Currently on display in Detroit, the electric Charger is splitting opinions.
The 2022 Detroit Auto Show is in full swing, showcasing models like the Chevy Tahoe RST Performance Edition and a duo of special edition Jeep 4xe models. While not the first time it's been shown, Stellantis had something a bit more interesting on the Dodge side of its booth with the Charger Daytona SRT Concept sitting on a rotating display. The concept previews what an all-electric Dodge muscle car will look like after the current Charger and Challenger leave production late next year.
Seeing the Charger Daytona in person gave us a greater appreciation for how Dodge was able to capture its old-school muscle car styling and implement it on an EV. Though the plug-in Charger looks the part, the reception of the car here in the Motor City has been mixed.
Dodge nailed the styling with this concept. It looks more like the original Charger than the existing sedan model, which should keep nostalgic buyers happy. Dodge managed to blend a vintage shape with futuristic lighting elements and impressive aerodynamics that avoid the jellybean look that plagues many modern EVs. The R-Wing front spoiler element is wild and harkens back to the original Charger Daytona that was so fast it was later banned from competing in NASCAR.
This concept looks massive in person, though we know production cars tend to be scaled down significantly (just look at the FT-1 compared to the Supra). We hope Dodge doesn't downsize it too much because the Challenger's size is what owners love about it compared to the less practical Camaro and Mustang. The Charger Daytona is also a hatchback, bundling classic styling with a massive trunk area.
Inside, the Charger Daytona Concept finally moves the needle forward on interior design, an area where Dodge has been stuck in 2011 for the past decade. It may only be a concept, but much of what we saw in the cabin looks like it could reach production unchanged. We sadly couldn't sit in the car, since it was on a rotating stage, but the seats look more bolstered than the current ones without losing comfort. All screens inside look more modern and the ambient lighting would give Mercedes a run for its money. As with the current Challenger, the rear seats look more than able to accommodate two grown adults.
Dodge has not revealed any performance specifications for this car yet, but we have doubts it will crush any of its supercharged predecessors in a drag race. To some, this still won't be enough, as they'll just share a meme comparing EVs to microwaves and gasoline-powered cars to a wood-fire oven. We got to hear Dodge's new Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust, a speaker system that simulates an exhaust note. We thought it sounded a bit like a video game version of an F1 car, but others nearby said it sounded like a vacuum cleaner or angry cat.
Opinions on this car are sure to be mixed. Some will embrace the electric future once they learn it will run a sub-nine-second quarter-mile out of the box, while others will go to their grave adamant that gasoline is better. We imagine some current Hellcat owners will give it a chance, and depending on how good the performance figures are, Dodge could attract Tesla owners who want a less anonymous-looking EV with more attitude.
And to those who say they will never embrace electrification, you best get your Last Call Charger or Challenger orders in now.