Overall Rating:  

Daytona is a name with some history. Multiple cars from several automakers have used the moniker, some more notably than others. There was the Shelby Daytona coupe, the Ferrari 365GTB/4 nicknamed Daytona, the Dodge Daytona hatchback, the Studebaker Daytona line, the Ford Mustang Daytona concept, and of course the original Dodge Charger Daytona aero warrior. All take their name from Daytona Beach, Florida, the birthplace of stock-car racing. The locale is now home to Daytona International Speedway, host to the Daytona 500 and the Rolex 24 Hours, and some cars—like the original Charger Daytona—were homologation specials or commemorations of race cars.

HIGHS
Rear-drive and V-8 Detroit heritage, sweet exhaust note, burns rubber with ease.
LOWS
Dude-bro appearance, shoddy interior build quality, less than an SRT.

 

Dodge reintroduced the Charger Daytona name for 2013. It appears in two variations for 2017: the standard Daytona with a 5.7-liter V-8 (tested here) or as the Daytona 392 with a 6.4-liter V-8. Both sit roughly midpack in the Charger lineup, which isn’t much of an honor for the first stock car to break the 200-mph mark at Talladega Superspeedway.

Charge It to the Name

The 2017 Charger Daytona is essentially a Charger R/T with special-edition add-ons, what Dodge calls the Customer Preferred Package 29S. The items touch just about every portion of the car, inside and out, mechanicals included, but it’s the exterior that sees the biggest changes. Unfortunately, those fall short of a massive wing or a beaked nose as on the original.

Most prominent is a black spoiler and a wide, matte-black stripe that stretches across the decklid and wraps down onto the rear quarter-panels and includes Daytona lettering. The exterior also features a matte-black roof, a matte-black bar on the hood emblazoned with Hemi branding, a functional hood scoop, a black grille, an SRT body kit, 20.0-by-9.0-inch black forged-aluminum wheels, LED fog lights, and special badging.

On their own, those visuals don’t make much of a statement on a muscle car that already looks pretty aggressive, so Dodge turns up the volume by making available vibrant retro colors such as Green Go, Go Mango, TorRed, and Yellow Jacket. Our test vehicle wore Green Go, eye glue that engendered looks of confusion, excitement, disgust, and sometimes all three at once. It’s possible to delete the HEMI hood and the Daytona rear-quarter decals for no extra cost, but that kind of defeats the purpose of the Daytona package.