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Duster-based Dodge Demon • 2018 Challenger Demon
Shown in 2007, the Dodge Demon was supposedly going to ride on a platform jointly engineered with Mercedes, and may have been related to a China-built “Dodge” subcompact that was to be sold in the United States.
The Dodge Demon concept car relied on low weight rather than power; it weighed in at 250 pounds less than the Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky. The engine was the usual 172-horse 2.4; it had rear wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission.
The target price was reportedly $21,000, similar to the GM roadsters. It was to be the image leader for a series of sedans, hatchbacks, and other cars.
The interior looked production-ready; the Viper rear suspension and a Caliber front suspension were unlikely to be used in actual production cars.
The taillamps had red inset lenses surrounding LED back-up lamps; headlights were projector style. Up front, the Dodge crosshair grille was stuffed into an “aggressive, menacing, trapezoidal opening that thrusts boldly forward,” according to the press release.
The car used 19 inch wheels despite its small size.
The most important instruments and controls were kept within an aluminum bezel, with secondary controls below. The floor console was deliberately not hooked up to the dashboard.
The brushed aluminum console bezel included lit cup holders. Everything was designed to be flush with the surface so the driver’s shift arm would not be intruded upon. The four-gauge cluster used white-on-black dials, with watch-inspired graphics, with gauge pointers are colored to match the exterior.
The seats were set in exposed low-gloss carbon fiber shells, with integral head restraints. Brushed aluminum and carbon fiber roll bars were mounted behind the bucket seats. Additional covered storage is provided in the bulkhead between the seats.
We do not know whether the steering gear will be rack and pinion or recirculating-ball. Bob Sheaves wrote: “Recirculating ballcan be just as viable and precise as a rack-and-pinion, due to the physical limits of attaching the inboard tie rod ends to the gear itself. There are only just so many positions available, without creating a new gear housing, while a recirculating ballcan be placed virtually anywhere needed and connected with a relay rod to the centerlink. Toe control is far easier and more precise when you can link to the proper positions.
“I'll take a recirc gear any time when I can get the geometry I need to create those high lateral forces without understeer or oversteer. Remember, the Demon is the ‘absolute lowest cost and maximum fun car’ that can be developed with available parts [to keep engineering costs low]. A custom gear from TRW or ZF will cost over $2.5M to design, develop, tool, and manufacture; money the Demon program does not have. ... the positive reason to go to a rack and pinon are sprung weight redustion, less complexity, less tolerance stackup inherant in the design. The debits are geometric compromise when the rack to tie rod end attachment do not meet the needs of the suspension, cost, loading tolerance.”
Dimensions are in inches (millimeters) unless otherwise noted.
Engine: 2.4 liter,
172 hp SAE (128 kW) @ 6000 rpm, 165 lb.-ft. (224 Nm) @ 4400 rpm
Length: 156.5 (3974); Width (max. @ body): 68.3 (1736)
Height: 51.8 (1315)
Wheelbase: 95.6 (2429)
Overhang, Front: 30.6 (777) / Rear: 30.3 (769)
Weight (estimated): 2600 lbs. (1179 kg)
Wheel Size: 19 x 8 in.;
Outer Diameter: 25.2 (640)
Concept cars • Duster-based Dodge Demon • 2018 Challenger Demon
Concept cars are often made so a car’s feel can be evaluated, problems can be foreseen, and reactions of the public can be judged. Some concepts test specific ideas, colors, controls, or materials — either subtle or out of proportion, to hide what’s being tested. Some are created to help designers think “out of the box.” The Challenger, Prowler, PT Cruiser, and Viper were all tested as production-based concepts dressed up to hide the production intent.
Concept cars • popular: Firepower • Tomahawk • ME412 • Mighty FC • Gladiator
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