By on April 19, 2017

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Dodge’s target demographic for the SRT Demon, which is presumably Hellcat owners with leftover money, will be relieved to learn that the straight-line monster will be priced “well below ” six-figures. That’s a bargain considering that the majority of production vehicles that can approach its quarter-mile time are priced using the phrase “of a million dollars” as a reference point.

While it is a little surprising that Dodge isn’t trying to get excited shoppers to shell out more for the Demon, it has far more value to Fiat Chrysler as a media darling. Even at a much higher cost, it would still be too low volume to be a genuine money maker — but the positive attention it garners for the brand is invaluable. 

Road & Track managed to sideline Tim Kuniskis, head of FCA’s passenger car brand, and squeeze some details out of him during the Demon’s unveiling at the New York Auto Show. “Obviously [the price] will be more than a regular Hellcat, but it’s gonna be well below six figures,” he said.

While that provides a good amount of speculative distance between the Hellcat’s $64,195 MSRP and $100,000, it does give us a surprisingly low place to start guessing. Dodge outfitted the Demon with some pretty competent gear and performance parts aren’t cheap, so don’t expect the base model to exist directly on top of the Hellcat sticker. However, a from-the-factory car that can churn out zero-to-sixty times on par with a Bugatti Chiron — for one-thirtieth of the price — is definitely cause for celebration.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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37 Comments on “Dodge Challenger SRT Demon to Have an MSRP Under Six Figures...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    Well, yes…but what will the dealer’s “Market Adjustment” look like for one of these things?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I see lots of YouTube videos in the near future where the last words of the driver before they climb into their Demon is going to be, “hold my beer and watch this…”

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Like I said last week on Hooniverse, I see these, for the most part, suffering one of two fates:

      1) Totaled, in spectacular fashion (can’t wait for the YouTube videos!), during the first year; or

      2) Tucked away as an investment, like the 25th Anniversary Corvettes from 1978.

      I have to say I agree with Peter De Lorenzo at The Autoextremist, and Richard Truett at Automotive News, that it’s ridiculously irresponsible for FCA to put VINs on these cars and allow them to be registered and driven on the street. Chevy and Ford don’t put VINs on their drag racing specials, so they are restricted to track-only use. To quote Truett, writing in AN:

      “‘This won’t be a popular stance, and people will be angry and disagree, but here goes: For FCA to build a car like this, one that can be legally driven off the dealer’s lot, is nothing short of irresponsible. It’s an act of desperation by a company whose cars are getting really old. Consider that the Challenger itself is 8 years old, and the platform it rides on is from well into the last century.’ And, ‘There’s a reason drag-centric cars such as this from other automakers or specialty equipment manufacturers aren’t given a vehicle identification number: They present a clear and present danger to not only their drivers, but to the motoring public.\'”

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Agreed. If they’re going to sell it for street use, the factory suspension setup and tires should be safe for street use.

        • 0 avatar
          MrIcky

          The suspension and tires are safe for street use, in summer. Tires are dot approved. Drive something else in inclement weather. Suspension is fine for a daily driver- just on the soft side.

          I agree a lot of these will be bagged and stored. I think it’s too early to tell how many will be totaled by idiots. It’s a limited edition that’s priced fairly high. I would expect there will be a few, but every one that does total people will take to say “see, told you so” – even if it’s only a dozen overcompensated youtubers.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        …Consider that the Challenger itself is 8 years old, and the platform it rides on is from well into the last century…

        Blasphemy! The FCA LX platform is not based on a late 20th century Mercedes platform! It was updated the FCA faithful will tell you, not grasping the differences between a platform update and a platform replacement.

        They’ll trot out the Camry as an example of the genius of the LX platform, and then argue how the XV60 platform is just a light refresh of the XV10. Yes, this has been argued.

        Agreed, these cars shouldn’t have a VIN on them. It is further utterly irresponsible to sell an under 10 second car that won’t be allowed onto a single NRHA sanctioned track without modifications.

        Despite the belief by some of the B&B that all you need to do is, ehem, “promise” you won’t run under 10 seconds to track officials, that isn’t true. The published 1/4 time is under 10 seconds, any track allowing the Demon in stock form on a race track is violating NHRA rules and risks losing their sanctioning – never mind needing the license.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “The published 1/4 time is under 10 seconds, any track allowing the Demon in stock form on a race track is violating NHRA rules.”
          ______________________________________
          Everything I’ve seen reports the “ban” is on a per car basis, not a blanket barring.

          “‘It’s not the make that is banned,’ says Scott Smith of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). ‘You can bring a Dodge Demon to an NHRA track, but if you run under that 10-second barrier, they’re going to require that you meet the safety standards’.”

          ” ‘You can bring the car to any NHRA member track and go out, it’s only once you hit below that 10-second number that they’d talk to you about the ‘cage,’ Smith explained.”

          http://www.hotrod.com/articles/stop-saying-2018-dodge-demon-banned-dragstrip/

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          So, APaGttH, you can cite something to prove the LX is just an old Benz in drag, as opposed to a Chrysler platform using a few Benz parts?

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Have wumao begun to hit TTAC?

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        Except the platform really doesn’t go back to the previous century.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    While I like the idea of this car, I’m not sure what you *do* with it.

    The thrill of drag racing it would wear off after several runs, and then what – drive it to Walmart for errands?

    After that, you park it so that your children can resell a low-mileage Demon whose value may not have appreciated because the Demon was eclipsed by something else (Dodge Challenger “Banshee”, for instance)? I mean, what’s the future value of a Hellcat now that the Demon is here?

    Let’s say it’s $85k; that’s a lot of coin for something of little practical value in the owner’s remaining lifetime (which is probably only about 20 years when they buy it).

