Dodge Charger EV’s Fake Exhaust Didn’t Sound Good Because It’s Not Done: CEO

The Charger Daytona EV made a noise not everyone liked back in August. Tim Kuniskis says it’s still being perfected.

byPeter Holderith|
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Dodge stirred up controversy a few months ago when it revealed its first electric vehicle concept, the Charger Daytona SRT EV. It has some interesting design features and even a transmission, but those things aren't what people were concerned about. It was the car's "exhaust." AKA, speakers in a resonance chamber at the back of the vehicle.

The noise through these speakers back in August was a little difficult to discern and mildly unpleasant. Speaking to Motor Trend, Dodge's CEO Tim Kuniskis says there's a reason for that. Not only was the exhaust we heard not projected right, but also it's still being perfected. Indeed, what we'll hear at SEMA next month will be different than what we heard a few months ago and the final noise for production is still being tweaked. Below, you can hear the sounds it made.

Kuniskis claims the original plan back in August was to pipe the noise through the speakers in the venue. The problem was that those speakers were optimized for human voices, not a roaring synthetic exhaust note. As such, the automaker was forced to just rev the car as it stood without any amplification. Considering the Charger Daytona's "Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust" is as loud as 126 decibels, that should've been enough. It reportedly didn't come through clearly, though.

As a result, Kuniskis says the initial reactions were "super negative." Looking into it more, though, he claims that most people were actually OK with the idea of a fake exhaust note for EVs, they just didn't like how the Charger Daytona's sounded, especially at wide open "throttle."

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The idle is easy, he claims. Just copy the tempo of a rumbling cross-plane V8 and make it sound futuristic. A noise that represents a muscle car and also an electric motor at full power is a little tougher to nail down. Kunkiskis refers to this as "wide-open motors."

In the search to get the right wide-open motors sound, the CEO says Dodge has already experimented with more than 1,000 different notes. He insists that, by the time the cars hit the streets in about two years' time, the automaker will get it right. For now, though, just know that what you've heard likely won't be what you get.

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