How Does a ’69 Dodge Charger Daytona Compare to a Charger Hellcat in the Wind Tunnel?

Pitting a pair of Dodge's most iconic speed machines against each other in an aerodynamic showdown.

The advances in aerodynamics made by carmakers over the last few decades may be one of the least-appreciated developments in automotive development. While the sleek cars of years past may, in many cases, look slippery to the eye, today’s vehicles use all sorts of wind tunnel-tested trickery to fool the breeze into flowing around them in clever ways. Some cars do so primarily in the name of improving fuel economy; others use it to help them stick to the ground at triple-digit speeds. But even everyday cars of the 21st Century master air flow better than the performance cars of yore.

To try and show off the massive improvements made over the last few decades, the folks at recently brought a trio of Dodge Chargers to the wind tunnel to see how they handle their air. A ’69 Charger represents the regular vehicles of the Apollo era; a Charger Daytona shows what designers of the day could do to try and improve the aerodynamics of that platform for high-speed racing duty; and a new Charger Hellcat is there to show off what modern-day designers and engineers can do. 

The clip may be a little long by viral video standards (admit it, when was the last time you sat through four and a half straight minutes of a YouTube video?), but the subject matter and presentation alike combine to make a fascinating little episode. Especially when you see how the Chargers of old compare with their 707-horsepower descendant.