The Dodge Charger BEV, originally shown as blue outlines with a bright red fratzog, has finally been revealed—and it may look more like a classic 1968 Charger than any other car to wear the name, right down to having just two doors, which seems to rule out a Challenger version. It is, however, only in concept form for the moment.
The car was not developed by a different company, and Dodge leader Tim Kuniskis said that they had the patents, innovations, and performance to prove it.
The original concept car is shown below, with Dodge photography. The red car, above, might be the same car, repainted. Both take clear cues from the 1968 Dodge Charger.
Many complaints about the idea of a Dodge BEV muscle car idea had to do with the noise of a V8, so this concept has a computer generated “exhaust” sound, both from idle and under full “throttle.” That system was dubbed the Fratzonic exhaust system, in a nod to the fratzog. Its top loudness is 126 decibels, the same as the Hellcat, but rather than emulating a V8 directly it sounds like a combination V8 and electric car. Patrick Rall, at Stellpower, said it was “unmistakable at idle and on a hard pull.”
The Charger Daytona has an 800-volt electric drive system acting on all four wheels through the “Dodge E-Rupt” transmission, which should allow for longer driving ranges at high speeds. The Dodge E-Rupt also has an “electro-magnetic shift experience” to mimic a conventional transmission’s shifts. The system also has Dodge’s PowerShot, which debuts in the real-production Dodge Hornet; this provides 15 seconds of extra power when the driver holds down both shifter paddles and floors the pedal (there may be a separate button on the Charger).
Dodge plans a real production battery-electric Charger, with three trim levels, each of which will have three levels of upgrades from Direct Connection. The Banshee (black car) tops the list, with faster acceleration than a Hellcat.
The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept was clearly meant to evoke the 1968 Dodge Charger, just as the 2023 Challenger evokes the 1970 original. The grille even appears to be fairly vertical, as the original’s was; to make it aerodynamic, an “R-Wing” was built in, allowing air to flow over the hood and roof. Overall, the Charger Daytona manages to be 25% more aerodynamic than the 2022 Dodge Charger Hellcat, a stunning achievement.
The Dodge Charger Daytona concept is a two-door, like the original, and like the current Challenger; but its longer wheelbase adds legroom. In an echo of the old Shadow, the rear glass lifts up for better cargo access. Observers expect that there will still be a two-door Dodge Challenger and four-door Dodge Charger when the new generation comes.
Signature lighting includes a white-illuminated grille (which nearly hides the headlights—the original had headlight doors) and a glowing fratzog badge. In back, the racetrack tail-lights return, surrounding another red glowing fratzog. The rear diffuser has a Fratzonic exhaust logo—the only wording on the concept.
The interios look rather different in the factory photo and the car-show photo; one key reason, other than the angle, is that the center screen is lit up in the factory photo but not in the car-show picture.
The Banshee concept has 21-inch center-lock wheels with 305mm tires up front and 325s out back, as well as the now usual Brembo brakes. Regenerative braking is part of the package, saving wear on the pads and discs.
The gauge cluster is a massive 16-inch screen, with a 12.3-inch infotainment screen in the middle (this may or may not be production intent). A single button press on the steering wheel lets the driver pick from Auto, Sport, Track and Drag modes, changing the driving dynamics, instrument cluster information, HUD content, performance sound, and interior lighting.
Seating includes race-style bucket seats for four people with a panoramic glass roof. The rear seats fold flat and the carbon fiber floor tub helps reduces weight. Again, it’s hard to tell what is concept and what is production intent.
Looking at the tail, there may be some ’Cuda influence, remembering that FCA also trademarked that name.
Whether people accept the idea of a Dodge battery-electric now, the highest performance no longer rests with gasoline powered cars except for rare supercars, such as the Dodge Challenger Demon 170 (story coming soon). Electric cars are as much a part of future high performance as fuel injection is part of today’s high performance. With the Charger, Dodge seems to be trying to ease the transition and bring as much of the good 1968 and 2022 Charger as possible into an electric future—and if you don’t like it, that’s fine; it is almost certain to be joined by a Hurricane-powered Dodge Charger, for those who insist on a gasoline car.
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