• Jun 22, 2007


Click the image above to see our high-res Demon gallery with new pics

It's easy to be impressed by the sharp looks of the Dodge Demon concept, and the words "no-brainer" are often uttered when enthusiasts discuss whether the vehicle will actually hit the market. Even though it seems every other automaker is making a two-seater right now, we can't help but think there's room for Dodge's stunning mini-Viper. For now, however, all we have is the concept.

When we had the chance to pick from six Chrysler concepts, we didn't hesitate to single out the Demon first. A roadster on a beautiful summer morning always seems like a good choice, and considering the critical praise the Demon has received, we wanted to see just how close this baby feels to production. Well, the bad news is that it has a very, very long way to go. The gauges don't work, the chassis is go-kart jarring, and the doors feel like they're made of lead. In other words, it's a concept that wasn't ever meant to be driven, but given the chance we'd get behind the wheel every time.

Follow the jump for more notes on the Dodge Demon concept


There were a few things about the Demon that were very positive besides the shape of the sheet metal. For one, the concept had a very roomy interior, which is rare for a roadster. I'm a bit of a wide-body, and as a result when I drive a Sky or a Z4, I feel like the big guy in the little coat. Not so with the Demon. My co-pilot was 6'4, and he was able to stretch his legs as far as he could. That could change once safety equipment and sound insulation has to get stuffed under the dash, but for now we're thrilled with the vehicle's dimensions. The interior was a bright spot for the Demon, with great use of production-ready materials that didn't feel like they were picked randomly from a land-fill. The steering wheel felt particularly good, too, with two different materials blended together with real stitching.

The shifter was a joke, as I personally caused that horrific grinding noise on four or five different occasions while searching for second gear (I eventually gave up and went from first to third). The engine had a great growl to it, but it was understandably coarse.

In the end, the Demon is dead-sexy and it needs to be made. We know Chrysler has a bad taste in its mouth after the Crossfire disaster, but this Dodge is different in that it actually looks good. One would have to assume that the Demon would be significantly cheaper, too, to compete with the likes of the Miata and the Solstice. A mini-Viper for $20,000 seems like the kind of vehicle that sells out before the first day of spring.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 32 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is just like the old Prowler:

      Seen from the front - WOW, pretty neat for a Dodge!
      Seen from the side/back - Where's the rest?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "As far as mechanicals go, dodge has very little for this kind of car"

      Actually they do.
      Base models would have the 2.4 GEMA motor, while SRT trims would have the 300 horse turbo 4 out of the SRT-4. Unrefined? No one has even driven the new turbo 4 yet, so your claim is baseless Peter. Chassis would most likely be one that what the upcoming Hornet is based on.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @dakota
        The hornet is not a realistic chassis for roadster. Not even close.

        I have heard no raves on the GEMA engines, sticking on a turbo will not increase refinement.

        This is a dead horse, this will not happen in any sane world, it would be a silly waste of money better spent elsewhere.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The hornet is not a realistic chassis for roadster. Not even close.

        I have heard no raves on the GEMA engines, sticking on a turbo will not increase refinement.

        This is a dead horse, this will not happen in any sane world, it would be a silly waste of money better spent elsewhere.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Face it Chrysler just sucks at building small cars. The Caliber platform was a critical design for Chrysler and what did they turn out? A failure by almost every measure. Hideous interior, terrible handling, terrible drivetrain. Does anyone really think that with so much on the line, they delivered the all around crap Caliber, that for a cheap roadster car project, the engine note will become sweet, the shifter smooth and the handling and refinement great? Dodge needs to fix the broken before looking into more image products.

        If you think the company that produced this mess can produce a roadster to compete with MX-5 or the corvette derived Solstice you are on crack.

        From C&D comparo where it came 6th out of 7 cars tested:
        "its high-effort shifter required a two-step jog from second to third and from fourth to fifth.

        All that power didn’t win us over, either. There’s torque steer and axle tramp in hard launches, helped not at all by abrupt clutch takeup. It took 9.7 seconds to achieve 60 mph, 1.3 seconds longer than the last manual-trans Neon we tested. And the engine edges into thrashiness at high revs, the noisiest at WOT."

        From Truth about Cars review:
        "Even modest bouts of acceleration produced cruel and unusual noises. The brutal din may account for the transmission’s hesitation — perhaps it doesn’t want to offend Caliber drivers’ ears.

        The Caliber’s handling matches its discontented drivetrain. Despite an independent rear suspension, the car displays all the grace of a sumo wrestler on figure skates. "
      • 7 Years Ago
      This toad is why I have rear view mirrors on my MX-5.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So where are the rest of the articles about the cars Chrysler had for the press to drive here?
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 7 Years Ago
      This car is a no brainer for production. I think Chery would probably build it so it could fill the market segment the miata used to occupy but has since gotten far too expensive to be considered affordable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Gregg says: Pontiac and Saturn watch out: f Chrysler finds the funds for this, they will rule this segment.

      As it isn't slated for production, you have no idea what the specs are (GVW, power, displacement, performance etc.) or the price. Yet "they will rule the segment"??? What do you base it on? All their other class ruling products?? Think before you type man...
      • 7 Years Ago
      If it gets too much hype, then like the prowler and the crossfire, it will fail. Not only does it look like the S2000 and the BMW but they will probably price it like the other two roadsters too and will not compete with the pontiac or mazda at all. The crossfire was kinda nice it just didn't stand a chance with the competition at the same price range. Keep it in the low 20's with 30 being the SRT and they have a winner.

      But maybe they learned something with the 300 and the charger, those two are a lot of car for the price they are offered at.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow... a Dodge S2000.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It sounds nitpicky, but I hate the wheel wells.
      • 7 Years Ago
      looks like a s2000 from the front and a BMW from the rear ..... not to original
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like the looks of this car from Chrysler even though I doubt I will ever own one of their products. I just wish they would abandon the corporate crosshair grille from all Dodge products. The crosshairs just look lame and cheap.

      If I were given this Demon I would saw out the crosshair grille and leave it a big gaping balck hole. THAT would look evil, like it's name.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I have to agree with your whole comment, Vinny. I don't like the cross and doubtfully buy another Chrysler. I can't imagine a nice four cylinder in this car but can see a V6.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just can't find an angle I like on this thing. It seriously looks like two completely different cars were hacked apart then welded together. I'd rather drive an Element or an Aztek. I think the major problem is those awful hips. The car is sleek back to an enormous ass end. The concept is there, the execution is just awful.

      - R
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