Dodge is digging its heels in over the upcoming Charger Daytona SRT Concept with three possible powertrains that increase the fully-electric coupe’s output in stages. Dodge seems fixated on the idea that tuning culture and hot-rodding will, in fact, survive the EV transition, so each of the Charger Daytona SRT’s powertrains will feature two performance upgrades that unlock by using a “crystal” key, which plugs into the EV’s dashboard.
The three possible Charger Daytona SRT configurations are divided into two 400-volt systems and one 800-volt SRT Banshee system: The 400-volt systems start with a 340 electric motor that makes 455 horsepower at base, then goes up to 495 HP after upgrading to “eStage 1,” and 535 HP at “eStage 2.”
The next powertrain will be an upgraded 440 electric motor that makes 590 HP at base, then jumps to 630 HP at “eStage 1,” and then 670 HP at “eStage 2.”
The outputs of the 800-volt system and its “Direct Connection” stage upgrades are unknown for now, since Dodge is being coy about the performance pinnacle of the world’s first “electric muscle car.” But don’t let the sudden jump from 400 to 800 volts fool you; it’s not like the SRT Banshee will automatically double the output of the 400-volt systems. The jump is a bit more complicated than that, with higher voltage allowing for lower current, which makes the car more efficient overall.
If you follow the steps between each of the Charger Daytona SRT Concept’s upgrades, you’ll notice they increase by 40 HP at each stage. And the difference between the 340 and 440 electric motors is 55 HP when comparing the output of a base 440 and 340 with “eStage 2.” Based on that, I figure the SRT Banshee could make anywhere between 725 and 750 HP for starters and then go up between stages. Obviously, though, that's just speculation.
The point is Dodge is clearly going to approach EVs the same way it approached ICE-equipped cars — for better or worse. The only thing that seems to be different is that unlocking power is going to be a lot easier than in the age of combustion: unlocking performance will require an OTA update, then installing and registering the software to the car. The only hardware that’ll change is the “crystal” key needed to unlock power, and the addition of a few badges.
To be fair, the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept is an awesome EV that’s fallen victim to the automaker’s ploy to convince the world that it won’t sell electric cars. The ruse behind the Charger Daytona SRT is that it is, in fact, an “American eMuscle” car with “Fratzonic” exhaust. Whatever that means.