It’s already banned from the drag strip by the NHRA, but some think the car needs to be taken off public roads too.
Nope, sorry, it’s still been less than a month since Dodge released the much-anticipated Challenger SRT Demon so any hopes of avoiding its name should be stricken from your prayers. This time, the commotion around the car surrounds an article published by Automotive News, a longstanding industry trade journal that appears to feel strongly enough about the Challenger Demon’s overabundance of power that it believes the car should be banned. Ironically enough, such a request is likely to make the Demon’s appeal only larger.
Logically speaking, AN has a point. With 840 horsepower on tap and the ability to pull off a 1.8 g launch thanks to a bevy of hardware designed to turn a rear-wheel drive muscle car with less grip at the rear axle than hot butter on a water slide into a true race car, the Challenger Demon is just a cleverly designed drag car that can somehow be registered as a road-legal vehicle and driven daily. It’s a marketing tool as well, cementing Dodge was one of the few automakers with the gall to build such a car and market it so heavily even though it will only be sold in small numbers (the 2018 Demon will only see 1,000 models sold in the US) and could be priced right under the six figure mark.
The problem is, at least according to AN, that the Demon is “so inherently dangerous to the common safety of motorists that its registration as a road-worthy automobile should be banned.” But the publication goes beyond that, believing that Dodge has overstepped its boundaries by sacrificing the safety of other people on the road in exchange for a good marketing ploy, claiming that the Demon is “the result of a sequence of misguided corporate choices that places bragging rights ahead of public safety.” More braggadocios still are cars like the 1,500 horsepower Bugatti Chiron, though it could be argued that Dodge previously crossed that line with the 707 horsepower Challenger Hellcat.
Jalopnik speculates something else entirely, openly asking AN if the article was a paid feature by Dodge for publicity given that having another finger from a hand of authority shaken at the automaker would add to its bad boy persona. The controversy, it seems, will never end.