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Demon! How the Worlds Quickest Car made the Automotive World Stand Still

Jul 19, 2017 - 3:14 PM - by MagnumClub
By Patrick Rall, LXForums Editorial Staff

Demon! How the Worlds Quickest Car made the Automotive World Stand Still

For decades, the automotive world has introduced products via a pretty simple process.
Step 1 - Announce that a vehicle will debut at a major auto show
Step 2 - Tease that vehicle a week or two ahead of that auto show with some shadowy images and vague details,
Step 3 - Have a high ranking management team member introduce the vehicle on a temporary stage which takes up most of the brand’s area at the major auto show

This process gets the attention of the media, brand enthusiasts and prospective buyers of the vehicle in question ahead of time and when the vehicle debuts at the auto show, the media focuses on all of the features which make it unique from other vehicles in the brand or in the industry. This method has worked for most vehicles introduced into the US market over the last 50+ years and for the most part, it has worked well for your average car, truck or SUV.

In the past few years, we have seen “special” vehicles like the new Corvette or the Hellcat Charger introduced at standalone events leading up to an auto show or other events away from a major auto show, like the Woodward Dream Cruise. However, even with those models which got their own debut events, the introduction was typically teased a week or two before the debut event while the bulk of the juicy details were saved for the grand introduction.

The problem with this method is that the media generally focuses on the basic key details of a new vehicle while unusual features (which the common driver wouldn’t understand or appreciate) would be lost in the shuffle. Things like power figures, curb weight, fuel economy, standard interior technology features and real world capabilities dominate articles about new models and while we get a good look at the sausage – we seldom get to see how it was made.

With the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the FCA management team knew that there were so many unique details which would get lost in the shuffle that they needed to do something special to introduce the car. The new Demon is a car like no other performance car in the world, so to introduce this new beast, Dodge/FCA decided that they would roll it out like no other car in the world.

Dodge first announced that there was a new Demon coming on January 12th, but it would not actually meet the world until April. Over the course of the three months between the first mention of the 2018 Demon and the grand debut in New York City on April 11th, Dodge promised to offer up a new video with a bit of information on the new muscle car, but back in January, we really didn’t know anything.

Week by week went by and we learned bits of information about the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Each week, the information got to be more interesting, starting with things like weight reduction or the Demon-branded Nitto drag radial tires and following up with things like line lock, the after-run chiller system, the TransBrake and the intercooler chiller system. All along the way, we didn’t get any horsepower, torque or track numbers, but with each weekly teaser video – we learned that the Challenger Demon was one serious machine built to drive on the street and dominate the drag strip.

Over the course of those 13 weeks between the initial announcement of the return of the Demon and the actual debut in NYC, the Thursday morning Demon teaser became a part of weekly life for Mopar lovers around the world, with the community spending Friday through the following Wednesday speculating about the car before the next Thursday teaser was rolled out. This method allowed the company to hold the interest of the high performance community for three months and while readers were hoping for horsepower numbers or track times, they were being fed information about the many unique high performance features of the Demon – most of which have never been offered on any production road car in the world.
While there were most certainly critics of this long, slow rollout of the new Demon who would have preferred the old way of... [Read More]
  1 Reply | 675 Views

Offering SRT Styling on Other 2018 Durango Models Now is a Smart Move

Jul 01, 2017 - 5:45 PM - by armtorque
Offering SRT Styling on Other 2018 Durango Models Now is a Smart Move-srt-2018-dodge-durango-jpg

Dodge has announced that the exterior styling of the new Durango SRT will be available on lower performance models and while some people hate the idea of the high performance look on the non-performance models – I think that this move comes at the perfect time.

It has become quite common for an automaker to introduce styling from a high performance model on a lower performance version, and while that makes the low performance models more popular, that move often upsets the people who have the high performance version. One good example is addition of the Charger SRT and Scat Pack exterior design to the V6-powered Charger SXT, as owners of the 485-707 horsepower models are grumbling that their high performance models could be mistaken for a lowly V6. Some people might call that complaint foolish and others might agree, but in any case, moving styling cues “downstream” tends to annoy the people who bought the higher performance, higher priced models.

