Dodge brand head talks down Demon owners fretting over Super Stock clones
“I was serious about what I said in the reveal—I promised we’ll never do another Demon.”
That’s Tim Kuniskis, Dodge’s brand head, talking to Motor Authority. They had been discussing whether the new Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock, which received many of the Demon’s go-fast parts, could be turned into a clone of its exclusive, 3300-unit brother.
Last week, Dodge announced its 2020 Challenger SRT Super Stock, which slots between the 797-horse Redeye and the king of the Mopar hill—the Demon, with its 840-hp (100-octane) tuneup. The Super Stock is essentially a Demon “light”; while it shares the Demon’s beefed-up engine internals, larger blower, and 18×11-inch wheels shod in Nitto NT05R rubber, the Super Stock lacks the key features—the ram-air hood, interior delete, pizza-cutter front wheel and tire combo, and some specialized suspension and transmission trickery—that made the Demon a 9-second car. (That said, Dodge’s promise of a 10.50 run for the Super Stock is no joke, especially for a coupe that could still haul a (very close) family across the country.) However, in order to protect the Demon’s exclusivity and its promise to Demon owners, Kuniskis stated that any Demon parts will require a VIN demonstrating proof of ownership before the components can be ordered from an FCA dealership.
“And I happen to own a Demon, so it’s actually personal to me,” he added. “Not only don’t I want to piss off the 3299 other people, I don’t want to piss off myself.”
The goal is two-fold: maintaining the value and prestige of the 3300 Demons out there while also keeping the model on top of the Mopar performance totem pole. Horsepower plays into the Demon’s wicked acceleration, sure, but getting a 4200-pound Challenger on 18s off the line quickly without the typical tire hop and traction issues associated with independent-rear suspension is truly a game of mastering weight transfer. To help it hook, the Super Stock will retain many of the same calibration tricks for the electronic-adjustable dampers and hyper-sensitive anti-hop traction modes; however, it misses out on the Demon’s specific spring rates and light-weight sway bars.
“The advantage of Demon, the purpose of Demon was to come up with a suspension … that had maximum weight transfer,” Kuniskis told Motor Authority. “Look at the very small, hollow sway bars, the spring ratings that we had, the tuning of the suspension. Add those things together and it was designed to give you tons of weight transfer—and then you add together that with the trans brake that will load up the engine [and] allow you to launch with 8 pounds of boost. The combination of those two things—that’s where the magic of the Demon is.”
The absence of those mechanical trick is what keeps the Super Stock in its place, but we know how this game usually goes, and we smell a little extra rivalry between Mopar fiends at the track.
For collectors, however, this clear performance hierarchy is welcome news. Some immediately moth-balled their Demons before the 500-mile seal on the Demon’s ECU could be broken (which unleashes the full 840-hp rating after break-in). Despite a recent industry-wide dip in values due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Demons remain strong, with the cleanest, lowest-mile examples commanding more than $110,000.
“Collectibility starts to make a change at the 1000-mile range,” says Hagerty Price Guide Associate Editor Greg Ingold. “At that point, it becomes less attractive to a buyer looking for a collector-grade car. The computer has been unlocked and the car will offer up its full horsepower potential, but there have been enough miles for the car to accumulate blemishes, even if only minor.” He added that those who take their Demons on the street and out to the track, as Dodge intended, will also do their part to increase the value for those who keep them packed as future collectibles; as more Demons pile on the miles, the remaining stash will sit higher on the pedestal.
What do you think? Should Hellcat and Super Stock owners be able to buy Demon parts, especially kit bits like the springs and sway bars? You can already order a V-6 with Hellcat bumpers and trim … why stop there, we wonder?