there are already electric cars with exhaust pipes that sound like a gasoline engine

This week Dodge, unveiled a first sample of what will be its future first electric car, the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept. It is an electric car with two motors, one per axle, and about which little is known.

It is speculated that it could equip a battery of at least 100 kWh, and in principle it will give a higher power to the 700 CV, depending on the brand. But it stands out above all for being the vintage electric car that may exist.

It is full of nods to the brand’s past, both in terms of design and name or equipment: it has a multi-speed gearbox and even an exhaust that emulates the sound of the brand’s powerful V8 Hellcat. Yes, in an electric. Why has Dodge dared with such an oxymoron on wheels?

Currently, Dodge essentially lives off the V6-equipped Dodge Charger, Challenger and Durango, as entry-level models, and powerful V8s, sometimes with outputs in excess of 800 hp. Dodge’s current clientele and image is that of the greatest exponent of old-fashioned muscle cars.

Los muscle cars, in the 60s, they were the most powerful versions of more mundane models. For example, the Ford Mustang or the Chevrolet Camaro, which were pony carsthey became muscle car once the Mustang passed through the hands of Shelby or Chevrolet, it would drop the fattest engine it had at the time in the Camaro S/S or Z28.

The best of two worlds

Dodge Challenger Daytona SRT Concept

¿How to attract those people to the electric car, which, fundamentally is silent and refined? Combining the best of all worlds in a single car and leaving, in principle, each user to decide what they like best.

On the one hand, we have the V8 noise generated artificially but diffused through a very real exhaust. The sound, according to Dodge spokesman explained.David Elshoff, is not obtained by sampling the noise of the electric motors, but rather the system generates a synthetic growl based on the “cadence of a Hemi V8”.

Dodge Challenger Daytona SRT Concept

A transducer manipulates that sound based on throttle position, vehicle speed, and other parameters, sending the signal to an amplifier that spits it out through a quite conventional exhaust, as if it were a wind instrument. One that can reach 126 dB at full throttle.

And on the other hand, we have the kick in the butt with each acceleration of an electric, in theory amplified with gear changes. Most electric cars have a single gear transmission (except the Porsche Taycan, which has an automatic two). The Charger Daytona SRT has a “multi-speed electromechanical transmission” called eRupt.

The goal is to give the regular customer a muscle car, the same sensations in the electric as in a classic of the brand. speed and acceleration? Yes. Kick ass? Yes, and twice. V8 roar? Hell yeah! Sorry Yes.

What if you just want a fast and stylish electric? It is an electric, therefore more than any other car, controlled by software and you could override all those functions with a simple button, or in the touch screen menu.

The rise of neo retro design, or the fear of tomorrow

Dodge Challenger Daytona SRT Concept
‘Fratzonic’, the true exhaust that emits a false sound on the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept.

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept is actually in no man’s land. It carries the concept of neo retro design, or post modernism, as it is also known, to extremes never seen before. And deep down it is perhaps the clearest example of why vintagethe retro like so much and it is successful at a commercial level.

The Dodge Challenger, Ford Bronco, Ford Mustang and Alpine A110 are the most recent examples in the automotive world. But it is not something that is only appreciated in this industry. Just look at the success that vinyl records have again, when they were believed dead and buried first by CDs and then by streaming.

Dodge Challenger Daytona SRT Concept

Something similar is also happening in fashion, like Adidas that has reissued the Stan Smith or the rise of vintage clothing stores. And of course, it is also appreciated in popular culture with movies and television, with remakes and sequels of classics or proposals set in the 80s (Hello, ‘Stranger Things’).

You might think that all this is due to a lack of creativity. At the end of the day, if something worked, it is enough to get something updated again. And voila, we have a winning product.

Dodge Challenger Daytona SRT Concept

However, whether you’re a car manufacturer or the head of a movie studio, those decisions aren’t made lightly. They have previously consulted several dozen clinical, market and trend studies. In addition, the design is one of the main purchase motivations, in all areas but especially in the car. A design is not approved just for the sake of it.

One of the reasons that could explain the interest in designs and evocations of the past would be the need that a part of the public has to find reference points, such as find meaning in the product.

Dodge Charger R/T 426 Hemi 1968
Dodge Charger R/T 426 Hemi 1968, the model that inspired the electric concept car.

And as our mind tends to idealize a past that we believe was better, when possibly it was not even remotely, regardless of whether we have experienced it or not, almost any product that evokes a supposedly better time is liked.

Dodge Challenger Daytona SRT Concept

The future is by definition uncertain. And in the automobile sector, even more so. They tell us that in a few years all cars will be electric, with all the conditions and limitations that this entails at the user level. Not to mention the fear that it raises on an economic level: What will happen to the car factories? Will there be enough power for everyone?

In the face of so much uncertainty, there is something comforting about a Jeep, with its iconic design, or a Dodge Charger. You already know what they are, we know them and there are no surprises.

Not everyone has that need, of course. There are those who do not see the future as something uncertain or worrying. Hence the success of brands like Tesla. Or brands that offer electric cars that are committed to avant-garde design, such as the Kia EV6, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or the Lucid Air.

Who will hit the nail on the head, those who advocate nostalgia or those who see the future as exciting and new? Time will tell.


Source: Motorpasión by www.motorpasion.com.

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