Friday Fantasy: That Time Dodge Built A Tesla Roadster

dodge EV
(Dodge)
dodge EV
(Dodge)

Dodge is going electric.

The brand is replacing its V8-powered muscle cars with an all-electric car based on the Charger Daytona SRT next year.

The Mopar parts division is also set to unveil something called the Jolt at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on October 31 that a teaser suggests is an electric conversion kit for internal combustion engine cars.

Dodge knows a little something about that.

THE DODGE CHALLENGER IS THE LAST CAR WITH THIS OLD-SCHOOL FEATURE THAT’S GOING EXTINCT

dodge EV
(Dodge)

In 2007, Chrysler created a new division called ENVI (ENvironment and New Vehicles) aimed at developing electric vehicles. It was an effort to get investors interested in the struggling brand, which recently divorced from Daimler. A year later it revealed a sports car simply called the Dodge EV, which looked a little familiar.

lotus europa
(Lotus)

That’s because it was basically a converted mid-engine Lotus Europa S, which shared a chassis with the Lotus Elise that the original Tesla Roadster that launched that year was based on.

THE DURANGO SRT HELLCAT LIVES ON AS DODGE’S V8 MUSCLE CARS DIE

The Dodge EV had good specifications for the day with a 270 hp, 480 lb-ft BorgWarner electric motor driving the rear wheels and a claimed range of 150-200 miles per charge, a bit less than the Tesla.

dodge circuit
The Dodge Circuit was revealed at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. (Dodge)

ENVI kept working on it, however, and a few months later unveiled the updated Dodge Circuit at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.

The mechanicals were basically the same, but ENVI gave it a styling makeover for more of a Dodge look that included a crosshair grille.

Turns out it was still off the mark, however, and after the Fiat-Chrysler merger that look place later that year the ENVI program was discontinued and the Circuit cut short.

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT is coming in 2024. (Dodge)

Dodge’s first all-electric model will be very different. The Charger Daytona SRT is designed in the style of a muscle car and will be offered with up to 670 hp and followed by an even more powerful Banshee model that should be the equivalent of today’s Hellcats and Demons.

OH CHUTE: THE DODGE DEMON 170 IS SO FAST IT HAS AN OPTIONAL PARACHUTE MOUNT

Dodge has also designed a few features to make it sound and feel like an old-school muscle car, including the so-called Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust that uses a unique method to simulate an exhaust sound up to 126 dB loud and the vibrations created by a powerful V8 engine.

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Dodge hasn’t said exactly when the final version will be revealed, but it is coming sometime next year, while production of the current Dodge Challenger and Charger is scheduled to wrap up at the end of 2023.