Forward-looking: Last summer, Dodge teased what it called American eMuscle - marketing speak for electric versions of its high-performance Charger and Challenger models. In November, the automaker confirmed it will end production of its gas-powered muscle cars by 2024. Now, we're getting our first look - and listen - to its electric future.
The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept features an 800V Banshee propulsion system and a standard all-wheel-drive system, which combine to make the EV faster than a Hellcat in all key performance measures. The performance hood, the R-Wing, is a functional feature that enhances downforce at higher speeds and helps hide the headlights.
Aerodynamic efficiencies continue with the 21-inch wheels featuring a turbine-like design and a red Fratzog logo on the center caps. Six-piston brakes from Brembo supply the stopping power.
Dodge is also outfitting the concept with what it calls the eRupt Transmission, a multi-speed tranny with electro-mechanical shifting that delivers "distinctive shift points, throwing shoulders into seatbacks in true Dodge style." And there's also the PowerShot push-to-pass feature. When activated by pushing a button on the steering wheel, PowerShot "delivers an adrenaline jolt of increased horsepower for a quick burst of acceleration."
The most mind-boggling feature is without a doubt the exhaust system. That's right, Dodge added an exhaust to an electric vehicle. Dubbed the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust, it pushes "performance sound" through an amplifier and tuning chamber located at the rear of the vehicle. Dodge claims it voices a 126 dB roar that equals the SRT Hellcat, but you can be the judge of that in the video above.
As a whole, it feels like Dodge is desperately clinging to the past rather than simply embracing the future. The gimmicky transmission, nitrous button and exhaust don't belong on an electric vehicle. Styling is subjective but it seems like Dodge is on the right track with the two-door Charger, tastefully blending elements of the existing Charger and Challenger into one.
Fortunately this is just a concept so there's still time to right some wrongs. Dodge could have another winner on its hands if they ditch the gimmicks and stick with what got them to the dance.