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Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
4/12/17 10:35 a.m.

Wow--- tough crowd. Chrysler Co. goes bonkers and releases a very limited production, insanely fast, "halo" car, and they get a bunch of complaints about the rest of their product line.

I'm glad they had the cajones to build something like this. It's a nice break from the soul-sucking, nanny- overladen, nearly autonomous machines that are so common these days. I like that it's outrageous, insane and kinda stupid. It's a "look what we can do" car--- much like the original Viper was.

What this car really is, is a re-incarnation of the 1963 Max-Wedge Polara. It's not intended as a daily driver--- it's an over the top crazy machine. It's a car to remind people of Dodge's past. It's a car that drag racers will love--- and covet. It's also an instant collectible.

Yes, I wish all Chrysler cars were great....they are not. They make great mini-vans, good trucks, but sure they have big holes in their product lines. No manufacturer is perfect. Hondas are ugly, Toyotas boring, GM underachieves, and don't even get me started on Nissan.

I think FCA / Chrysler Co. deserves some credit for unleashing such a beast to the general public. Just try checking your Facebook when you stand on the gas in this thing!

T.J.
T.J. UltimaDork
4/12/17 10:49 a.m.

In reply to Joe Gearin:

I think everyone is in agreement that this car is bonkers and that it is cool that they are making and selling it.

T.J.
T.J. UltimaDork
4/12/17 10:52 a.m.
Appleseed wrote: In reply to T.J.: How long did Chrysler milk the K-car platform? It can, and has worked for them.

Not with me it hasn't. I thought K-cars were garbage in the 80's, but yes, you have a good point, this is just them doing what they do I guess.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/12/17 11:24 a.m.
pushrod36 wrote:
z31maniac wrote:
pushrod36 wrote: I am curious to read about how competition use may effect the warranty. Some of the claims are curious to me too. I wonder how many of their numbers were achieved on prepped drag strips versus good pavement. Didn't the ford lightning use the a/c to cool the inter cooler? Was it somehow different from what dodge is doing so they can claim first. Anyway, I am glad this car exists.
It's a purpose-built drag car. Of course the times were set on a drag strip. I'm not sure I see what you're getting at.
My point is that I wonder how many other production cars have been similarly tested on a VHT treated surface to substantiate the claim.

So.......you think manufacturer's are publishing acceleration times based off dirty back roads?

Must be the MC at the Playa Hata's Ball.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/12/17 11:28 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote:
Javelin wrote: I want to autocross one! Can you imagine the SCCA when one of these wheelies at a ProSolo after launching off the trans brake?!?
Annnnnnnd.....now I have a new life goal.

I just want to see the Solo Review Board's head explode when they try to class it! It comes with 1 seat, but a second seat is a $1 option, and 2 more seats are another $1. The trunk kit that we can't use is all for drag racing, so the 315's get to stay on all 4 corners! Not to mention the regular Nitto NT01R is like 40TW, who know what these ones are?

I do find it kind of funny that a 315 is all an 840HP car needs to go mid-9's and I struggle for traction in a 1000Lb lighter car with 305HP and the same brand/width. That gets you to really appreciate just how much chassis tuning Mopar has put into this car.

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
4/12/17 11:36 a.m.

I don't know why, but the Demon makes much more sense to me than the Challenger Hellcat ever did...In fact, I don't know if there is a Challenger in general that makes more sense to me, as at least this one finally outright excels (accels?) at something compared to its competitors.

This would have been a great parting shot for the ~15 year old platform, although I seem to recall it's still slated to make it to nearly 20 before finally getting replaced by the Alfa Giulia platform...Which does kind of make me somewhat curious if they'll try to top this once more before then too.

I like the trunk kit for all of the non-federalized goodies...And how since they needed to put other fronts on anyways, they just provide a second set of rears. Which also admittedly completes the look for cruising around town, regardless of the functionality of having big drag radials on the front. They should however have offered an NHRA legal roll bar as an option as well, although I wouldn't be surprised to see one show up in the Mopar accessories catalog.

I don't know why, but I don't even hate the idea that most of these will be cars-n-coffee queens. Most hyper cars are too...But that doesn't make me respect, or enjoy seeing, the cars any less. Aside from the inevitable ridiculous markups, I expect the biggest problem will be owners who don't fully understand why it was equipped the way it was or how that impacts all of it's capabilities, such that they make poor choices in future equipment combinations and/or usage...Although that's not to say I wouldn't endorse knowledgeable and talented individuals from properly developing bolt-on suspension packages that can utilize the massive tire capacity for cornering.

stroker
stroker SuperDork
4/12/17 11:38 a.m.

I want that motor in a Charger or a 300C. Set up for left/right turns.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
4/12/17 11:42 a.m.
stroker wrote: I want that motor in a Charger or a 300C. Set up for left/right turns.

