The sound for the Daytona has been changed many many times according to Kuniskis.
Tim Kuniskis says the team is still working on the sound.
Speaking to Motor Trend at last month's Detroit Auto Show, Kuniskis said that the sound of the system wasn't well-represented at the reveal event. The Fratzonic system uses an amplifier that plays synthesized sounds created by Dodge through a "tuning chamber" to increase volume and modify the tone. In an interview with CNBC after the reveal, Kuniskis compared the system to a pipe organ. He now tells Motor Trend that the sound is hard to record, so the car has to be heard in person.
Dodge originally planned to mic up the exhaust for the live event, but as the PA system used was tuned for human voices, Kuniskis said it wouldn't sound quite right. So people who saw the in-person debut of the Charger Daytona SRT concept got to hear the actual Fratzonic system (in prototype form), whereas online, we're hearing whatever room and lavalier mics Dodge set up for the livestream, and video captured by attendees on their phones. Kuniskis said that you need to hear the car as it moves through a space.
"I wanted people to hear the sound as it drove by," he told Motor Trend. "It was important to make sound with the movement of air, not with some speakers." A slightly odd statement given that the Fratzonic system almost assuredly uses speakers to produce its claimed maximum volume of 126 decibels.
There is no doubt that some things sound better in person than in recording, but I don't think Kuniskis would be talking about microphones and PAs if Dodge had just revved a real V-8 a couple of times in the same room. In any event, Kuniskis said that Dodge is still working on the sound of the system. "Did we crack the code on wide-open motors? Not yet. But we've got two years," Kuniskis said. "We have changed the sound of that car 1000 times and we will continue to."
I can't help but suspect that it's not the sound itself that's the main issue here—it's more of the inauthenticity of it all. Dodge can talk all it wants about creating a resonance chamber, but the sound that's entering that resonance chamber is synthesized. It has to be. This is Dodge trying to cling on to its past—the main thing that sells its muscle cars—while its hand is being forced into making EVs.