Electric Dodge Charger Concept’s ‘Exhaust’ Is As Loud as a Hellcat V8. Here’s How
Dodge thinks it’s come up with a way to scratch the exhaust note itch that EVs usually leave unsatisfied. But does this sound like it’ll do the trick?
Dodge finally showed off its replacement for the Challenger and Charger on Wednesday: the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept, an electric coupe that Dodge likens to a Hellcat. One of the ways it matches a Hellcat is in noise, with an "exhaust" that Dodge says reaches 126 decibels—the same volume as that supercharged Hellcat V8. It isn't something that's been done before on an EV, so we talked to Dodge to get the inside scoop on how it works, and some idea as to whether it'll be a game-changer—or just an ill-considered gimmick.
Dodge calls its EV noisemaker the "fratzonic chambered exhaust," which it says generates "sound through an amplifier and tuning chamber located at the rear of the vehicle." That probably makes as much sense to you as it does to me, which is to say almost none. So, we got Dodge spokesperson David Elshoff to explain how it works.
First, the sound. Hear it for yourself:
Elshoff told me that the system doesn't sample the noise from the Charger EV's motors, but generates a synthetic one based on the "cadence from a Hemi V8." He adds that it "screams at higher revs," which might explain where Dodge got the Banshee name for its 800-volt electric drivetrain. A transducer then manipulates that sound based on throttle position, vehicle speed, load, and so on, feeding the signal to an amplifier that spits it out through a fairly conventional exhaust. Elshoff likens the setup to "a resonator or those direct/reflecting home speakers from the 1980s."
From there, the noise escapes the car through twin exits out back, down low near the rear splitter. How does it sound? According to Peter Holderith, "it just sounds like if Darth Vader was a car."
Like the Charger EV's rounder styling, the Dodge fanbase response could be mixed. Then again, Tesla has proven that weird gimmicks are an effective way to cultivate interest in EVs. If that's what it takes for Dodge to secure a future for the muscle car, then so be it.
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