Consumers like having choice. But when you’re talking about relatively limited production vehicles, too much choice can bring large expenses to a manufacturer for little financial reward. Now that we know a Challenger Demon is on the way, will the Hellcat stay in the lineup? Is there too much choice?
The Challenger lineup is pretty full right now. Just head over to Dodge’s build-and-price page and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Dig deeper, and there are really only subtle differences between the Challenger R/T Scat Pack and the Challenger SRT 392.
At the top of the tree, currently, is the SRT Hellcat. The 6.2L supercharged HEMI V8 cranks out 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. It’s fast. It’s brutal. I’d even dare to say it’s Hellish.
The Demon is supposedly going to be better. But I have a hard time seeing a Hellcat and a Demon in the lineup at the same time. How many $60,000+ Challengers will Dodge and FCA US be able to sell?
But here’s an interesting thought. What if the Demon is all-wheel drive and the Hellcat is rear-wheel drive? There’s already a Challenger GT all-wheel drive on the way — we’ll be driving it shortly — and that could be an entirely new branch of the Challenger performance tree.
That would also open the door the for Demon to have the same — or even less — horsepower than the Hellcat. All-wheel drive traction would significantly help with off-the-line acceleration and push the car into an entirely new league without having to bump the power.
We’ll know soon enough. Keep your eyes peeled for the New York auto show!