The fake exhaust sound of the Dodge Charger EV is sure to divide muscle car fans

For those lamenting the imminent demise of gas-powered Dodge muscle cars, the automaker has a message: Don’t fear the future, because it’s electric.

Dodge revealed its first electric muscle car, the Charger Daytona SRT Concept, at an event this week in its Pontiac, Michigan headquarters. The two-door coupe is being positioned as a preview of the company’s first electric vehicle, which is expected to go into production in 2024.

“The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept exists because performance made us do it,” Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said in a statement. “Dodge is all about power, attitude and performance, and the brand carries this chip on its shoulder and into the electric vehicle segment with a patent-laden concept, innovations and performance features that exemplify the electric power of the future.”

Before we talk about the specifications, we need to address this voice. Electric vehicles are by nature mostly silent, thanks to the lack of an internal combustion engine. Much of the Dodge muscle car has to do with the roar of the HEMI engine. So, Dodge fans will be relieved if they find it a bit ostracized if they step on the accelerator of an electric muscle car and that’s the sound it makes.

How would you describe this sound? A decorated lion that has just been neutered? A Bobcat tracheostomy with a voice box? The use of fake engine noise is sure to be divisive among muscle car fans. Some will love it, while others will undoubtedly find it leaves much to be desired. Dodge calls the “BEV Exhaust Noise” (which is just a pleasant contrast) a first of its kind. Whether this is the appropriate hype for this particular vehicle is still a matter of debate.

The Charger Daytona SRT’s appearance will likely be less split, straddling the line between retro and futuristic while maintaining a muscular, aerodynamic stance. Dodge said the intent is to “put aside” (harsh) other boring-looking electric car concepts in favor of something more in-your-face.

There are plenty of styling cues meant to harken back to Dodge heritage — most notably, the front end features a large air-pass vent, which the company calls the “R-Wing.”

The other two patent-pending features that Dodge wants to emphasize have equally silly names. The first is the “Phrazzonic Chambered Exhaust,” which Dodge claims can reach 126 decibels, “making it as loud as a Dodge Hellcat-powered.” The second is a multi-speed transmission with an electromechanical shift experience that the automaker calls “eRupt.”

(“Pratzonic” is a reference to a Dodge logo used in the 1960s and 1970s called “Pratzog,” a word the designer came up with. It features a split mandrel of three arrowhead shapes that form a three-pointed star.)

The new system drives sound through the loudspeaker and the adjustment chamber located at the rear of the vehicle. Speaking to CNBC, Kuniskis compared it to wind organs with chambers and tubes.

“We said, OK, if that’s going to happen, let’s do it like Dodge,” Kuniskis told reporters. “We’re not going to go out there and do the same thing. Dodge will be lost if we try to do the same thing as everyone else.”

But if you’re looking for more relevant specs, like range, battery capacity, or charging speed, you’ll have to wait. Dodge isn’t releasing performance benchmarks for a test car or a production muscle car that has yet to be named – yet.

The automaker revealed that the concept sits atop Dodge’s Banshee 800-volt propulsion system, which, if introduced into the production version as expected, should allow the electric vehicle to be charged at rates of up to 350 kW at a DC fast charging station. . In addition, the all-wheel drive system will ensure that the Dodge Charger EV performs well in all conditions.

While electric vehicles are often faster than most gas-powered vehicles thanks to “linear acceleration” that results in an impressive 0-60 mph speed, they often lack the driving dynamics that many high-performance car owners enjoy. Dodge says it is trying to address that gap by introducing new features, such as the eRupt electromechanical shift. The feature “provides distinct shift points, throwing shoulders into seat backs in true Dodge style,” the company said.

Like a Tesla with Ludicrous mode, the Dodge Charger EV will include something called “PowerShot push-to-pass.” By pressing a button on the steering wheel, the PowerShot delivers “a jolt of adrenaline to boost horsepower for a quick rush of acceleration,” the company says.

In addition to electric versions of the Charger and Challenger cars, Dodge’s father Stellantis also plans to produce electric trucks, including the battery-powered Ram 1500 that would rival the upcoming Ford F-150 Lightning. Dodge’s sister companies, such as Jeep and Chrysler and brands from PSA Groupe, also produce electric vehicles.

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