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Bench Racer—With Steve Turner Action Packed

Posted By: Steve Turner
Bench Racer—With Steve Turner Action Packed
Written by Steve Turner
Photography courtesy of Stellantis
One of the biggest proponents of factory-built muscle machines with a focus on straight-line performance, Stellantis, the parent company of Dodge, ended production of its long-running, Hemi-powered Chargers and Challengers. They had a remarkable run atop the same basic platforms for more than a decade, these cars continued to ramp up their output until the final model, the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, pumped out an eye-watering 1,025 horsepower.
The end of an incredible era of performance paved the way for the new 2024 Dodge Charger Daytona, which at first seemed would only be an electric vehicle based on the concept car teased a few years back. However, it eventually became clear that there would be gas-powered options, and that has proven true. However, those engines are not Hemis but variations on the potent Hurricane six-cylinder powerplant.
Sporting 670 horsepower and projected 0-60 mph times in the 3.3-second range, the 2024 Dodge Charger Daytona EV promises to retain the title of the world’s quickest and most powerful muscle car. Meanwhile, the 2024 Dodge Charger Daytona Scat Pack is said to conquer the quarter mile in 11.5 seconds. These two potent rides are the company’s first-ever electric vehicles. By adding optional Direct Connection Stage Kits that add 40 to 80 horsepower, they can be made more potent.
“The electrified 2024 Dodge Charger Daytona Scat Pack delivers Charger Hellcat Redeye levels of performance and announces its presence through the world’s first Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust, while Hurricane engine-powered Dodge Charger SIXPACK models will give the Brotherhood of Muscle a gas option that produces better horsepower and torque numbers than the outgoing 5.7- and 6.4-liter HEMI engines,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand chief executive officer – Stellantis. “The next generation of Dodge muscle has arrived.”
Those impressive credentials may start to turn the heads of even diehard internal combustion fans, but if you are a fully vested member of the Gasoline Forever movement, early next year not one but two gas-powered models with join those EV models, the 550-horsepower Dodge Charger SIXPACK H.O. and the 420-horsepower Charger SIXPACK S.O. They are both motivated by variants of the aforementioned 3.0-liter Twin Turbo I-6 Hurricane engine.
Like most modern cars, they feature Drive Modes, including Auto, Eco, Sport, Wet/Snow, and Track and Drag (standard on the Charger Daytona Scat Pack). However, they also carry a host of other cool features, like PowerShot (40 more horsepower for 15 seconds), Donut Mode, Drift Modes, Launch Control/Line Lock (exclusive to the Daytona Scat Pack), Race Prep (which optimizes battery power for racing), and a Drive Experience Recorder.
It is so cool to see major auto manufacturers deliver new vehicles with tech that not only makes them user-friendly but is targeted at enhancing performance. However, I have to admit I am most excited about that Drive Experience Recorder. This is something I have been clamoring for since the dawn of the modern muscle car error, and the Dodge version offers all the features I had hoped for including synchronized logging of audio, video, and vehicle data for both drag racing and road course environments. 
Let’s face it, in today’s world, if you don’t document it on social media, it never really happens. With this technology, you can not only share and video of your exploits behind the wheel, but real-time data matched up with that imagery. Sure you could augment it by editing in action-cam and drone footage but having it synced with data straight from the car makes it something special.
I am looking forward to seeing what both the electric and internal-combustion models are like. The world of new cars might be evolving, but the desire for performance is sure not to fade away any time soon. 


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