With the Chicago and New York Auto Shows coming up in the next few months I wanted to take a few minutes to discuss the vehicle that I hope will be built by FCA and if it is built the vehicle I will buy. It is the Dodge Charger Demon. I believe there’s a better than 75% chance that FCA will build a Dodge Charger Demon for several reasons. First, FCA needs something to market as better than everyone else. Second, it won’t cost that much to build one and third, customers want it.
Currently Dodge has marketed themselves as the muscle car/SUV brand and they have done that well because of the vehicles they are producing are best in class as far as performance goes. There’s one brand that used to be the performance brand but died quickly because they took their eye off the competition, Pontiac. There’s a good parallel between the way Pontiac marketed itself in the late 1990s and early 2000s and how Dodge is marketing themselves now. Pontiac cancelled the Trans Am WS6 in 2002 and really started the downfall of Pontiac. I mean that left them with the Aztek and the Pontiac Vibe. They tried to regain that foothold with the G8, but it was too little too late. If Dodge doesn’t keep up the innovation and slips to 2nd place, their whole marketing strategy becomes gimmickry and consumers will see right through that.
Ford is coming out with the Mustang GT500 and will probably have 740-780HP and will be 600 lbs lighter than the challenger. That’s not even including the wicked fast 10 speed automatic. I believe that the GT500 will be faster in a ¼ than a stock 707 Hellcat Challenger and Charger. The Demon is old news and won’t be competing with the GT500 in the media, UNLESS DODGE COMES OUT WITH A DEMON CHARGER. Just think of the bragging rights that Dodge would have, “our family sedan beat your pony car!!!!”.
There’s rumors and spy shots all over the internet of wide body equipped Chargers and Chrysler 300s for over a year now, just as there were spy shots of wide body equipped Challengers in 2016. The Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300 and Challenger are all built on the LX platform which is a holdover from the Daimler days and is essentially a late 1990s E class chassis. It is a great platform and does amazing things for being nearly 25 years old. Most parts on the challenger can easily be converted for the Charger and vise versa. Therefore, adapting them to a Charger would cost next to nothing.
When Dodge developed the Demon and the launch control system, the trans brake and the other Demon exclusive bits it probably cost a few million dollars. Given the capitalized costs of the development, tooling and other costs I can’t imagine that the penny pinchers would allow that expense for just 1 year and 3,300 units. The cost per unit can be cut dramatically thereby increasing profitability by introducing a Charger Demon.
The last reason I think Dodge will build the Dodge Charger Demon is because their truest customers want it. They will fly off the lots in ways that Chargers haven’t done before. I truly hope that the Dodge Charger Demon is released at the NY Auto show, it’s too close to the Chicago Auto show for Dodge to release it given that it’s next week.