2” power upgrades to electric car buyers through its ‘Direct Connection’ performance parts business, increasing the electric charger’s power from 340 kW to 370 kW or 400 kW, while spec 440 kW variant can be boosted to 470 kW or 500 kW.

According to Mr. Kuniskis, these power upgrades can only be accessed when owners use a “crystal” key to start their car, which is linked to a car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) – keeping the upgrades with the car if it is sold to a new one. owner.

The factory-backed modifications will be available exclusively through Dodge’s dealer network, which executives say could increase the value of cars equipped with the upgrades.

The electric Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept

Dodge’s in-house modification approach is increasingly common in today’s high-tech cars.

Last month, Ford engineer Ed Krenz said the new Mustang’s advanced electrical architecture will make it “much harder” for smaller workshops and aftermarket tuners to unlock and tweak the engine software.

Ford’s new electrical architecture can disable certain components or the entire car if it detects an authentication “break” — such data modified without permission by independent mechanics, speed shops or engine “tuners.”

It can often take months or years for tuners to “crack” a new car’s engine management system — and its built-in encryption software — to make unauthorized changes, although Mr Krenz believes the new Ford Mustang will add another layer of complexity.

While Ford has said it is “open to working with tuners looking to customize vehicles,” the American auto giant is expected to offer its own performance customizations through its internal Ford Performance division.

Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach was born in Canberra/Ngunnawal and currently lives in Brisbane/Turrbal. Jordan joined the Drive team in 2022 and previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Described as an iRacing addict, Jordan can be found behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane on weekends.

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