The Electric Dodge Charger ‘Is Not for Everyone’ and That’s OK
Dodge debuted its all-electric Charger Daytona at Detroit’s annual Woodward Dream Cruise. Many of the classic muscle enthusiasts there were not fans of Dodges’ new EV. But Dodge is sticking to its guns: a charger will make the Charger faster. Dodge’s CEO went so far as to say, “The brand is not for everybody.” As electric performance sedans go, the Dodge Charger Daytona offers something unique in the Tesla-dominated market. And some drivers are going to love it.
Is there an electric Dodge Charger?
Dodge rolled out an electric Charger “Daytona” concept in the summer of 2022. This prototype coupe can run and drive, and Dodge claims that it will not change much before its targeted 2024 production date.
Dodge brand CEO, Tim Kuniskis, also reveals he is killing the current Charger, Challenger, and Durango chassis by the 2024 model year. All new Dodge vehicles will ride on a shared Stellantis chassis. The new chassis is engineered for electric powertrains and hybrid powertrains, but likely won’t support pure internal combustion drivetrains.
This move frustrates some fans of traditional V8 Hemi engines. Dodge is doing its best to cater to traditionalists with two years of special editions before finally retiring its lineup.
How much horsepower does the electric Dodge Charger have?
Dodge revealed it will sell two trims of its electric Charger Daytona. The first will have 455 horsepower stock and the second 590 horsepower. Customers can then pay Direct Connection licensed dealership to unlock up to 670 horsepower. The SRT Banshee trim could offer 800+ horsepower.
Dodge’s parent company, Stellantis, is planning to replace the Hellcat badge with a new Banshee badge across multiple vehicle segments. The Banshee powertrain will include an 800-volt system, which will enable rapid charging. Such a system will also likely be capable of putting the maximum power to both motors simultaneously.
So how much horsepower will the Banshee make? Dodge has not yet revealed a number. We do know that the Dodge Charger Daytona will have a separate motor for each axle. And we also know that Stellantis’ most powerful electric motor is targeting 442.5 horsepower.
Therefore, we expect the stock Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Banshee will make slightly more horsepower than the Hellcat’s 707. We also suspect customers will be able to pay Direct Connection extra to upgrade their SRT electric Dodge Charger to well over 800 horsepower.
How fast is the Dodge EV?
Dodge has yet to release any performance numbers for its electric Charger Daytona. Electric motors make maximum torque at 0 RPM, giving them an advantage during acceleration.
The low-end torque of an electric motor is one reason the Tesla Model S “Plaid” can reach 60 mph in just 2 seconds. This Tesla obviously the performance sedan to beat, and Dodge knows that.
The Dodge Demon is a Hellcat Challenger tuned by SRT to make 840 horsepower and can reach 60 mph in a claimed 2.3 seconds. We have a hard time believing Dodge will go electric before its top-trim vehicle can beat the Demon’s times. Will that vehicle be the electric Charger Daytona SRT Banshee? We’ll just have to wait and find out.
Will the electric Dodge Charger be fast enough to keep its customers coming back? There honestly may be no EV fast enough to make some Dodge drivers happy. And Dodge is OK with that.
Kuniskis told MotorTrend, “Most people can not like what we do. That’s OK. They (most people) weren’t going to buy a Hellcat either.”
Dodge has been a niche brand for years. It currently sells 5% of vehicles in the U.S. With Tesla becoming the automaker to beat in the 21st century, Dodge only needs to lure away a few Model S drivers with a slightly sportier EV to maintain its market share.
The electric Dodge Charger’s innovations, such as its manual “eRupt” transmission and growling “Fratzonic Exhaust” noisemaker system, are divisive among even electric vehicle fans. But they may be exactly the tools Dodge needs to set itself apart. The electric Dodge Charger is not for everyone, and that’s OK.
Next, read why Stellantis should revive Plymouth as an EV sub-brand, or watch the entire reveal of the Dodge Charger Daytona in the video below:
You can also see CNBC’s deep dive into the electric Dodge Charger in this final video: