The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Is Currently Christmas In October…

I can’t quite work out if Dodge are playing a masterful marketing game, or if they have over egged the pudding with their long term once a week video teaser campaign. Right now I feel like I’m seeing Christmas adverts in October.

The car looks absolutely mental and doing things like a “drag mode” that features a suspension designed exclusively optimized for straight line speed, is a whole different spin on the idea of having a drift mode.

Yes, Dodge has loaded the Demon out with a factory mechanical/electronic drag race suspension tuning *on a production car*. That’s a first, and when you see them putting it into words in a steady stream of press releases it becomes clear that the Demon team has been given a license to go mental, and determined to enjoy that freedom:

“The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon combines the best of both mechanical and electronic tuning to deliver maximum launch force while still maintaining precision directional control.”

— Dodge

“[it] strikes that perfect balance between drag strip brute force, road course competence, and street car civility.”

— Dodge

On top of all that, for weight saving Dodge appear to be dumping the idea of taking passengers with you by stripping out the front and rear passenger seats, although one would hope that a passenger seat option will be available.

“The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is factory equipped with Nitto NT05R street-legal drag radials, measuring 12.6 inches wide and developed specifically for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon using a new compound and unique tire construction. The added traction and higher profile of these new tires allow the Challenger SRT Demon to handle higher launch torque loads.”

— Dodge

I’m not even sure a lot of people realise how bonkers all of that is, it may have got lost in the static.

For years Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge have been selling purpose-built drag cars – but they come without a VIN which makes them strictly for for use off the public roads.  Dodge literally wants Demon SRT owners to be able to drive their Challengers to and from the drag strip. Then when at the track they can then swap the front wheels for skinny drag-racing “runners” from the on-board metal toolbox that will also contain a jack, tire-pressure gauge, and torque wrench.

Like the Challenger Hellcat, the SRT Demon version will be a halo car. It’s an exercise in “look what we can do” for the engineers and “holy crap – look what that can do!” for most of us. And later on for those with the means and lifestyle, it’ll be “Check out what my car can do!”.

That’s far from a bad thing of course. Far, far from it. In a world of careful wording, careful demographic targeting, focus groups, fuel economy and a rush to be the most environmentally friendly; a part of Dodge has been sitting in a bar and saying  “The Hellcat is awesome and all that, but we should really stretch our legs here.”.

Of course the engine and a bunch of the technology will end up in cars that make you scratch your head a bit (looking at you Jeep and your optional Hellcat powered Trackhawk), but I’m just hoping we see a Dodge Caravan Demon SRT wreaking havoc on the drag strip with one of those stick figure family stickers on the rear window.

So, are they over egging the pudding by embarking on a long term teaser campaign for an unhinged version of an already bonkers halo car?

Maybe. We’ve seen a bunch of teasers since January and more are on their way between now and April. That’s a long time to sustain internet attention and the interest of the people that write about cars for a living.

I really hope they have the product to justify the long hype game, but until then I’m just going to try and let Christmas sneak up on me as usual so I’m not tired of it before it arrives…

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