Vellum Venom Vignette: Dodge ad cheers new Challenger, due in ’24
Them Dodge Boys sure know how to market themselves. They always lean into the fun aspects of their designs, ensuring there’s no doubt as to what differentiates a Dodge from the boring cars made by Toyota and Ford Tesla. Their designs (and the powertrains underneath) are all about muscular performance, ensuring the bold branding statements cannot oversell what the customer sees in the showroom.
These days Dodge is straddling the line between EV and ICE muscle car performance. And it is doing a good job, complete with a Christmas-themed commercial promoting its rear-wheel-drive offerings. But what do we behold before seeing acceptable alternatives to a Camry?
Oh yeah, that’s gotta be a fresh look at the Charger EV concept. The holiday-themed rendering, wearing a festive shade of red, proves that key elements of the Charger Daytona SRT Concept are coming to production. First up are the headlights and the R-wing front fascia:
Every EV (and some ICE vehicles) has a light bar on the front end these days, so the rendered round headlight with a distinct beam pattern is noteworthy. The lights look much like those of a Plymouth Barracuda, especially the 1970 model. This should be cause for celebration, because the EV concept car we saw last year was a bit too minimalist and undefined for the Dodge brand.
The R-wing above those headlights is most certainly making production, though it isn’t innovative if you consider the “bridge” fascia of the 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista. But the Pista cost over $300,000, and the Charger EV is gonna be deep in the five-figure range. Nice.
Now let’s put the holiday rendering’s greenhouse next to that of a current Challenger and the concept Charger EV. Check out the length and height of the quarter window: The Charger appears to have a more accommodating back seat than the Challenger it (presumably) replaces. While the new Challenger’s doors could be longer, the length of the quarter window suggests there’s still a chance that more real estate is dedicated to rear-seat legroom in the upcoming Charger.
And it’s about damn time someone re-created the Lincoln Mark VIII, as it was the last (best?) coupe designed for adult-sized rear seat occupants and their fully grown legs. While this holiday rendering is still just a teaser, we’ve learned more about the production model due in late 2024. And this holiday season is clearly going worse for another performance EV product.
It’s a shame, but aspirational designs with no backstory or context can be hard to move off the lot. BMW and Lexus are never this forthcoming in their holiday promotions, and I suspect the Charger EV will follow their trajectory in our slowly electrifying world. The car will have a built-in following of folks hungry for muscular styling and the rush of effortless torque.
I suspect the faithful will gladly seek out charging stations for their next hit of Mopar-infused electric torque … especially if those ‘cuda-inspired eyeballs become their guiding light.