Dodge chief executive Tim Kuniskis has revealed that the car manufacturer will not allow third-party tuners to modify the powertrains of its forthcoming EVs.
The carmaker has previewed its electric future with the Charger Daytona SRT Concept and at the recent SEMA Show, announced a host of Dodge Direct Connection performance upgrades that will be offered for the production model. When asked by Muscle Cars & Trucks whether tuners would be able to work their magic on the EV powertrain, Kuniskis gave a definitive answer.
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“No, I’m sure somebody will try and hack it, but that will be exclusive to Direct Connection and, quite frankly, that’s one of the reasons that we feel very strongly about what I call the ‘Crystals’,” he said. “The crystals are tied to the car, tied to the VIN, tied to the ECM of that car. It’s specific for that tune, for that car. Because we want to funnel this all through our control, and we want to funnel it through our Direct Connection and Power Broker program to support that body of people, to make sure that we’re controlling everything that happens in these cars.”
The ’Crystals’ that Kuniskis is referring to represent the different tunes that the company will offer for the SRT Banshee EV powertrain. For example, the entry-level 456 hp version can be upgraded to 535 hp with the eStage 2 ‘Crystal.’
“Now, we don’t want to lock the cars and say you can’t modify them,” Kuniskis added. “We just want to lock them and say modify them through us so that we know that it’s done right. Now, we want to do that because we’d rather spend our time coming up with more modifications for you instead of, literally, trying to whack-a-mole the hackers.”
While this is bad news for those companies that make their money by tuning and upgrading cars, we’re sure that some will still attempt to hack and upgrade the powertrain. For most customers chasing additional power, however, turning to the automaker itself will be the easiest and safest option.