The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept made a highly anticipated mid-August debut at Dodge Speed Week in Pontiac, Michigan. At the event, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis touted the SRT as the world’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV) muscle car, promising the all-electric arrival would be “an assault and battery on convention.” We’re still in disbelief that someone greenlit that godawful line.
In the media, photos and videos of the forthcoming SRT, set for a 2024 release, were met with enthusiasm, intrigue, and, of course, a little skepticism from Dodge loyalists. The brand had to anticipate some cynicism, though. They aim to “redefine American muscle” by removing a key and beloved component that’s been part of the Charger’s history since its debut as a show car in 1964. In fact, come December 2023, the brand will no longer produce gas-powered Chargers or Challengers. It’s yet another sign that times they are a-changin’ and the future of the auto industry is leaving the internal combustion engine in the past.
Our take of the SRT was akin to an automotive parallel of a franchise reboot-sequel (rebequel?), like Top Gun: Maverick or Ghostbusters: Afterlife; it’s taking a classic and fusing fan service to pay homage to the original while adding plenty of tweaks and upgrades to remain current. Doing this appeases the OG’s while also appealing to a new generation.
Dodge certainly kept a lot of the “old” in that the SRT nails the look of a muscle car. It’s long and sleek, wide and powerful, confident but moody. And if what drives off the production line in a year and change mirrors the concept vehicle, it will perform like one, too.
- “Banshee” 800-volt propulsion system;
- multispeed transmission with “electro-mechanical” shifting (aka “eRupt”);
- R-wing aerodynamic pass-through on the front hood to enhance downforce (and serve as a hat tip to the original Chargers);
- a PowerShot button on the steering wheel for a boost (à la a speed burst in Madden).
Also, in true muscle-car fashion, an engine rev will turn heads and pierce eardrums. Though EVs typically hang their hats (or hood ornaments?) on whisper quiet operation, SRT’s will produce manufactured noise through an amp and tuning chamber as part of its patent-pending “Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust.”
According to Dodge, this will allow the car to pump out up to 126 decibels — as loud as that of a Hellcat-powered Dodge. However, from the videos and clips we’ve seen on social media, the growl is less Hellcat and more like a cheetah cyborg barking through autotune. Still, “A” for effort, Dodge.
Pricing details were not disclosed, which is common when unveiling concept vehicles. Releasing that in the coming months will undoubtedly revive buzz around the project after the initial debate simmers.