    • 0 avatar
      tylanner

      This segment is light on practicality to begin with.

      But this brain dead attempt to one-up the Camaro and Mustang is unabashedly a single-use machine…an attempt to manufacture a classic.

      I think the point of this car is simply to induce marvel. And if you can snag one for less than the price of a 911 I think it will be the most marvel for your dollar….if that is what you are in to.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        “This segment is light on practicality to begin with.”

        As a Mustang GT-owning family who drove the car without issues through the harsh NY winter, Iwe take issue with this.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      It’s an interesting question. Would the typical buyer be similar to someone with a Ferrari, SL, Corvette and even a Miata? With those cars you often have owners with multiple vehicles that server multiple purposes: a pickup for taking stuff to the dump, a luxury car or SUV as a daily driver and a fun weekend car to take the wife out to dinner on a warm summer night.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      What do you do with any fun and impractical car? If you throw this car out because you can’t figure out what to do with it, then you’re throwing out a whole lot of cars with limited practicality.

      Also, if you enjoy drag racing, you enjoy drag racing. I’ll tell you that the local dragstrip is FAR better attended than the local parking lot racing and it’s very accessible.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    Comparing a souped-up Dodge to a Bugatti? That’s a new low.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Is it just me, or is MSRP meaningless on an exclusive car like this? At the end of the day, dealers are going to add a healthy “market adjustment”. It’s a check writing contest.

    The “$ per performance” comparisons are inevitable but they miss the point. At the end of the day, this is a Dodge on an ancient platform designed primarily to go fast in a straight line. It doesn’t do much else very well.

    If VW/Bugatti were given the same platform and same cost and design targets, the result would be something like the Demon. If FCA were given the latest technology and a cost target of $1M, they would turn out something like the Chiron.

    • 0 avatar
      tylanner

      True cost/MSRP numbers on the GT350/GT350R are all out of wack and will no doubt be just as skewed for the Demon as well.

      I feel the comparisons are only valid for cars where you can walk into a dealership and pay the MSRP without any undue resistance.

  • avatar
    mcs

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this car in the rain with those Nitto NT05Rs. I predict that’ll be where we’ll see the most carnage with this car. Read some of the reviews on that tire and it’s rain performance.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    What amazes is that there is still a market in the US for Hellcats, Demons and whatever other OEMs jump in with like the reported Camaro ZL1 Exorcist.

    Is the US economy still that mullet-friendly?

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      “Is the US economy still that mullet-friendly?”

      Why such a need to bash Americans? The Germans certainly love American pony cars.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      I get the impression these are niche halo cars used mainly for marketing purposes instead of “hey, look at this large market we should fill with a new model”. They get people interested in the brand, get them into the showroom. Even though the vast majority of these people are going to settle for a lesser model, a sale is made. There are far more people that want to be associated with the Hellcats and Demons than can actually afford it. Enter the SRT8, R/T, Scat Pack, etc.

      They use existing platforms where most of the core development has already been done. Development costs are incremental and are usually limited to the engine, suspension and some bodywork. If they can convince a few thousand to pay some absurd price to help absorb some of these incremental costs, mission accomplished.

      Then there is publicity and advertising. How long did Dodge drag out the reveal of the Demon? How many clicks did that generate?

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        Makes sense. Having lesser vehicles available that are accessible at the expense of child support payments and dentistry will move some metal.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        This. The Viper is gone so they needed a new halo car. Mopar has always been into drag racing. Look back through the 70s and 80s and the big names there. Plus, most top fuel engines are based on the old 60s hemi.

        Now you have the Demon, Hellcat, Trackhawk, SRT SUVs and Cars. Heck, the SRT Durango has an 8600# towing capacity.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they bring out a new ‘cuda or “Avenger” on the RWD Giulia platform but with a 300hp NA Pentastar and 450hp forced induction Pentastar in a couple years.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      The exorcist is a hennessy special so who knows if that will even get built. Not oem though. But if anything I think the market is growing. The Mustang GT500 is coming soon and rumored to be in the 750hp range. I’m sure the ZL1s will get some massaging soon. Stock market is going up. I don’t think gas prices effects this end of the car market much.

  • avatar
    Rday

    This is FCA right? Why would anyone expect them to be logical or responsible when it comes to the public. Nuff said

  • avatar
    tlk

    What’s with all the hate? Would you prefer fewer options available for purchase? Should anything done to excess be shunned?

    You people are no fun. I have 750 ponies under one of the hoods in my garage. Believe me, it never gets old. And I don’t even have a mullet.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    I’m not entirely certain why but for some reason I just can’t be bothered to give a crap about this product.

    I don’t hate it. I don’t love it. I just don’t care.

    • 0 avatar
      zoomzoomfan

      Same here! It seems like every year or so there’s a new version of the Challenger that is bigger, badder, and faster than before. R/T. Scat Pack. Hellcat. Demon. What’s next? After a while, it gets a little repetitive and shows what it truly is: a way for FCA to buy time and come up with other ideas.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        The R/T and Scat Pack are packages and you can get the Scat Pack with the Pentastar so not really bigger and badder, just different. Why not? Maybe some don’t need all the hp of the hemi and still want something that corners decent?

        What is wrong with choice?

        • 0 avatar
          MrIcky

          You cannot get the scat pak with the pentastar. Scat pak specifically means it has a 392. You could get a scat pak performance upgrade for the 5.7 which was a dealer installed AM item. But no 3.6s in the scat pak club house

  • avatar
    Chi-One

    @flipper35
    Agree with your thoughts.
    However, Scat Pack is only available with 6.4L 392 HEMI.


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