Dodge’s electric muscle car emerges, and it will still rumble

Dodge is going electric. America’s most gas-heavy automaker has spent 2022 preparing its faithful for the big change as the Brotherhood of Muscle moves from V8s to Volts.

The Charger and Challenger are on track to retire at the end of the 2023 model year. Everyone gets a series of special Last Call editions, then their place in the history books.

This summer, Dodge showed off a concept car illustrating the kind of electric vehicles (EVs) that will take their place. The Charger Daytona SRT Concept carries the same muscular look as Dodge’s long line muscle cars. But it’s powered by electrons instead of explosions.

Last week, the world got its second look at the car, along with the first set of specs hinting at what it could do.

See also: American muscle: We compare the Chevy Camaro to the Dodge Challenger

Now in red, maybe in the dealerships

The setting is SEMA 2022 – the Las Vegas convention of the Specialty Equipment Market Association – where automakers and aftermarket suppliers showcase highly modified concept cars that showcase all the creative enhancements they will offer to the world’s tuner shops.

One caveat — Dodge hasn’t officially said the Challenger Daytona concept will make it to production. So we can’t officially promise that the car you see above will appear on dealership lots. But it’s more polished than many concept cars, so we suspect something like this will see a lot of sales in the next few years.

This time it will appear in Stryker Red on matte black wheels.

Muscle-car enthusiasts got a glimpse of Dodge’s new all-electric concept car amid the company’s plans to retire the Challenger and Charger models, known for their loud and powerful engines, by 2023. Photo: Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

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Three power levels, each with upgrades

More importantly, Dodge provided some performance details.

When the concept debuted, Dodge said it could be offered in nine possible configurations. The company will bring three to SEMA.

These include, Dodge says, two 400-volt versions that make a 456-horsepower and 590-horsepower edition, and “an as-yet-unannounced factory-supplied 800-volt power-level SRT Banshee power package.”

A series of upgrade packs, called eStage 1 and 2, can be made available as over-the-air downloads for anyone, Dodge says. These would provide an increase in horsepower, creating three steps for each power level.

The company did not say how many electric motors the Daytona uses. Many automakers offer multiple power levels for their electric cars, adding more engines as prices rise. If Dodge follows this method, the low-end could be a rear-wheel-drive model with just one electric motor on the rear axle. More powerful models can be all-wheel drive, with one on each axle. But we are speculating.

The company did not provide details on range or charging times.

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I’m still tuning that exhaust note

Dodge has made it clear that the Daytona is still in development.

The car features the first exhaust system fitted to an electric car. It’s a series of chamber tubes underneath that use actual airflow to produce sound, rather than the external speakers that some EVs use.

Dodge plans to solicit feedback from SEMA show attendees on exactly what noise the car’s unique “fratzonic” chambered exhaust system should make. At its debut in August, we found the note to be too high for our tastes, so we’re happy to hear it’s still subject to change.

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