Dodge Won’t Let People Modify EVs Without Automaker Support: Report

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There’s a massive aftermarket scene bolstering Dodge’s current model portfolio, but this may change in the near future, at least in terms of performance tuning. With the brand’s upcoming electric vehicle, third-party companies will reportedly be blocked from ever tuning the car’s output.

In November last year, Dodge unveiled the updated Charger Daytona SRT Concept at SEMA 2022 where it became clear that there would be nine power stages for the production version of this vehicle. Six outputs will be available for the regular 400 volt version and another three outputs will be available for the more powerful 800 volt model. However, it turns out that only the automaker is authorized to tune the car. Will aftermarket companies be allowed to make tweaks?

“No, I’m sure someone will try and hack it, but it will be exclusive to Direct Connection and, frankly, that’s one of the reasons why we feel so strongly about what I call ‘Crystals,'” Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis told Muscle Cars and Trucks in a recent interview. “The crystal is tied to the car, tied to the VIN, tied to the ECM of that car. It’s specific to that song, to that car. Because we want to channel this through our control, and we want to channel this through our Direct Connection and Power Broker program to support these people, to make sure that we control everything that happens in these cars.”

Dodge reportedly wanted to remain in full control of the modification to make sure “it gets done right.” According to Kuniskis, automakers not only want to lock up cars and never let owners modify them, but want to guarantee there won’t be unwanted, uncontrolled, and potentially malicious hacks. The good news is that any factory power upgrade sticks to the car for its next owner because it is essentially specific to that car’s VIN and not tied to the original owner.

As a reminder, the regular Daytona SRT Concept with 400-volt architecture can be tweaked to 455 hp (340 kW), 495 hp (370 kW), 535 hp (400 kW), 590 hp (440 kW), 630 hp (470 kW), and 670 hp (500 kW). The upgraded 800 volt model has three additional power options with the range-top SRT Banshee promising over 800 hp (588 kW). All potential power-ups will be accessible via so-called Dodge Crystals.