One of the highlights of the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept visit at the 2022 SEMA show was the announcement that there would be nine possible powertrain outputs for the all-electric muscle car concept. Dodge showed three different battery-electric power levels at the event and two Dodge Direct Connection performance upgrades for each power level. But, with adding the ability to tune the cars, the question arises: can 3rd party tuners do the same thing?
“No, I’m sure somebody will try and hack it, but that will be exclusive to Direct Connection and, quite frankly, that’s one of the reasons that we feel very strongly about what I call the ‘Crystals,’” said Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis to media. “The crystals are tied to the car, tied to the VIN, tied to the ECM of that car. It’s specific for that tune, for that car. Because we want to funnel this all through our control, and we want to funnel it through our Direct Connection and Power Broker program to support that body of people, to make sure that we’re controlling everything that happens in these cars.” Kuniskis stated.
“Now, we don’t want to lock the cars and say you can’t modify them. We just want to lock them and say modify them through us so that we know that it’s done right. Now, we want to do that because we’d rather spend our time coming up with more modifications for you instead of, literally, trying to whack-a-mole the hackers.” said Kuniskis. “‘Cause over-the-air updates, these things get hacked, and you can just constantly be chasing your tail on that. We want to try and shut that door before that door even opens and still give you the ability to modify your car.”
Tuning A Future Dodge Electric Vehicle
We know that the 400-volt system will have output levels of 340 kilowatts (456 hp) and 440 kilowatts (590 hp) and a yet-to-be-announced, factory-delivered power level 800-volt Dodge SRT Banshee powertrain package. As for the 340 kW, customers can boost the power output of their Banshee to 400 kW (535 hp) with an eStage 2 “Crystal,” while the 440 kW car can produce 500 kW (670 hp) with an eStage 2 tune. It’s not yet clear what the 800-volt powertrain will deliver straight from the factory or what the tunes may boost, but that’s some considerable power, nevertheless.
Some future customers may be looking to buy the car secondhand, which would be a cheaper option for those that are more patient. If that’s the case, you can rest easy knowing that if you’re buying a used Banshee that has been equipped with an eStage tune, Kuniskis has confirmed that “yeah,” it’ll stick with the car since the crystal is specific for that VIN.