Refreshing or Revolting: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has finally been revealed, and it doesn’t disappoint. With its many production car firsts, including a torque reserve system, TransBrake, Freon-chilled intercooler, factory-equipped drag radials, an after-run chiller, and more, the Demon may be the most potent drag-racing-focused street car ever. But how do its looks stack up?
The retro-inspired Challenger is getting long in the tooth, but Dodge’s SRT division injects new life into the design with the Demon. Though the Demon isn’t a replacement for the Hellcat (the two will be sold side by side), we’ll use SRT’s other devilish high-performance offering for comparison.
From the front, the first thing you’ll notice is the wide-mouth hood scoop that’s nearly the same width as the grille. The opening looks at least twice as wide as the scoop on the Hellcat, and the Demon’s scoop is also taller. The Demon gets air catcher headlamps just like the Challenger T/A and Hellcat, and its front lip spoiler is similar to the Hellcat’s. The fender flares and wide 315/40 tires lend the Demon a squat, planted appearance from almost any angle, but especially the front.
The hard side view is the one angle where the wide body is least visually impactful, but the bulged-out wheel arches still help the Demon stand out from lesser Challengers. The stylized Demon emblem on the front fender and black five-spoke 18×11-inch wheels in front of large brakes also help. From this angle, the taller hood scoop is even more noticeable.
Around back, we again get the sense of increased width thanks to the flares. The rear wing doesn’t look all that different from the one found on the Hellcat and SRT 392, and the taillights and rear fascia appear unchanged from the 2015 refresh. Like other Challenger models, the Demon features dual rectangular exhaust tips, but the sound from them should be different thanks to the torque reserve system and 808-hp (or 840-hp on race gas) supercharged 6.2-liter V-8.
The Demon’s interior should look familiar to anyone who has seen a Challenger before, but there are little details that set this special model apart. The center stack gets FCA’s 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen loaded with a unique version of Performance Pages. On the passenger-side HVAC vent, there’s a numbered plaque displaying the serial number, owner’s name, and the Demon logo. The passenger seat and rear bench are optional (each available for $1) in order to save weight. Behind the front seats are mounting points for a harness bar and netting to hold helmets.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon elevates the Challenger to a new level of performance, but does it do enough styling-wise? Tell us in the comments below.
Last week, we asked you about the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback, and responses were surprisingly mixed.
got265 was a fan, saying “Gorgeous, simply gorgeous. The only issue I have with it is that the design feels a bit racy for Buick. Every time I see one on the street it looks too sporty than what I traditionally think a Buick is.”
“It reminds me of a classic suit – looks good, will look good for years, but not showy,” said vanillagorilla80.
Regal17Driver, however, was disappointed: “A real let down. Not revolting, but where the current model looks unique and classy, this car looks like many others and has no distinct personality. It resembles a Mazda 6 and Chrysler 200 with some Audi influenced headlights and tail lights. The interior loses any sense of luxury and cohesion. It looks like an average mainstream midsize interior and not in a good way…”
“The ‘hatch’ looks quite generic,” said Intrigued_One. “The new Buick interiors look cheapened vs. the previous generation — very generic looking. The previous-gen GS was a stunner, this new design language looks plebian.”