Another motor show, another demonic Dodge
That’s about the sum of it. Dodge has unleashed a tirade a different concept cars at recent motor shows and Geneva was no different. The evil-named Demon emerged from a cloud of dry ice amidst lightning-strike strobe effects – quite befitting for a company in the clutches of a possible fire sale. But DaimlerChrysler executives were eager to put to one side talk of a sell-off, instead placing the focus on the Demon show car. Which is fair enough, as it’s a confident roadster which looks very likely to go into production.
Is the Demon aimed at the MX-5?
You bet. Dodge has watched the Mazda roadster’s success with envy and decided an affordable sports car would match its brand attitude-laden DNA perfectly. The Demon is the result, a back-to-basics roadster designed to add some sex appeal to its rather more butch current range. The car’s designers told CAR Online that they shamelessly targeted the MX-5, which has few real-world rivals since volume manufacturers turned their attention from roadsters to four-seat coupe-cabriolets. The Demon has been designed from the ground up to be more affordable than the Mazda, suggesting a starting price of around £14-15,000. One way to make the Demon affordable would be to team up with Chinese manufacturer Chery, with whom DaimlerChrysler has already struck a deal to build the Hornet supermini. Building a roadster in China would bring obvious price advantages.
Dodge Demon: the lowdown
The Demon is very similar in footprint to the MX-5 and the designers told CAR Online that they wanted to ape the attitude of the Viper in a smaller package. ‘We also looked at the sports car of the 1950s,’ said exterior designer JT. Then again, designers of small roadsters say that. The result is a striking little roadster, though. The Dodge gun-sight grille is a little heavy-handed and the rear flanks echo the Nissan 350Z roadster, but otherwise the Demon is a chunky, funky convertible that would slot very neatly into Dodge’s line-up. Underneath the bonnet, the Demon packs a 172bhp 2.4-litre engine and the product planners reckon it will crack the benchmark 60mph in 8.0sec. The quality of this concept – all the switchgear is plucked from the DC group parts bin – suggests we might see the Demon in showrooms sooner rather than later.