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Bench Racer—Charging Ahead

Posted By: Steve Turner
Bench Racer—Charging Ahead
Written by Steve Turner
Photography courtesy of Stellantis
When it’s last call and the lights come on, no one looks happy. No matter how much fun you are having, the dynamic changes. That’s how fans of rumbling, gas-powered modern muscle machines might have felt as the Dodge’s Hemi-powered beasts and Chevrolet’s LS-powered Camaros approach their swan song. But there is hope…
In particular, Dodge celebrated its amazing second chapter for Hemi-powered performance with its Last Call run of specialty vehicles that are sure to command a princely sum decades from now. They captured the spirit of the company’s tire-shredding, straight-line performance that drove the marketing of these rides for years. 
In advance of this transition into the era of electric muscle, the company showed off a compelling concept known as the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept. It fused those classic Dodge styling cues with a modern flair. Not only did it look great, but it took into account what a big part the sound of a muscle car plays in its personality with the inclusion of its Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust that provided a soundtrack that roars as loud as 126 dB.
“The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept exists because performance made us do it,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand chief executive officer – Stellantis. “Dodge is about muscle, attitude, and performance, and the brand carries that chip on its shoulder and into the BEV segment through a concept loaded with patents, innovations, and performance features that embody the electrified muscle of tomorrow. The Charger Daytona SRT Concept can do more than run the car show circuit; it can run a blazing quarter-mile. And when it comes to product cycles, it outruns Darwin. Charger Daytona does more than define where Dodge is headed, it will redefine American muscle in the process.”
As EVs go, it is pretty cool. Motivated by an 800V Banshee propulsion system, it sports a PowerShot feature designed to make passing easy with an extra burst of power at the push of a button, like an EV nitrous system. 
Though it is designed with extras that pander to fans of gas-burning muscle machines, there’s a contingent that won’t be swayed. For those mourning the death of internal-combustion muscle, a ray of light appeared.
While there had been talk that a gas engine could fit in the Charger Daytona SRT platform, unconfirmed sources told the online outlet The Drive that the engine was more than just viable in the forthcoming Charger — it would be an option!
As someone who can appreciate a wide range of powertrains, the idea of having a choice seems like the ideal way forward for production vehicles. In the case of the Dodge offering, it won’t be a supercharged, large-displacement HEMI under the hood. Instead, the Charger could be optioned with the 3.0-liter, twin-turbo, inline, six-cylinder Hurricane engine.
The base version of this engine delivers 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque but the high-output version with the same physical dimensions pumps out a stout 510 horsepower and 475 lb-ft of torque.
“As Stellantis aims to become the U.S. leader in electrification, with a 50-percent battery-electric vehicle (BEV) sales mix by 2030, internal combustion engines will play a key role in our portfolio for years to come and we owe it to our customers and the environment to provide the cleanest, most efficient propulsion possible,” Micky Bly, Stellantis head of propulsion systems, said when the engine was revealed. “The Hurricane twin-turbo is a no-compromise engine that delivers better fuel economy and an important reduction in greenhouse gases without asking our customers to give up performance.”
So a clean, compact six-cylinder with two turbos could be an option in the sleek new Dodge Charger RT. It isn’t a huge Hemi, but it is a sign that there is hope for fans of internal-combustion muscle machines, and having the option is all performance fans can ask for when it comes to factory performance cars.

Dodge’s Hurricane 3.0-liter V6 that could propel the Charger Daytona alongside a BEV powertrain benefits from two low-inertia turbos, Plasma Transfer Wire Arc cylinder coatings, high-pressure direct injection, dual overhead cams, air-to-water intercooling, and more to pump out as much as 510 horsepower.

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