Quick question. If you’re going to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of your performance cars, how much horsepower is enough? Let’s say you are making the Dodge Charger Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition, with an upgraded version of the Hellcat engine, just how much horsepower do you stuff under the hood?
All of the above.
If you’re Dodge, the answer to that question is simple.
Here Comes Trouble
At this point, it’s pretty easy to say that Dodge isn’t interested in subtle design concepts. Fifty years ago, this was true with almost every last product they were making. Today, it still is true considering their 50th Anniversary Edition of the Charger Daytona. For 2020, the Daytona will be packing 717 ponies. Is that enough? Yes. If that’s not enough, then I have two things to say: 1 – Seek help, and 2 – You’re my kind of people. Oh and third, you might want this Dodge muscle car instead.
Fifty years ago, the Dodge Charger Daytona landed like a well-aimed mortar round. The Allisons, Wood Brothers, Yarboroughs (both of them) took one look and more or less said, “Hooh boy, we are in trouble now!” The original Daytona pretty much dominated NASCAR. Yes, Richard Petty was always hard to beat, regardless of car, but put him in a Daytona and adios muchachos. The Daytona was the first car to break a 200 mph average lap speed, a record that stood for 17 years.
Dodge Charger Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition: Fit For The King
Officially it’s called the 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition, although most will shorten that. Leveraging what they did with the Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody (still the most powerful and fastest sedan in the world), Dodge added 3.5 inches of width; complete with wider wheels and tires that give off an aggressive, planted stance not unlike something predatory that is about to eat you. That’s just where the changes start. Other upgrades include enhanced shift points up to 6,100 rpm in automatic mode. That alone was enough to bump the horsepower from 707 to 717; the feature is exclusive to this model Charger.
Also exclusive is the color B5 Blue. It bears more than a passing resemblance to Petty’s Electric Blue. Sure, the Anniversary Edition also comes in Pitch Black, Triple Nickel, and White Knuckle, but c’mon; just go ahead and order the B5 Blue. The King would want it that way.
In addition to the paint, other “traditional” styling cues include a Daytona decklid with a rear-quarter decal and spoiler. The Daytona decal, spoiler, and Hellcat badge come in white on the B5 Blue, Pitch Black, and Triple Nickel. White Knuckle models get the Daytona decal and spoiler in blue, whereby the Hellcat badge has a bright finish.
Finishing up the outside are these big, stonking 20- by 11-inch “Warp Speed” wheels with a slick Satin Carbon finish. They are wrapped in Pirelli 305/35ZR20 all-season performance tires. Three-season tires are optional, and yeah, go with that option. Because if you’re driving this in the rain . . . yeah, sure, you’re my kind of people, but you’re gonna die! Keep this as a summer fun car, if you please. Stopping is handled by Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes with vented rotors. Stopping was kind of an iffy deal back in the day with Mopars, so this is good news.
The interior gets its fair share of Daytona styling cues. Heated and ventilated black Nappa leather, and Alcantara suede with blue accent stitching and Daytona embroidery are the first things I noticed. Both front seats have a 12-way power adjust function. That blue accent stitch appears throughout the interior, on the center console armrest, on the door panels, and on the dashboard and shifter. The headliner is this special Dynamica Suede affair, and that’s real carbon fiber on the instrument panel and console bezels, kiddo.
Light Black Chrome interior accents are matched with the suede-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel. The steering wheel gets blue and silver accent stitching. Premium velour-bound floor mats, again with a blue-stitched accent border, help complete the interior look. Yes, both the steering wheel and floor mats are exclusive to the Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition.
There’s also a custom IP badge with the Hellcat and Daytona logos on the passenger side identifying each vehicle as “x out of 501.” So yeah, that’s some bad news: Only 501 will be made. So get in line now. The line will start to move this fall as the Chargers will arrive early next year. The 501 designation comes from 1969 when Dodge built 501 of them to meet NASCAR’s homologation requirements so they could qualify for racing.
Seriously. Consider it.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.