By on December 10, 2019

Remember the ridiculously long lead-up to the release of Dodge’s Challenger SRT Demon? That never-ending trail of breadcrumbs leading to the hottest LX-platform car to date? Yeah, that one.

The teasing grew tiresome after a while. Many buyers and writers (circles that rarely cross) were about to get up and leave the bar, until FCA finally debuted the limited-run, 840-horsepower drag beast.

Well, it looks like FCA’s on the make again.

FCA design boss Ralph Gilles kicked things off by selling a used car. Not just any used car, but his 2018 Demon — a barely-driven vehicle bearing 1,302 miles on the odometer, according to the Detroit-area listing. The asking price is just south of $140k, which isn’t unexpected given the model’s scarcity and connection to FCA royalty. Gilles headed up the automaker’s SRT division before donning his design hat.

The listing came to everyone’s attention via an Instagram post from the seller himself, and contained within was a tease of something looming just over the horizon.

Claiming that he only put 1,200 miles on the thing, Gilles said the vehicle’s history contains zero trips to the drag strip, which sounds like the experience of most other Demons thus far. He also added the reason he’s letting it go.

Drumroll, please.

“Sadly it’s time to move on as I need to make room for another equally devilish project…,” Gilles wrote, sending the rumor mill into a high boil.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @ralphgilles on

Is speculation about a possible return of the Viper more credible than we’re led to believe, or is there somehow a hotter Challenger variant on the way? Given the company’s finances and attitude, the latter scenario is more likely. Gilles wouldn’t elaborate beyond that one comment.

Expect this to be the first of many teases of whatever this thing is. FCA loves milking the buildup to new releases, and the Challenger’s healthy sales and secured near-term future means there’s still space left on this palette on which to paint.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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34 Comments on “Such a Tease: Fiat Chrysler’s At It Again...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    Are we sure it’s an LX variant in the works? FCA seems to have the platform advantage over the other two Muscle cars so I wouldn’t be surprised. Though I would like to see some other projects brought to life.

  • avatar
    Jon

    Its a Hellcat Compass (widebody)

  • avatar
    Steve203

    FCA is expert at getting free publicity from keeping the media nattering. Marchionne was the best at it, with his constant floating of rumors that FCA would be bought out by….basically anyone with a pulse.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    In August 2017 at the closing of the Connor Ave plant, the plant manager hinted to a group of Viper owners of exciting things to come.

    In April 2018 Ralph Gilles cryptically hinted at the Viper club national meeting that the car might not be dead and to never say never.

    In October 2019, the Dodge Twitter account posted the status “Which Dodge model should we bring back?”

    What I’m saying is, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if this was another hint at an upcoming Gen 6.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      But Fiatsler is also notorious for changing its mind. I remember being told that the Grand Cherokee would be refreshed in 2016, then it never happened. Now the rumor is for a MY2021 Grand Cherokee update.

      Then there was all that himming and hawwing for years about the Jeep pickup truck. What we got years later was the aptly named Gladiator which totally resembles the AEV Wrangler conversions of yore, with all the on-road manners to match.

      Bottom line, believe it when you see it with your own eyes.

      The reason I say that, is because so many people delay their purchase because of all this rumor and innuendo of something they want so bad that is so near yet so far away.

      My best friend wanted a Gladiator. When it was available for purchase and he test drove one at the dealer, it was the worst riding on-road pickup truck in its class. Now he’s back to square one, to where even a full-size 2020 Titan is worth considering.

      All because of hype and tease.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “Notorious for changing its’ mind”…or just pushing vaporware, like the Chrysler three-row CUV that’s been rumored since – gosh – 1983 or so.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Fiatsler may have had good intentions but their finances couldn’t make it happen.

          The bottom line remains, selling product, any which way you can.

          That top-down philosophy was good enough for Cal Worthington, and good enough for my four brothers who idolized him for giving them a start in the car sales business.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I think they were trying to feel out demand for it, personally – they certainly have the platforms to produce it pretty easily (heck, they could have done a variant of the Durango).

            Then they came to their senses and remembered that Chrysler’s deader than Francisco Franco, and the vapor just dissipated.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I’ve always had a soft spot for Chrysler and MOPAR because my dad used the 426 Hemi as the choice engine for his dragster (rail).

            I learned to break down and completely rebuilt the 426 starting at age 12, helping my dad prep for races, and later also included 3-speed TorqueFlites, and 2-speed B&M Hydro Bangshifters.

            So there’s a warm place in my heart for MOPAR, finely engineered stuff, often just poorly executed.

            They’ve come a long way baby.

            Best thing that ever happened to Chrysler was the Daimler DNA infusion and the resulting Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and new RAM trucks.

