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Dodge Is Developing Wild Front Active Aero for Electric Charger Daytona

A patent application shows Dodge has designed active flaps for the Charger Daytona’s pass-through front grille.

byBeverly Braga|
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Dodge knows it needs to stick the landing with the 2024 Dodge Charger Daytona EV to get the Brotherhood on board with electric muscle cars. That's why it's throwing a bunch of party tricks in the mix, like the Fratzonic exhaust, fake engine vibrations, pistol grip shifter, and a donut mode. But a new patent application uncovered by CarBuzz suggests the car could eventually get a sweet performance-oriented active aero setup built into its pass-through grille.

When the next-generation electric Charger was revealed, Stellantis was quick to highlight that it was able to maintain a classic-looking upright front fascia and traditional grille by repurposing those elements for aero instead of cooling. A callback to the original NASCAR Charger Daytonas, the "R Wing" setup channels air through the front end and up over the hood to reduce drag and increase downforce. (The gas-powered Charger doesn't have an R Wing because, you know, there's an engine in the way.) However, the patent application takes a big step into the future with the addition of active flaps that can adjust on the fly to performance driving conditions and even manual inputs from the driver via an "in-vehicle user interface".

More (and more consistent) downforce is obviously a goal, but that's not the only benefit to active aero. Dodge's system is also designed to act as an air brake during hard stops, or actually increase lift on the front end if the back end gets too light. It also describes using individual flaps on each side of the grille to aid in high-speed cornering.

The use of adaptive wings currently exists but so far have been reserved mainly for supercars, and generally at the back instead of the front. For example, the Ferrari 12Cilindri utilizes aerodynamic flaps within the rear fascia and the Porsche 911 GT3 RS has a DRS-style rear wing.

Given that the electric Charger has already been revealed with no mention of this, it's a safe bet that if active aero does end up in production, it'll be on the 700-hp Hellcat Banshee variant. But the takeaway is that EV design doesn't have to be one-size-fits-most in the name of efficiency and range. The R-Wing design started out as an aerodynamic necessity. Now, engineers are figuring out how we can have some real fun with it, too.

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