Dodge Will Lock Third-Party Tuners Out Of EV-Modding Market


Dodge plans to make its dealers the first and last stop for owners wanting to modify future EV performance cars by closing the door to third-party tuners, much like Ford has done with the new 2024 Mustang.

Although the aftermarket will still be able to supply chassis and styling upgrades for cars like the production version of the Charger Daytona SRT Concept, Dodge is working to prevent them modifying the electric powertrains.

“We don’t want to lock the cars and say you can’t modify them,” Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis told Carscoops. “We just want to lock them and say modify them through us so that we know it’s done right.”

So it’s just as well that Dodge is planning to offer a stack of power, styling and handling modifications through its Direct Connection program that are likely to give the hottest version of its 2024 electric muscle car more than 1,000 hp (1,104 PS).

Related: Ford Won’t Give “Unauthorized Tuners” Access To The 2024 Mustang S650

But Kuniskis also explained a surprising motivation behind the decision to ramp up the availability of dealer-supplied tuning packages. He said he was aware that dealers stood to lose revenue in the electric era because EVs require less maintenance, and that by offering sanctioned tuning parts dealers would have a chance to replace any lost income.

Dodge has revealed more details on the upcoming production version of the Charger Daytona SRT Concept, saying that the car could have three base power options starting at 455 hp (340 kW / 461 PS), and that each of those could be modified with eStage 1 and eStage 2 upgrades. The additional eStage power is only accessible when a Bugatti Speed Key-like “crystal” is inserted into the dashboard.

Power Upgrades Tied To The Vin And Will Be Transferable

Kuniskis conceded that third-party tuners would inevitably try to hack the electrical system to perform their own power upgrades, but claimed that the crystals, which are tied to a car’s VIN, would help Dodge dealers become the go-to destination for upgrades that don’t only add power, but potentially, value as well. Those EV performance mods could, of course, only add value if they were transferred with the car to the next owner, and Kuniskis confirmed that would be the case.


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