            I’m not a fan, but I recognize merit in the New, Improved, Better Than Ever Fiatsler products.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        If he bought a Wrangler based pickup expecting good on road manners then I don’t know what to say other than I don’t think it’s FCAs fault he’s disappointed.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Lately, I’ve become irrationally attracted to not one, but two FCA products – a totally base Wrangler two-door with a manual, and the Alfa Giulia.

          I’ve come to believe this may be automotive karma for me dumping a girl I’d been dating for two years over the phone way back in 1986.

          (She did have it coming, though.)

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I sat in the back seat with the sales person during that test drive and I have to say that Gladiator is a kidney-buster.

          Never went off-road with it because those credentials are not in question.

          My best friend didn’t buy a Gladiator but a 4dr Sahara has a better ride than the Gladiator, and costs less money too.

          Best riding trucklet in that class is undoubtedly the Ridgeline RTL-E. You won’t believe it until you actually take one out for a test drive, on and off-road.

          Serious comfort and quiet, at $44k+ out the door.

          • 0 avatar
            PM300

            My wife just gave back a Gladiator rental we had for a month while her car was in the shop, and of all the quirks that I did not care for about it, ride quality was not one of them. It has the same basic rear suspension design of the new Ram, which I own and the Gladiator was only marginally worse ride quality wise. You hear the impacts (Michigan roads here btw) worse than you feel them due to the design of the vehicle. I’ll echo what others said, that if he did not buy it due to “ride quality”, a Jeep isn’t for him.

            FWIW a co-worker just purchased a new Ridgeline this summer. It does ride great and have a lot of great convenience features (the trunk in the bed, sound system in the bed, etc.) but at the end of the day it looks like a chopped off Odyssey.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        My friend was totally unimpressed with the Gladiator he got to drive for a couple of hours. I was too. IMHO, and he agrees with me, the price is insane. The one we drove was over $57K. For that much, it needed to have the 5.7 Hemi, minimum, and even then should have been no more than a hemi powered Grand Cherokee, instead of about $10K more. I didn’t mind the ride, he hated it, and we both thought it was kind of only adequately powered. There were pretty bad paint flaws on the one we drove, too. It was a very low VIN number, so I would imagine they will get better.

  • avatar
    Mnemic

    Ram TRX is the next SRT in line

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    Im sure its something else made of spray cheese on watermelon rinds with a large V8 and a name from the glory days attached. To their credit, they have made themselves unique and found something that they are good at. They also have a good pulse on what their customers want. Infinity, are you listening?

  • avatar
    StudeDude

    It’s a new Viper based on the Giorgio platform with a modified Alfa/Ferrari motor because—why not?

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    “the Challenger’s healthy sales and secured near-term future means there’s still space left on this palette on which to paint.”

    That is good to hear. I’m sitting over here very nervous at the lack of any 2020 Chargers or Challengers at dealers. Just a lot of 2019s. They don’t even have a brochure out for the 2020 models yet (though you can build one on the website).

    In my day, car model years ran October to October, so in a different time, the 2020s would have been on lots a couple months ago. Maybe FCA’s changed that a bit and built enough 2019s in the fall to last until the end of the year?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Have you checked with Perkinsmotors.com?

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      Most of us have been accustomed to the September October roll out of the new model year. For some manufacturers that has been tossed aside ie the Mach-E will debut as a 2021 easy next year.

      A few weeks ago I bought a leftover 2018 Challenger GT AWD for $28k plus fees. There were a few 2019 models available at the dealerships near me however the only 2020’s I have seen are on Ebay, Cars.com etc but I think they have been slowly rolling them out to the dealers.

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        I hope that’s it. Maybe FCA plans on going to a calendar year system. I’m seeing a lot of dealers with a Lot of 2019 Chargers and Challengers. Sure hope they don’t try to use that as an excuse to cancel them in the near future, like Chevy has announced with the Camaro (2023 is it for that car).

        I can’t help the cynicism I’m sorry. Automakers seem heckbent on convincing everyone that they should be driving CUVs because everyone’s doing it. Car models are being cancelled left and right for poor sales, even though some of the cancelled products sell in higher numbers than many touted CUVs. The vast majority of mainstream auto media is dedicated to CUV products, including this site. Some passenger cars seem deliberately terrible.

        I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but…

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          Again, to be clear, I’m trying very hard not to bash CUVs like many do on here. I don’t care what other people drive truthfully. What’s starting to bother me is that this is impinging on the choices of people who do not want/need one of those higher priced vehicles. It’s getting more and more concerning and seems somewhat planned.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Dare we hope for the return of the 300 SRT-8?

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Hellcat powered Grand Caravan, with a wide body kit that makes it as wide as a Ram 2500.

    Please.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    BTSR if you’re out there you’d better buy this with some of that Tesla stock you allegedly had.

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