Who else but Dodge could be trusted to design and patent an honest-to-Mopar exhaust system for an electric car? Hell-bent on the concept that their customers are intent on continuing their raucous ways long after the last internal combustion engine has gone silent, Dodge figures their target market wants to announce their presence instead of gliding silently into the room.
As someone smack in the middle of this demographic and holding the keys to a V8-powered Challenger, I feel compelled to say they may have a point.
A quick browsing of internet comments on just about every EV review – be it sports car, pickup truck, or family crossover – reveals wide swaths of customers who are more likely to hammer the words ‘ELEKTIC JUNK NEDDS MOAR V8’ than they are to embrace the inevitable tsunami of electric vehicles. That’s fine; all hands have an opinion. However, Dodge feels they can play to both sides of the table by building a spiritual successor to today’s Challenger, one which can make an equivalent amount of racket to a burly-chested Hellcat at wide-open throttle.
That’s 126 dB if you’re wondering.
Official power numbers are scarce for the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept, with spox only revealing it packs all-wheel drive and an 800V architecture they’re calling ‘Banshee’. That blunt front end holds a secret in the form of an aero wing ahead of a sharply curved nose, while a so-called ‘eRupt’ multi-speed transmission promises ICE-like acceleration behavior with the attendant rise and fall of engine speed.
Or, at least the simulation of such. Called the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust, this system uses a series of pipes and chambers to create sound with air, unlike other EVs which simulate noise with speakers and butt-thumpers. Tim Kuniskis, the top dog at Dodge, likened it to a pipe organ in a church that makes music using a similar process. The tone and force of its racket will be dictated by elements like speed load, throttle position, and shift points. Will it be enough to drag V8 fans into the driver’s seat? We’re likely to find out in just a couple of years.
It’s clear this concept – and Dodge is very careful to call it a concept, despite its interior and other details looking very production-ready – draws much in terms of its looks from the ’68 Charger, including elements of its front fascia and layout of its interior. Those twin door scallops from that model would look baller but probably ruins airflow, explaining their absence here. You’ll note this car is a hatchback, aiding aero but also opening up a yaffle of cargo space when the rear buckets are folded flat.
Dodge has generally been shamelessly brazen with their cars over the years and it seems they’re intent on taking that image with them into the EV era. How much of this concept translates to production remains to be seen, of course, but it’s likely we won’t have long to wait to find out – talking heads put this car (or a production version of it) in showrooms by 2024.
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