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Dodge designer explains how to make electric muscle cars look cool

Dodge’s muscle cars are taking a detour into the electric vehicle segment, but they are bringing their classic looks along for the ride.

The Dodge Charger Daytona SRT concept is a preview of the brand’s first all-electric model that’s going on sale in 2024.

Ralph Gilles is the Chief Design Officer for Dodge parent Stellantis and said he and his team are excited about taking on the challenge of updating the brand without alienating its loyal fan base.

“I literally leap out of bed every day and say, I get to work on finally a new thing,” Gilles told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview at the Detroit Auto Show.

THE DODGE CHARGER DAYTONA SRT IS A ‘BADA–’ ELECTRIC MUSCLE CAR THAT SCREAMS LIKE A BANSHEE

The two-door EV’s styling was inspired by the 1968 Charger, but modernized outside and in.

“We’re trying to bring a whole generation of muscle car lovers along with us on this exciting new journey, but at the same time, I think, when they make that choice, finally, they do want the world to know, so it has to be different,” Gilles said.

Among the unique features is what Gilles calls the R-Wing at the front of the car. It creates the illusion of a tall, blunt grille, but is actually a bridge between the fenders that allows air to flow through for improved aerodynamics.

“They’re happy that it doesn’t look like a jelly bean and part of that is the front end looking menacing still, a lot of character and celebrating the brand,” Gilles said.

“That’s going to be our shtick. There’s a lot of other companies if you want to buy jelly beans, go get it. It ain’t going to come from us.”

JEEP RECON AND WAGONEER S REVEALED AS THE BRAND’S FIRST ELECTRIC SUVS

The car’s wheelbase is as long as the current four-door Charger’s, and it features a hatchback instead of a trunk.

“The hatchback was the result of aero, but also popular demand a lot of people are migrating to UVs [Utility Vehicles], so, we’re like, if we can give them the utility of a UV they can stay in their cars that they really do love,” Gilles explained.

Gilles said the concept is a “public letter” to Dodge fans and that he’ll be listening to feedback, since there is time to update the design before it’s finalized for production. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We are them too. We hang out with them, we go to all the cars and coffee events, we see them around, literally around the world, we walk in their shoes, so we know what they’re about,” Gilles said.

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