QFT - The demon Powerplant in a 300C suddenly becomes direct competition for for the CTS-V

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
4/12/17 12:14 p.m.
dkm455 wrote: FCA has issues, but kudos to them for having the intestinal fortitude to develop and release something like this. Unprecedented, really. Factories have developed and sold race cars before, but they're not normally street legal, pass emissions and safety laws, and have warranties.

Yes, that's my take on it too. An 840 hp, 9 second car is not all that odd at a good drag racing event, but it's absolutely, completely insane to see a manufacturer offer one with a warranty and emissions certification, and sell it as 100% street legal.

I'd love to see one of the other manufacturers try to one-up this by making a NASCAR V8 pass smog and offering it in a production car. This is about as loony in terms of the "you put a warranty on a WHAT?!?" department.

xflowgolf
xflowgolf Dork
4/12/17 12:16 p.m.
STM317 wrote: ...there are some things that make no sense to me too. Why does it come with 315's in the front? They're just slowing it down, and with the softer front suspension, it's clearly not intended to take corners at speed. They just put them there for looks.

Because putting skinnies on the front won't be road legal, and will negatively impact all kinds of federalization/DOT issues. So they put them in the trunk, and give you an extra set of rears.

STM317 wrote: Having a car this fast with no cage seems like an inconvenience for the owners at best, and an insurance nightmare at worst.

I'd say the opposite is true. Adding a cage means a helmet is required. Good luck getting NHTSA crash testing done with a steel bar next to occupants heads. Building it this way allows all the factory safety stuff to work as a street car. If somebody wants to go racing for real, there will be plenty of aftermarket cage work available just like every other drag car that makes it's way below the 10's.

STM317 wrote: If factory drag cars are your thing, Chevy and Ford will both sell you faster cars than this, for not a lot more than this thing will probably cost. ...This car can't legally race as-is, and it can't really be good at being a street car either.

Why not? A cage will be on the owner's liability rather than FCA, and then you're up and running. As for the street car? Why not? It's modern electronics, fuel injection, likely won't overheat at idle, etc. and will get you to work just fine if you want to.

Driven5 wrote: I like the trunk kit for all of the non-federalized goodies... I don't know why, but I don't even hate the idea that most of these will be cars-n-coffee queens. Most hyper cars are too...But that doesn't make me respect, or enjoy seeing, the cars any less.

Exactly. This guy gets it.

Jerry
Jerry UltraDork
4/12/17 12:23 p.m.

...has there been any mention of price? Not even talking about the $10k markup "dealer fee" "because we can" charge, just MSRP?

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/12/17 12:28 p.m.

According to the NHRA quick reference chart - it is not just a roll bar that is required. It is a roll cage. (bar is required faster than 11.49, and convertibles faster than 13.49). Cage is required faster than 9.99 or 10.99 with 135+ trap, so even non-perfect drivers will likely need a cage in this car.

NHRA quick reference

BTW - take a look at that chart. faster than 9.99 needs just about everything on there. SFI flexplate, harmonic balancer, driveshaft loop, scattershield, chassis sticker, roll cage, etc.

I smell a revision to the NHRA rules coming...

DrBoost
DrBoost UltimaDork
4/12/17 12:37 p.m.
4cylndrfury wrote:
stroker wrote: I want that motor in a Charger or a 300C. Set up for left/right turns.
QFT - The demon Powerplant in a 300C suddenly becomes direct competition for for the CTS-V

Or a Magnum with the current front end bolted on....

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
4/12/17 12:39 p.m.

Regarding the NHRA ban hammer, I was thinking a 5-point was all that was needed, such that they could have offered a 'track pack' for it that put a 4-point bar in place of the rear seats and tossed a bolt-in door bar in the trunk kit. I now see that it looks like all cars running 9.99 or less must have a full cage. So nevermind there. Since NHRA has previously waived the 5-point rollbar rule for late-model factory stock cars running 10.0-11.49, maybe they could eventually institute a rule for similarly allowing 5-point bars in otherwise factory stock cars down to 9.0...Well, at least Demon buyers can dream.

Edit: Looks like Robbie beat me to the punch.

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/12/17 12:41 p.m.
collinskl1 wrote: The NHRA already sent a letter to FCA saying it was outlawed from their events unless proper safety mods were made.

In the 1970s, Lancia homologated the Stratos's shell with the FIA as a roll cage. There's precedent at work, here.

I'd rather wreck a new car at 150 than a 1960s car with a roll cage at 150, if those were my choices.

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/12/17 12:47 p.m.
Appleseed wrote: In reply to T.J.: How long did Chrysler milk the K-car platform? It can, and has worked for them.

