It may not be your particular brand of whiskey, but there is one thing we can all agree on. The Dodge Demon is a spectacular piece of kit. It has taken the idea of a “track day” car and dumped a whole lot of ‘Murica all over it. You can keep your corners, the Demon lives its life one quarter mile at a time. The Demon is a street legal 9 second car that anyone with a license and a big enough check book can buy. It is a fantastic, hyper focused drag special that does one thing, and only one thing, spectacularly well.
Dodge has made something truly hilarious and awesome here and even if you don’t like it you have to respect what it can do. Or maybe you work at Automotive News and your sandals were on too tight and you weren’t getting proper circulation to your brain the day you saw the Demon. Not only are they not a fan, they are calling for the outright ban of the Demon.
“The 840-hp Dodge Challenger SRT Demon from Fiat Chrysler is so inherently dangerous to the common safety of motorists that its registration as a road-worthy automobile should be banned.” Automotive News said in a recent Editorial. “We don’t reach this conclusion lightly. There are more powerful, and even faster, vehicles available from other automakers that are rightly street legal.”
What about the Demon makes it so dangerous? Is it the acceleration? Because there are plenty of super/hyper cars that can accelerate to 60 in roughly the same time. Shall we ban all of those cars as well? Hell, Bugatti has built a brand on their cars’ abilities to accelerate like a monster while on their way to a 260+ mph top speed. Where is the outcry on that vehicle?
“From it’s barely legal slick tires to its monstrous acceleration, the Challenger Demon introduced in New York this month is the result of a sequence of misguided corporate choices that places bragging rights ahead of public safety.”
Okay, tires. Sure they don’t have a lot of tread on them and they’re as close to a pure slick as the law will allow. But the law allows them. There are plenty of human persons driving around on “Drag radials” AKA “barely legal slick tires.” By this logic, driving your car at the speed limit is “barely legal” and entirely too dangerous for any normal human being to attempt.
Speaking of danger…
“Laudably, the entire industry has made great strides toward improved vehicle safety in recent years, even as it dials up performance capabilities. But with the Demon, Dodge spits on that goal and irresponsibly moves in the opposite direction, knowingly placing motorists in danger in the process.”
Damn near every single car on the road today is capable of 100 mph. Even your little eco boxes can hit triple digits even though they probably shouldn’t. Is Kia “knowingly putting motorists in danger” by building a Rio that can do 100? No, and neither is Dodge for building the Demon. News flash, the Demon can not drive itself. It is not sentient. It does not make its own decisions. That would be the driver’s responsibility. Contrary to Automotive News’ belief you don’t have to floor it every-time you set off in the Demon. You can drive it like, (gasp) a normal car. In fact the Demon has several driving modes to aid drivers in doing just that.
“Oddly enough, for a vehicle designed to be a purpose-built drag racer, the Demon has already been banned from regulated drag strips by that sport’s sanctioning body, the National Hot Rod Association, allegedly for being ‘too fast.’ “
Yes, if you run the Demon to its full potential without making some safety modifications and get yourself a race license, you will be in trouble with the NHRA. However, you are absolutely allowed to take the Demon to any NHRA sanctioned track and race it all night long, providing you keep your E.T. above 10 seconds. The upshot is, if you run the Demon on pump gas and your name isn’t Force you can consistently run 10 second passes.
Not to mention just keeping over a target time is something drag racers are quite accustomed to. Its called bracket racing and the concept is extremely simple. Your car races in a class that is capped at a certain time. Go too fast and you “Break out” and you lose. Consider the “NHRA Ban” a 10 second bracket class and you’ll be able to race the Demon as much as you want at the track.
All in all this article shows a gross misunderstanding of the Demon and cars as a whole. Where was the outcry when Porsche built the 911 GT3 RS? it’s track focused, albeit a different type of track but the concept remains the same. There are an abundance of track specific vehicles with spectacular acceleration and yet Automotive News chose to single out the Demon. To call for the outright ban of the Demon is irresponsible. The Writer responsible for this nonsense talks a big game about the Demon but in the end doesn’t have the stones to put their name on it.
Source: Automotive News