The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT is here to prove that electric cars don't need to be practical. There seems to be this universal thinking in the auto industry that all future EV drivers want a family-friendly SUV with premium features. I'm sure many of them do, but there are also genuine car fans that would be willing to give up their V8s for batteries, as long as the car was still as mad.
Dodge's owners, Stellantis say that this concept 'drives like a Dodge, looks like a Dodge and feels like Dodge – and just happens to be a battery-electric vehicle (BEV).' That's possibly the best sentence I've heard about an EV. Part of the genius behind Ford's F-150 Lightning electric pickup is that it still looks and feels like an F-150 that people have loved for years.
The new concept announced Thursday, looks very much more like the original 60s Chargers than the modern four-door models, and perhaps a little closer to the Challenger SRT Hellcat. There are some smoother lines and body-wide light strips that give it a more futuristic feel but you'd recognise it as a Charger straight away. Rather than the Supercharged 6.2L HEMI V8, there's an 800V electronic propulsion system, appropriately called the Banshee.
Just because this Charger is electric, don't expect it to be quiet. It's been fitted with a Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust that delivers 126dB of roar to match any self-respecting Hellcat model. While no performance figures have been given (this is still a concept after all), this thing is likely to be seriously fast and it apparently comes with dedicated 'slam' and 'donut' modes if you really want to raise hell.
Of course, Dodge is also catering for the SUV crowd and has also announced the Hornet PHEV, which is its first step towards the full electrification of its fleet. But the Charger concept gives me hope that a new generation of less sensible EVs is just round the corner. There's still hope that a new all-electric Chevy Camaro won't tone down its styling too much. I'm also holding out hope that, despite the Mustang Mach-e going all SUV, there's still room for a classic Mustang electric in the near future.