I'd say that the '87 Diplomat could directly trace its lineage to the chassis from the 1960s, but I think Chrysler milked the K car even longer than that, if you count Neons and PT Cruisers as K car based.

Blaise
Blaise New Reader
4/12/17 12:55 p.m.
Robbie wrote: I smell a revision to the NHRA rules coming...

Pretty sure you're right. 11.99 used to need a cage, but now its 11.49 since more and more stock cars are hitting that mark.

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/12/17 12:56 p.m.
Joe Gearin wrote: What this car really is, is a re-incarnation of the 1963 Max-Wedge Polara. It's not intended as a daily driver--- it's an over the top crazy machine.

NB: I got to drive one of these. Actually, I was told that it was going to be my job to tune the car, including some WOT blasts on the street. With that in mind: The owner's manual for said car has a note that full throttle must not be used for more than 15 seconds at a time between cooldowns.

And never meet your heroes. That car felt boringly slow

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/12/17 12:58 p.m.
MadScientistMatt wrote:
dkm455 wrote: FCA has issues, but kudos to them for having the intestinal fortitude to develop and release something like this. Unprecedented, really. Factories have developed and sold race cars before, but they're not normally street legal, pass emissions and safety laws, and have warranties.
Yes, that's my take on it too. An 840 hp, 9 second car is not all that odd at a good drag racing event, but it's absolutely, completely insane to see a manufacturer offer one with a warranty and emissions certification, and sell it as 100% street legal. I'd love to see one of the other manufacturers try to one-up this by making a NASCAR V8 pass smog and offering it in a production car. This is about as loony in terms of the "you put a warranty on a WHAT?!?" department.

840hp is more than restrictor Cup motors make.

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/12/17 1:03 p.m.
Blaise wrote:
Robbie wrote: I smell a revision to the NHRA rules coming...
Pretty sure you're right. 11.99 used to need a cage, but now its 11.49 since more and more stock cars are hitting that mark.

And more important, new cars are a lot safer. Traction and stability control, better suspension, tires, etc.

STM317
STM317 Dork
4/12/17 1:35 p.m.

In reply to xflowgolf:

I guess what I'm saying is, that they made lots of compromises to make a car really good at doing one thing. Except, it's not legal for it to do that one thing. So what are you left with? A car that isn't as good to drive on the street as a regular Hellcat. And it can't run on the track with the pure drag cars.

As for the liability, they're basically encouraging illegal street racing, because there's currently no other place for this thing to do what it excels at. If you're going to spend the cash that it takes to buy one of these, and then spend more cash having an appropriate cage put in, you're closing in on Cobra Jet Mustang or COPO Camaro money. And those go way faster out of the box and are fully NHRA legal.

It's not that it can't be driven on the street. It's just that they sacrificed a lot of the things that make the Hellcat a decent street car (sound deadener, stereo, seats, smaller brakes, rear gears, etc) in the quest for faster time slips, which they can't get. So you're left with a car that the wealthy, middle aged owner doesn't want to drive on the street because it's too loud and they can't listen to their tunes, and the engine spins at 2500+ rpms while cruising, and they have to go through the trouble of bolting the passenger seat in (assuming they buy the extra seats) if anybody else wants to go. Or, they spend more money having the proper cage put in and take it to the track where they get soundly beaten by the Cobra Jet or COPO which cost basically the same at that point.

Furious_E
Furious_E GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/12/17 1:35 p.m.

This thing is great. It's totally silly, but arguably more practical than anything else even remotely as fast. I mean, it's got to hold a hell of a lot more grocery bags than a Ferrari, right?

Dodge is running itself like I would run a car company, make a couple of products to keep the lights on (pretty much the mini vans, big sedans, and RAM trucks) and spend all your money doing stupid, but cool, E36 M3. Not saying it's the best business plan, but it damn sure is fun.

It's like someone plunked down a big ass punch bowl full of cocaine in the boardroom, then sent the leftovers down to the R&D department and told them to have at it.

Driven5
Driven5 Dork
4/12/17 1:43 p.m.

In reply to STM317:

Just because it's not NHRA legal to run in the 1/4 mile, doesn't mean it can't be run in the 1 mile.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde UberDork
4/12/17 1:50 p.m.

I agree that this car seems to have been built to do something it can't do in competition. Right now. But more accurately, it was built to set social media on fire and get people talking. It's a huge success at that.

BTW, I saw one source saying that every purchaser would be given 1 day of instruction at Bondurant's school. They're gonna need it.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UltraDork
4/12/17 1:51 p.m.

Killed the Viper and making this, then again I thought that the Hellcat would sell for like one year to all the people that wanted one and drop off the map.

Also any word on price and if it runs a square 315 setup on the street. Would be a blast at autocross.

Also you can get a new Hellcat for like 15K off allegedly for what this thing costs you could build a 1K monster that is much faster and much safer.

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