First Look: Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept


First Look: Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept


Dodge and performance offerings go back decades. Early Hemi-powered Dodge D-500s. 1960s Max Wedge cars. The Superbird. The Aspen Street Kit Car. The Shelby GLH and GLH-S. Viper. SRT, Scat Pack, Hellcat, Demon, Redeye. From the brightest to the darkest days, Dodge has managed to keep some kind of flame alive for the enthusiast market. They've weathered both gas crisis of the 1970s, took on the sport compact scene before that was even a thing, built muscle trucks, and managed to dump horsepower figures once reserved for Pro Stock machines into OEM vehicles, turn-key and with a warranty attached.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept above

Today, Dodge has made the decision to electrify the next-generation muscle car that they will put into production. An EV can be blindingly fast and practical for everyday use. But Dodge isn't known for EV anything. They just unveiled their first PHEV hybrid the day prior to unveiling this concept vehicle. Dodge is known for hell-raising, tire-frying times that both evoke the memories of Woodward Avenue on a hot summer night in 1971 and speak to the current forefront of the Second Horsepower War. A silent electric vehicle was never going to cut it...and Dodge knew that going into the project.

Meet the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept vehicle. This fully-electric, all-wheel-drive two-door hatchback coupe is where the company is headed towards. The claims are bold: an EV system that can out-perform the Hellcat, massive aerodynamic improvements, practicality while looking absolutely wicked, and the feeling that you were still driving something special, something violent, and something that was both ground-breaking yet familiar. Have they succeeded?


Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept side profile

The Charger Daytona SRT Concept's overall appearance echos the traditional three-box fastback coupe form that the first two generations of Charger were known for. You could be forgiven for thinking that they just tarted up the body of a current Challenger and re-shaped the roofline. But you need to look closer to appreciate what the design team has done to improve the aerodynamics by 25% over the outgoing Charger. For starters: look at the nose.

Charger Daytona SRT Concept

While the shape looks like a blunt nose cone, what is actually happening is a pass-through design that Dodge calls the "R-Wing". The wing enhances downforce and works with the carbon-fiber intakes on the lower facias to create an air curtain to aid in aerodynamic performance. The wing opening also allows for a halo ring lighting system and an illuminated "Fratzog" logo, which hasn't been seen on a Dodge product since 1976. The paint color is very typical of Dodge: "Greys of Thunder." You'll notice minimal decoration on the vehicle...except for the Fratzog logos on the nose, tail and in the center of the 21-inch center-lock wheels, the only other badge is the "Banshee" fender badges, made from brushed aluminum.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept rear

Moving rearward past the panoramic glass roof, the Charger Daytona SRT Concept features a recessed back window that echoes some of the "flying buttress" design elements from the 1968-1970 Charger before disappearing into the rear hatch. That's right, hatch. In order for the new car to compete with the utility offered up by crossovers and sport-utilities, the concept utilizes a hidden hatchback design, combined with rear seats that have the ability to fold flat.


Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Interior driver's zone

Dodge's interior goals were to create a modern, lightweight and "athletic" interior that was driver-focused. Two screens, a 16-inch instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch center screen, combined with an 8-by-3-inch heads-up display will provide the driver with all of the information they could possibly need as well as the ability to monitor and adjust features as needed. The beltline surrounding the door panels and the upper half of the instrument panel that works with the Attitude Adjustment Lighting to create an ambient glow. The steering wheel features a flat top and bottom and paddle shifters to run the eRupt transmission, as well as the "PowerShot" push-to-pass button and the selectior for drive modes. The eRupt's pistol grip-style shifter sits in front of the jet-fighter style flip-up cap for the start button. The seats are race-inspired buckets with heavy bolstering, the rears featuring the ability to fold flat for increased cargo space. Given that this is a concept vehicle, we are curious to see how much of the interior makes it to the production vehicle.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept seats folded

"Banshee" Motor

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept "Banshee" Logo

The powertrain of the Charger Daytona SRT Concept the key point to the upcoming production EV muscle Dodge are playing their cards close to their chest and haven't revealed too much. Going off of what they have shared, the new powertrain is named "Banshee" and per Dodge's claims, can best the Hellcat in "all key performance measures". Whatever kind of horsepower the Banshee actually makes, is put through the eRupt multi-speed transmission that features electro-mechanical shifting instead of a single-speed drive like many other EVs on the market. The idea with eRupt was to keep the distinctive shift points felt while driving. The PowerShot push-to-pass feature that was first unveiled on the Dodge Hornet appears here as well. With PowerShot, you get a quick burst of horsepower for increased acceleration.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept Fratzonic Exhaust

One of the most-asked questions regarding Dodge creating an EV of any kind involved noise. Let's face facts: the raging howl of a Hemi might as well be a siren song for the automotive-minded. How, then, would enthusiasts take to the sound of whisper-quiet motivation when approaching a Dodge muscle machine? That's where Dodge themselves stepped in. The answer is simple...there won't be silence. The Charger Daytona SRT Concept features a new, patent-pending system called the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust. While we don't have the full details on how it functions (whether it's amplifying the electric motor's actual noise or if it's little more than just a sound system), we do know that the system creates a howl that has Dodge refers to as the "Dark Matter" sound profile. Curious to what that sounds like? AmericanMuscleHD was at the unveiling and was kind enough to provide us with a sound clip:

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept rear quarter with lights

The question of what comes next has to be answered, and it's better to answer that sooner than later. Without question, the Charger Daytona SRT Concept is one of the most polarizing concept vehicles unveiled in years. Some love it and can't wait to see what comes next. Others hate it with a passion that can barely be described as they see it as the end of everything they feel is right with the brand. Dodge has committed to the end of the Hellcat. They have opened their arms to the power of electrification. All what's left is to see how the Charger Daytona SRT Concept translates into a real-world production vehicle.

Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept rear fratzog logo


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