It won't have the original's signature elements, no aerodynamic nose cone or stabilizing high-mounted rear wing, but Dodge will be commemorating the 1969 Dodge Daytona, which dominated NASCAR before it was banned, with a special edition of the 2020 Dodge Charger. However, the name, 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition, might require a bigger Monroney sticker. We’ll just call it the DCSRTHWD50AE to make things easier.
The latest version of Mopar's four-door American muscle car will be introduced at Dodge's Modern Street HEMI Shootout this Saturday at the northern end of the 25th annual Woodward Dream Cruise, in Pontiac, Michigan.
To make the special edition a bit more special, the team at Chrysler took the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world and made it even faster and more powerful. Chrysler's engineers have recalibrated the Hellcat's supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 to produce a bit more power, 717 hp, the same as the Hellcat Challenger and. That’s up 10 horses compared to the 707 in most other applications. The automatic transmission has also been recalibrated to shift at engine speeds as high as 6100 rpm, to better use the extra power.
In addition to the extra thrust, the new Widebody Daytona gets 20x11-inch “Warp Speed” alloy wheels finished in Satin Carbon and low-profile Pirelli 303/35ZR20 all-season performance tires (high-performance summer tires are optional), along with black Brembo brake calipers with six pistons up front and four in the back, working on vented rotors.
Despite its ongoing popularity with collectors and speculators, the original Dodge Daytona was a homologation special limited to 501 units, one more than NASCAR then required to be made available as “stock” cars sold to the general public before the sanctioning body would let it race. Though popular with racers until it was regulated out of racing, the Daytona and similarly modified Plymouth Superbirds did not sell well at retail or as used cars. They may be six-figure collector cars today, but in the 1970s, the street cars were rightly considered gas-guzzlers and the competition cars were just obsolete, and banned, racers.
As with the original, just 501 of the new Daytonas will be made. In tribute to that original lot, the DCSRTHWD50AE has its own uniquely shaped decklid with a spoiler, albeit mounted a bit lower than the original's wing, along with a retro-looking crossways Daytona stripe.
It may surprise some that it was Bobby Isaacs who won the 1969 NASCAR championship, not Richard Petty, whose Petty blue #43 Superbird seems to stick in people's minds. Perhaps that's why B5 Blue will be an exclusive color on the DCSRTHWD50AE, though you can also order it in the Pitch Black, Triple Nickel, and White Knuckle finishes that are available on other Chargers.
Inside are some model-specific carbon-fiber bits and Daytona blue accent stitching. The 12-way power performance bucket seats are upholstered with Nappa leather and Alcantara suede, and also feature blue accent stitching and “Daytona” logos embroidered on the seat backs. Dynamica Suede is used for the headliner, and the instrument panel and console bezels are trimmed in real carbon fiber. The flat-bottomed, suede-covered steering wheel has blue and silver accent stitching. The premium velour-bound floor mats also get blue accents and are exclusive to the Daytona edition, as is the steering wheel. A blue “X of 501” numbered Daytona Edition badge with a Hellcat logo is fixed to the passenger side of the dashboard.
You will have to wait for the 2020 model year to begin this fall before you can order one from an authorized Dodge SRT dealer, which is odd for a 50th anniversary edition of a 1969 model. First deliveries are scheduled for early next year. Pricing has not yet been announced.