Could Dodge’s 800-Volt Banshee EV Be Faster Than a Hellcat?
Performance-oriented car enthusiasts new to electric vehicles may be surprised that EVs are quicker than gas-powered ones right out of the gate. That’s largely because EVs sport responsive powertrains. Start them, and the instant power to the motor propels the vehicle lightning quick. In a gas-powered vehicle, the power is routed to the transmission first, then the wheels. However, as EVs lack transmissions, they can hit 60 mph more rapidly. Lacking a transmission, though, they struggle to maintain high speeds consistently, so they’re often outpaced in a head-to-head down the stretch. However, Dodge believes its new Charger Daytona SRT (EV), equipped with its Banshee powertrain, has what it takes to outpace some of the quickest models on the road today, including its corporate cousin, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
Why the new Charger EV could be quicker than the Hellcat
It could just be marketing, but, as reported in The Drive, Dodge does claim that the Charger Daytona SRT, also referred to as the Dodge Banshee, will be faster than the Hellcat, a performance coupe built for speed. While its new 800-volt Banshee architecture could also be mostly marketing, Dodge claims that its new EV powertrain will help boost its speed significantly.
To begin to understand whether this may be true for what is, at this point, a concept electric muscle car, we need to know what exactly 800-volt architecture is. Voltage refers to the potential electricity that can flow between two points. Most current EV powertrains have what’s known as 400-volt architecture and are designed to work optimally with that amount of voltage.
Pumping 800 volts into the Charger Daytona SRT doesn’t automatically mean it will be faster than a 400-volt vehicle. However, looking at the Porsche Taycan, which also sports 800-volt architecture, the Dodge Banshee may have some advantages over a 400-volt car that may theoretically help it move quicker. The Taycan’s architecture uses thinner wires, making for a lighter vehicle. Generally, lighter vehicles are faster than heavier ones.
The Taycan also generates less heat than its 400-volt peers, resulting in greater efficiency. Still, just because the voltage is moving through an EV powertrain optimally does not mean that the EV will automatically accelerate faster or consistently maintain high speeds. Acceleration and speed consistency are largely driven by motor design, not the amount of voltage in the system.
What else do we know about the ‘Banshee’ Charger Daytona SRT?
Hot Cars recently took an in-depth look at the Banshee based on what’s known about the 2024 electric muscle car so far. In addition to 800-volt architecture, Dodge has built into the Charger Daytona SRT what it calls a Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust, which supposedly offers a 126 dB exhaust note as menacing or more than the Hellcat or similar performance vehicles. The Banshee’s exterior is also designed with aerodynamics in mind, offering sleek lines and contours to minimize air drag.
Hot Cars also speculates that the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT’s powertrain will also consist of a 100 to 110 kWh battery, dual electric motors, and AWD. This system could generate more than 800 hp and hit 60 mph in 3 seconds or less, putting it in the running for best-in-class performance numbers.
The Dodge Banshee is also said to sport an automatic gearbox, rather than a conventional one or two-speed one, as well as a PowerShot option, which, with the push of a button, allows drivers to inject a short burst of power for even quicker acceleration. All-in-all, Dodge claims this EV will boast performance on par with or greater than a Hellcat. Although, given the Hellcat’s specs, that’s a tall order.
About the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat
The Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye trims are the most powerful of the Dodge Challenger trims and among the company’s most powerful vehicles. As per MotorTrend, the RWD Hellcat comes with a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 and a driver’s choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain produces as much as 717 hp and 656 lb-ft of torque and can hit 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds.
The Redeye trim offers the same engine but will generate 797 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque. However, if you buy the Redeye with the Superstock package, you can get as much as 10 more hp. You’ll also shave a tenth of a second off your 0 to 60 mph acceleration time.
These are some of the best acceleration numbers in this segment, but the Charger Daytona SRT concept EV would eclipse them if it performs as marketed. Time will tell. If it does, the Dodge Banshee will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with on dealership lots and drag strips.