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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.