Meet the Dodge Daytona SRT Banshee concept, a preview of Dodge's electric muscle future

Meet the Dodge Daytona SRT Banshee concept, a preview of Dodge’s electric muscle future

Pontiac — If Hellcats growl, the Banshee howls.

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Banshee electric muscle car concept does, at least. It’s the formal introduction for enthusiasts of the Stellantis NV brand to the vision for the top-of-the-line trim for Dodge’s battery-electric muscle car starting production in 2024 after the Challenger and Charger as they’ve been known disappear after 2023.

Muscle has defined Dodge’s performance image. Although EVs have shown themselves to be speedy and able to offer immediate maximum torque, skepticism abounds among muscle fans, especially lovers of a supercharged V-8’s roar. As government regulations demand better fuel economy and cleaner vehicles, Dodge must pivot while finding a way to stay true to what its aficionados adore and separate itself from the competition.

The Daytona SRT Banshee concept car is revealed at M1 Concourse in Pontiac. Dodge is pitching the vehicle as the future of electrified muscle.

“We can sit at home watch streaming videos and say we’re not going to be a part of it,” Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis said of the electric shift ahead of the vehicle’s reveal during the third and final day of the brand’s “Speed Week” festivities at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac. “The party is set. The band is booked. This thing is happening, so we said, ‘OK, if it’s going to happen, let’s go there like Dodge. Let’s crash this party and do it differently than everybody else.'”

The 800-volt Banshee propulsion system powers the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept car.

Forget silent EVs. Dodge chose the Banshee name based on the sound of the patented-for-production “Fratzonic” exhaust system, one that, instead of emitting pollutants, moves air like a pipe organ through an amplifier and tuning chamber. Through a tailpipe, the system projects a sinister grumble and a whirring scream on the rev at 126 decibels — as loud as the Hellcat’s vroom.

“We think we’re going to be part of the market that people probably don’t see coming,” Kuniskis said, “but they’re definitely going to hear it coming.”

Brushed aluminum “screaming” Banshee fender badges announce the new propulsion system that drives the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept.

Like the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron, the Banshee has a transmission, a patented “eRupt” multi-speed system with electro-mechanical shifting. And to achieve a 25% improvement in aerodynamics from today’s vehicle, Dodge pulled from the history books the nose-cone design of the Charger Daytona that in 1970 was the first vehicle to break 200 mph on a NASCAR track, getting it banned.

The Banshee adds a patent-pending “R-Wing” across the vehicle’s front in honor of Gary Romberg, the rocket scientist who designed the ’70 racer, to make it look like a more traditional muscle car.

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept’s R-Wing, an homage to the 1970 Charger Daytona design, allows air to flow through the front opening for improved aerodynamics.

It’s a long, low, two-door Charger — not the four doors of today’s Charger — with a new large hatch in a “Greys of Thunder” exterior paint. As teased previously, the Banshee marks the return of Dodge’s Fratzog logo from the ’60s and ’70s, illuminated on the ’68 Charger-inspired grille and taillamp. Carbon-fiber intakes on the front and rear lower fascias also assist with aerodynamics. There’s no frunk on this EV.

“It looks like a proper muscle car, aerodynamic like a full BEV,” Kuniskis said, “but not a melted jellybean.”

Both the front and rear lighting of the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept feature a full-width design centered by a 3D illuminated Fratzog badge.

Lenny Melton, 44, of Charlotte, North Carolina, who is in town for Roadkill Nights and the Woodward Dream Cruise, agreed: “It’s awesome,” he said. “It looks the way a muscle car is supposed to look.”

Dodge is keeping performance figures secret, though it says they exceed the Hellcat engine. There were no specifics on range or 0 to 60 mph time and little information on its battery. The Banshee is an 800-volt propulsion system, though Dodge plans to offer three power levels, including a 400-volt option, Kuniskis said.

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