Updated Dodge Charger Daytona EV Debuts At SEMA – And There’s More To Love

The all-electric version of the Dodge Charger lands in Las Vegas this week at the SEMA Show and, in addition to making some changes to the battery vehicle, the muscle car brand has released some intriguing new details.

Dodge shows off the all-electric Charger Daytona SRT Concept, shown in a new Stryker Red exterior color, at this year’s SEMA Show.

Dodge officials have finally released some key specs on the Charger Daytona EV, repainted in Stryker Red. For starters, even the base model delivers a hefty 455 horsepower. And while brand boss Tim Kuniskis declined to give specific numbers for the top-end Banshee Edition, he did nothing to deny rumors it could exceed 1,000 horsepower.

Bringing the Daytona concept to SEMA is a risky business. The annual event brings together aftermarket manufacturers and sellers from around the world and has traditionally celebrated classic muscles. How those people will react to the idea of ​​turning the charger into a battery-electric vehicle is far from certain.

“Technology moves forward”

But the Dodge CEO said during a media background briefing that he is confident the Daytona will be well received.

“Technology is moving forward and the customizers and tuners are moving with it,” says Kuniskis. “We’re showing how old-school hot-rodding will thrive in an electrified muscle car future.”

Dodge Challenger Daytona red SEMA side REL
Senior Stellantis officials said the retail edition of the Charger Daytona will closely follow the design of the concept.

The coming year will be dominated by a number of important changes for Dodge. Muscle car brand Stellaantis is putting an end to the long run of the classic Charger and Challenger models, then embarking on a year-long makeover of the major assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario where they were built. When the factory comes back online in 2024, it will begin assembling a production version of the Daytona.

Senior Stellantis officials, including design chief Ralph Gilles, have told TheDetroitBureau.com that the retail edition of the Charger Daytona will closely follow the design of the concept. But that prototype is a work in progress. For starters, it was repainted in a bold Stryker Red for the SEMA Show. It also gets new wheels. It is a composite design produced by supplier Laxe with single-lug knock-offs and ultra-light titanium-carbon fiber rims.

“They are expensive,” Kuniskis said, but they should improve performance, especially on the drag strip where they have 18-inch radials.

By the numbers

For the first time, Dodge revealed some clear specs about the Daytona’s all-electric powertrain.

There will be a base system, with the 340 badge intended to suggest the equivalent of a 340 cubic inch V-8. Depending on which “stage” a buyer chooses, the electric powertrain will push out 455 horsepower. The 440-badged models will deliver a whopping 670 horsepower.

Dodge Challenger Daytona dashboard SEMA REL
The production Daytona will instead use “crystals” embedded with RF chips, each with just a single VIN number.

Both packages will use a 400-volt electrical architecture. But a more powerful — and more expensive — 800-volt electric propulsion system will also be available for the SRT Banshee version of the Charger Daytona.

Officials declined to discuss the numbers for the Banshee. But with a growing number of all-electric models making 1,000 or more of them, some sources have suggested that Dodge will push into the four-digit range for the most powerful version of the electric muscle car.

crystal power

Don’t be surprised to hear more sometime next year, Kuniskis said with a big smile during an online webinar. If nothing else, he said he expects more details about Daytona and other all-electric Dodge models to “leak” after the brand’s annual dealer presentation.

The Daytona will put a high-tech spin on the way Dodge has handled power in the past. The gas powered Charger and Challenger models are offered with red and black keys, each unlocking a different level of performance. The production Daytona will instead use “crystals” embedded with RF chips, each with just a single VIN number.

During the background session, Kuniskis also confirmed that the production Daytona will be equipped with the show car’s “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust”. The system uses a patented transducer system to create an “exhaust” sound similar to what the current charger’s V-8 produces.

Dodge Challenger Daytona powertrain diagram

Winning the Skeptics

Market research found that while there are still many EV skeptics among classic muscle car owners, potential buyers were significantly more interested after hearing about the Fratzonic system.

Kuniskis noted, “50% of them said the exhaust system made them change their mind” to going all-electric.

Dodge engineers have yet to come up with a final tuning for the Fratzonic system and, Kuniskis said, will use SEMA as a test lab to find just the right tone.

Kuniskis acknowledged that it will take time to convince classic muscle car buyers to go electric. But he said the initial study was promising. Millennials, he noted, make up about a third of current Dodge buyers, and they’re the most open to considering a vehicle like the Charger Daytona.

“We know it will take some time for people to start thinking about electrification,” Kuniskis said, but added that he is confident that the production version of the Charger Daytona will convince many.

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