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Demon teaser: Skinny wheels, tools, performance parts

by Patrick Rall on

The newest 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon teaser video and  press release have arrived; this time, we learn more about the new muscle car than we have in any of the earlier teaser.

First, the press release clarifies a handful of points, stating very clearly that the 2018 Challenger Demon is designed for both street  and drag strip. Some have claimed that the Demon wouldn’t be street legal, while others claim that it might be a road race car, due to the wide tires at all four corners.

The Dodge release states that the Demon is “not intended for a road course; rather, each customer can decide at the time of order, or once they own the car, or even on a moment’s notice that they want their car to favor street performance, drag strip performance or something in between.”

What exactly does that mean? We don’t know, but that leaves no question that the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon will be street legal, while also being a drag strip beast.

That brings us to this week’s teaser video for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, titled “Crate”. The video focuses on a literal crate; it  looks cool, but what is inside is the most important aspect of this Demon teaser, even though the crate in the picture appears to be empty.

Today’s statement explains that it comes with “eighteen components that maximize the Challenger SRT Demon’s flexibility, exclusivity, and future collectability.” The contents include some Direct Connection Demon performance parts, Demon-branded track tools, matching Demon spare wheels, and the Demon Track Pack System.

The spare wheels are the key feature in the crate in my opinion, as in the video, we can see that they have a similar design to the 18×11 wheels on the Challenger SRT Demon – except they appear to be much narrower when laying flat on the ground. With this being a drag car and those “spare wheels” being narrower than the other Demon wheels, I am guessing that those are what are known in the racing world as drag skinnies. These are narrow wheels wrapped in narrow tires, which reduce the front end weight and coefficient of drag, doing little more than allowing the driver to keep the car straight.

I have skinnies on one of my Mopar muscle cars, and while they greatly reduce handling, they are great at the track, weighing less than half of what my rear wheels and slicks weigh.

Provided that these are indeed drag skinnies, they should cut even more weight from the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon when the car hits the track, and all but confirm that this car is not all-wheel drive. After all, putting drag skinnies on the front of an AWD car would eliminate the effectiveness of the all-wheel drive system.

As for the other items in the Demon crate, it is unclear what all is included. The guy in the new teaser video has an impact gun, a torque wrench, and a jack, so perhaps they will have those with Demon logos. As for the Direction Connection Demon Performance Parts and the Demon Track Pack System, your guess is as good as ours.

The second picture today shows a small plaque with a serial number and VIN, suggesting that the crate will be paired with each car. Notice that the serial number on this plaque is 0757. You have to wonder if perhaps that isn’t another subtle clue, along with the VIN ending 1121.

The bottom line here is that the Demon crate has skinnier front tires that you can swap on at the track with Demon-branded tools. This all but confirms that the Demon is rear wheel drive and per the FCA press release today, we know that the Demon is a street car optimized for drag strip performance.

The new mystery is figuring out what the Direction Connection Demon Performance Parts are and the Demon Track Pack System entails.

Only a little over two months until the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon debuts at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

 

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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