Could the Dodge roadster heat up Chrysler sales?
Check the dictionary definition of the word demon and you’ll usually get “a devil or evil spirit,” perhaps even a “cruel person.” But there’s a third one, too, usually used as an adjective, i.e. “very skillful or forceful.”
The latter interpretation is the one Dodge hopes will be applied to a new Demon roadster that makes its world debut at the Geneva International Motor Show.
The immensely powerful and expensive Viper is the only sports car Dodge can offer at present, so the imminent arrival of the little Demon dream car may well be irresistible for those with budgets more closely aligned with Mazda’s affordable and affordable Miata roadster.
When the Demon’s design team took on the project in late 2005, its mission remit was to build a minimalist show car, but one with the potential to take on the Miata head-to-head.
The Demon’s lines are redolent with Dodge design cues, such as the distinctive cross-hair grille and deep Charger-like sides, but it still possesses a clean, simple style that plays well with the roadster buyer. The rear end is dominated by a trapezoidal theme. The shape dictates everything from light housings to roll bars, exhaust tips and wheel design.
Inside, everything is functional rather than frivolous. It’s evident the driving experience is what the Demon is all about.
Dramatic styling aside, the Demon’s mechanical bits come from available off-the-shelf parts. Key among these is Chrysler’s global 2.4-litre, 172 hp, 4-cylinder engine mated with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
A ready supply of inexpensive major components coupled with the simple, straightforward styling means the Demon could easily be put into production. Is there a better way for Chrysler to help exorcise the evil spirits possessing its sales charts?