Dodge Considers Changes to its EV Strategy
Back in August (2022), Dodge had a busy month with the return of its Speed Week event and the unveiling of several models and concepts for the brand’s electrification transition. The all-new Charger Daytona SRT Concept teased Dodge’s upcoming 2024 all-electric muscle car. Given the fact that Dodge is notorious for its performance vehicles, it was a risky time for the automaker as it gauged its enthusiasts’ reception to an all-electric muscle car. Some skeptics abhorred the idea of V8 engines dying, while others loved the concept of an exhaust note and the addition of a multi-speed transmission in an EV. Enthusiasts did agree on one thing–the all-electric concept took guts to design and they were appreciative of it. As Dodge continues to refine its EV strategy, the brand’s CEO is tasked with perfecting Dodge’s first electric muscle car.
Kuniskis admits that the reaction to the concept was off the charts–both good and bad. While he concedes that the fact that the Charger and Challenger are coming to an end in their current form, Kuniskis also admits that the possibilities uncovered by electrification have opened up a new floodgate of design. Interest in the all-new 2023 Dodge Hornet piqued at 30,000 orders, but the unveiling of the Charger Daytona SRT Concept held other surprises for the brand. One cool factor about the all-new concept was the largely-lauded “exhaust” note– electric cars are notoriously silent so Dodge knew it had to replicate the whine of its famed V8 engines if it hoped to capture enthusiasts’ attention. The final verdict on the “exhaust” note? Kuniskis claims many loved the idea, but hated the actual sound.
“We were super confident with the idle because the idle to us was non-negotiable. It literally has the cadence of the HEMI firing order so we knew that it was right. We also knew that we did not want this to sound like a fake V8, we wanted it to sound modern, fresh, and new; and have this sort of screaming sound which is very identifiable with electric motors,” said Kuniskis.
Presenting the “exhaust” outdoors and to online livestream audiences posed a particular problem for the brand. When it came time for the big reveal, Dodge planned to put a microphone on the tailpipe to pump it throughout the building via speakers. The car itself features a piped exhaust system which generates sound that goes through an amplifier and tuning chamber to create the familiar roar. The speakers in the building were not tuned to accommodate the exhaust sound and made it sound fake, so Dodge opted to showcase the car outside in its natural environment instead.
“We have changed the sound of that car 1,000 times and we will continue to,” added Kuniskis.
Going forward, Dodge will continue to retune and refine the Charger Daytona Concept to meet the expectations of its enthusiasts. Dodge is headed to the 2022 SEMA show in Las Vegas, where it hopes to showcase other aspects of the concept vehicle. SEMA will be the perfect setting for Dodge to highlight how their Direct Connection program can benefit electric vehicles and help buyers modify their cars. “We’ll show a different version of that car. It will look totally different, to show the multiple personalities,” said Kuniskis.
In the meantime, explore the latest that the Dodge Performance lineup has to offer here at University Dodge. Check out our Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger inventory and schedule your test drive today. Be sure to follow University Dodge on social media for the latest Dodge news and offers.
Photo Source/Copyright: Stellantis