Automotive News attended the J.D. Power Auto Summit in Las Vegas at the beginning of this month. During one of the panels, a Dodge exec told the audience that the production version of the next-gen, battery-electric Charger Daytona SRT concept would debut on March 5. That gives us exactly one month to wait for the evolution of American muscle. The exec, Matt McAlear, senior vice president of Dodge/SRT sales and marketing, said that primary revisions to the concept concern the side mirrors and the wheels. Otherwise, “this is the real thing,” which appears to be everything we saw in the insider spy photos. That means a two-door fastback — yes, fastback, there’s no trunk back there — establishing precedents for all that follows, which has to include a four-door version. We’re stoked about a proper coupe on the way, however, Dodge sold almost exactly 45,000 Challengers in 2023, and almost exactly 76,000 Chargers. And we know Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares is all about his money.
The production car will sit on Stellantis’ STLA Large platform, which the automaker said earlier this month could propel sedans to a range of 500 miles. Don’t expect that from the Charger Daytona SRT, even with the help of the R-wing in front. McAlear said, “We’re not going for the lowest drag coefficient, we’re not going for the highest mileage. We’re going to truly set a new bar.” This shouldn’t worry Challenger fans too much, though, since the most frugal ICE-powered Challenger is only estimated to get 426 miles on a full tank.
A bar the automaker plans to match, and not reset, centers on the exhaust. The sales exec said the Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust is “just as loud as today’s Hellcat,” able to hit a neighborhood-waking 126 decibels. An Instagrammer caught a pre-production version on a Michigan highway, so if you imagine a Hellcat exhaust on this image, you’re looking at what other drivers will see before this year is out.
Three power outputs are expected at launch, a further six to be offered in Dodge’s Direct Connection shop. It’s anticipated that some power upgrades can be managed with a quick update, while others will require new software and maybe hardware.
We won’t be surprised to see reservations open the day of the launch, and we’d love it if Dodge opens up about the Hurricane-powered versions we know are coming. We do expect to be surprised by the price, we’re not sure yet whether in a good way or bad way.