Dodge has released images of its Dodge Charger Daytona SRT “Banshee” Concept, an all-electric version of the iconic American muscle car.
Dodge has been teasing the potential for an all-electric muscle car for some time. We first heard about it last year, when Dodge claimed it would launch “the world’s first battery electric muscle car” in 2024. And later that year, Dodge also set a 2024 end date for gas-powered Chargers and Challengers (a story some sites have reported again this week).
Now we’re seeing the next car it could usher into the “Brotherhood of Muscle”[ads1];: an electric charger. And hey, it sure looks hot.
The “Banshee” electric Dodge Charger concept is an all-electric, American muscle car – no hybrid, no engine, just battery.
Dodge’s press release is a bit light on the details, without much info on specifications. The only real performance spec we have is that the concept will be powered by Dodge’s 800V electric all-wheel-drive propulsion system, dubbed the Banshee. Dodge wants this Banshee brand to evoke the same level of performance as its other high-horsepower brands, such as the Hemi, Hellcat and Redeye.
The electric charger concept comes with three main design features:
- R-Wing: intended to increase aerodynamic efficiency while maintaining the Charger’s characteristic voluminous front.
- eRupt transmission: a multi-speed electromechanical gearbox designed to provide distinct shift points, rather than smooth transitions from one gear to the next, providing the same “jerking” feeling of gear changes in a gas car – and a “push-to-pass”- button for a quick power boost.
- Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust: an exhaust system … on an electric car. Huh?
That’s right, the electric Dodge Charger includes an exhaust system. Or at least, Dodge calls it an exhaust system – there’s nothing to drain, rather just some speakers that sound as exhaust. “Fratzonic” is a reference to “Fratzog”, the name of an old three-part Dodge logo from the 60s and 70s.
The Fratzonic exhaust can produce up to 126dB of sound, equivalent to Dodge Hellcat sound levels – and above the 120dB threshold that can cause immediate damage to unprotected ears (sigh).
The interior… looks reasonably normal as far as concept car interiors go. That said, this is the part where the concepts usually change the most, so we wouldn’t put much stock in it, but you do have the now standard large center screen, lightweight seats and a panoramic glass roof, which is a new feature for a Charger.
Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis says the electrified Charger “exists because performance made us do it” — a reference to Dodge’s new marketing slogan. He claims the Banshee-powered electric Dodge Charger will “run a blazing quarter mile,” but didn’t specify exactly how fast that quarter mile would be.
While we don’t know how much horsepower Dodge is aiming for, putting this electric Banshee concept alongside the Hellcat and Redeye in the “Brotherhood of Muscle” suggests the number can’t be low. We’re sure that if this car goes into production, it will need to be in the high hundreds if it wants to live up to those names.
But will it go into production? Dodge hasn’t committed to this yet, as it’s just a concept for now. But given Kuniskis’ previous comments about electrification – aiming for a 2024 release for “the world’s first battery-electric muscle car”, we think it’s reasonably likely that the final product will take a shape similar to this concept, and could even hit the road in the next couple of years.
When we first heard about Dodge’s plans to electrify, and on such a short timeline, we were a little skeptical. It’s hard to turn one of the most iconic gas-burning car models, the Charger, into an electric car in just a couple of years.
But this electric Dodge Charger concept looks surprisingly… real. Despite a lack of spec details, and a few bits of silly nonsense (eardrum-shattering exhaust? really? why waste energy hurting the driver’s ears, come on), nothing about the interior or exterior seems too unrealistic. It looks great all around. We could definitely see this being built.
Personally, me love The R-wing design. Dodge says it’s meant to evoke the wing from the original Dodge Charger Daytona, but it was… a bit much. The R-wing is more subtle (as if anything about this car is subtle), and serves an aerodynamic purpose, but looks just different enough to be an interesting feature that sets it apart from other cars. In addition, it can only happen because less space is needed under the hood to house a giant hemi engine, so it takes advantage of one of the benefits of electric driving. All around just a great design feature, in my opinion.
However, we’re not sure how shift points and noisy speakers will perform, but maybe it will work for the audience Dodge is aiming for. Or maybe these features won’t make it to production. Given that the Kuniskis apparently received death threats from the latest announcement, maybe the audience kind of deserves to have some of their toys taken away if they can’t behave.
But from what we saw here in Dodge’s comments, and what we’ve seen with other EVs, they still want many performance toys to play with, at least.
What do you think of the electric charger? Let us know in the comments.
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