Why the 2013 Dodge Charger Daytona Matters: The Chrysler Group’s recent decision to pull the Dodge Charger from NASCAR competition likely didn’t sit too well with the car’s core audience, particularly since the announcement came at the same time Charger pilot Brad Keselowski was winning this year’s Sprint Cup championship. So, you can kind of think of the 2013 Dodge Charger Daytona—with its roots deep in NASCAR Nation—as a “thanks” to the brand’s stock-car fans; of course, it also fits in with Dodge’s ongoing strategy of releasing special-edition models of its full-size muscle-car sedan to keep the pot on a steady boil.
It’s worth noting as well that the 2013 Dodge Charger Daytona makes for a very distinctive, surprisingly affordable alternative to some of today’s other big mainstream sedans. Consider: The new Charger Daytona opens at $32,990, representing a $2,995 premium over the vehicle on which it's based, the Charger R/T—already the most affordable V8-powered sedan in the country and featuring a 370-hp, 5.7-liter HEMI V8 that’s also good for 395 lb.-ft. of torque.
Something like the Hyundai Genesis sedan, in theory a “performance” car, starts at $34,200, but it’s a few inches smaller than the Charger and features a V6 with 37 fewer horsepower and a torque deficit of more than 100 lb.-ft. as compared to the Dodge. The 2013 Ford Taurus SHO comes a bit closer to the Charger Daytona’s engine output, with 365 hp and 355 lb.-ft. of torque, but it’s starting price is $39,200 (albeit with standard all-wheel drive).
As expected, the Chrysler 300 can be configured to match the performance of its corporate sibling, but the more upscale Chrysler product is priced north of $38,000 with a V8 engine.
In other words, while some of today’s hi-po cars are clearly showing there IS a replacement for displacement, there’s still no replacement for a car like the 2013 Dodge Charger Daytona.