However, Dodge has timed the launch of the Durango SRT and the introduction of the SRT-inspired styling for the lower performance models in a way that should prevent anyone from getting their feelings hurt.

SRT Styling for the RT and GT
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT comes with a vented performance hood with an integrated hood scoop and an aggressive front fascia, both of which bolster engine cooling air flow and overall aerodynamics while making for one mean looking SUV. That same front fascia and hood will also be standard equipment on the 2018 Dodge Durango R/T with the 360hp/390tq 5.7L Hemi and, like the Durango SRT, the sportier Durango R/T is available in B5 Blue.

Also, those buyers opting for the 2018 Dodge Durango GT with the 3.6L Pentastar V6 can add the SRT performance hood when they equip their vehicle with either the Blacktop Appearance Package or the Brass Monkey Appearance Package.

Reprinted from TorqueNews Dodge News.
  0 Replies | 567 Views

The Widebody Hellcat Challenger Comes at the Perfect Time

Jun 30, 2017 - 3:24 PM - by MagnumClub
By Patrick Rall, LXForums Editorial Staff

The Widebody Hellcat Challenger comes at the Perfect Time

Earlier this week, FCA introduced the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody to those journalists in attendance for an event at their Chelsea, Michigah Proving Grounds. While there continues to be critics of the flared widebody look and other people who don’t like the look of the new Demon being offered on a Hellcat, this package comes at the perfect time for the Dodge brand.

First, let’s get the negativity out of the way. There are plenty of people who have been very vocal about the fact that they do not like the look of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon widebody package. Not surprisingly, these folks have been just as vocal about their distaste for the widebody design on the 2018 Hellcat and we get it. You don’t like the look and you aren’t going to buy one. We have all heard you, now move onto complaining about something else while the rest of us enjoy talking about some of the quickest muscle cars to ever hit the street. Ultimately, this is an option, so you can still buy a Hellcat without the widebody package.

That aside, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody package comes at the perfect time, feeding off of the limited nature of the new Demon and the demand for a Hellcat car that will grip a little better in stock form – serving as a more track capable supercharged Mopar muscle car which costs a bit less (and which is far more readily available) than the Demon.

Didn’t Get a Demon?
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is an amazing machine, with the ability to run 9.80s in fully stock form and 9.60s with the option Demon crate performance parts. The downside is that the Demon is limited to just 3,000 units in the US and 300 in Canada, while carrying an MSRP up around $90,000 before any dealership markup. Because of the high price, the limited nature and the heavy demand for the Demon, some hopeful buyers have found themselves unable to buy the quickest American muscle car ever.

The 2018 Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody doesn’t pack the monster power or the many package-specific upgrades of the Challenger Demon, but it is the first American muscle car to get an official quarter mile time in the 10-second range with the stock street tires. To be exact, the Widebody Hellcat with the factor 305mm-wide Pirelli tires can run the quarter mile in 10.9 seconds – making it 3 tenths of a second quicker than the original Hellcat Challenger.

Want Better Grip from a Hellcat?
The mention of those wider tires brings us to the biggest complaint with the 2015+ Hellcat Challenger. Due to internal and federal standards, the widest tire that Dodge could run on the Hellcat Challenger from the factory is a 275. Many owners have found that tires as wide as 315s will comfortably fit inside of the body edge, but anything wider than the 275s don’t meet FCA and federal fitment requirements. Still, many Hellcat Challenger owners have pointed out how much the car benefits from a wider tire, so the company made it happen by using the fenders and quarter panels from the new Demon to create the Hellcat Widebody.

In introducing the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody right now, the high performance brand addresses the needs of those folks who missed out on a Demon or who cannot afford a Demon while also addressing a key complaint from current Hellcat owners. The “normal” Hellcat Challenger is still available for those prospective buyers who do not like the flared body design, but for those folks who want a factory 10-second car which is far less expensive than the new Demon (and easier to get), the Widebody Hellcat is the perfect solution.

Finally, in addition to the composite wheel flares and the unique sheet metal under those flares, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody package includes a specially tuned electronic power steering system, which is adjustable via the Drive Mode system. When coupled with the wider tires and wheels, the electronic steering system makes... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 912 Views

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