Dear Stellantis, Please Name Your First eMuscle Car the ‘Dodge 880’
Dodge is going electric, and the first eMuscle concept is here. As a lifelong Dodge fan, I love this big coupe’s manual transmission, loud fratzonic exhaust, and retro styling. But its current name—the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept—is a forgettable mouthful. It sounds like the product of 1960s MOPAR mad-libs. And the perfect name for Stellantis’ first eMuscle EV is painfully obvious anyway: the Dodge 880.
The Charger Daytona SRT Concept is here
In November 2021, I reported that Dodge had killed the Charger. This is because CEO Tim Kuniskis announced the internal combustion Charger would only continue production through 2023. In its place, the “brotherhood of muscle” would welcome a new eMuscle lineup.
Dodge made moves to showcase its new eMuscle powertrain in the 2024 NASCAR season, so it became obvious that it would be electrifying sooner rather than later. Then in August 2022, Stellantis unveiled the all-electric Charger Daytona SRT Concept.
Though this concept looks reminiscent of the current Charger, it has three key differences: Instead of a sedan, it is a coupe. Instead of RWD, it features AWD. And instead of an internal combustion powertrain, it is a full battery electric vehicle. That’s right, the Charger Daytona SRT Concept is not a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid. It is every bit as electric as a Tesla.
The tale of the Dodge 330, Dodge 440, and Dodge 880
Dodge offered its original class of Dart sedans, coupes, and wagons from 1959 through 1976. Back in 1962, Dodge named the top trim of its Dart the Dart 440. The company liked the name so much that in 1963 it spun it off into s separate, slightly larger sedan.
During 1963 and 1964, Dodge offered two new mid-size sedans. The Dodge 330 was the lower-trim midsize sedan. The Dodge 440 was the upper-trim version. The top trim vehicle on the same chassis was the Polara.
When Dodge introduced the Dart 440, back in 1962, it kept this naming convention across its lineup. Namely, its mid-price, full-size sedan became the Dodge Custom 880. Dodge continued to offer its 880 and Custom 880 sedans with a range of powerful V8 engines, through the 1965 model year. I think 880 is the perfect model name for Dodge’s first eMuscle car for a very technical reason.
Dodge’s cutting-edge 800+ volt eMuscle powertrain
When Stellantis announced its new Dodge EV, it revealed that this new electric Dodge Charger will be its first vehicle with the 800+ volt “Banshee” powertrain. Eight hundred volts is a major technological advancement.
United States buyers are hesitant to hop on the electric bandwagon because of range anxiety. One solution is Ram’s range extender, which will probably be a gasoline-powered generator in the bed of the upcoming Ram 1500 electric truck. Another solution is the 800-volt “Banshee” powertrain. This high volt system will charge much faster than most existing lower-volt systems.
Some very early electric cars had simple 110-volt systems, but early on, EVs upgraded to 220-volt circuits. Two hundred and twenty volts are already common in houses for high-energy items such as welders and clothing dryers. Later, companies such as Tesla doubled this voltage again and boasted 440-volt vehicles.
Four hundred volts was not enough for electric race cars, and engineers pioneered twice as many volts with an 800+ volt system. Porsche took the system from race cars and offers it in the new Taycan, but it is one of the only automakers to offer an 880-volt electric drivetrain. Now Dodge is joining this elite club with its new eMuscle “Banshee” powertrain.
Because “880” is an existing name for a classic Dodge muscle car, and advertises one of the best features of the Banshee powertrain, it is the perfect name for the company’s first EV. Dodge could choose to either name its new car the Dodge Charger 880, or simply the Dodge 880. Fans of cutting-edge EV technology would be attracted to the name, as would traditionalists who love the history of Mopar muscle.