Things are getting downright kooky in Auburn Hills.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has become quite chatty in the past day, with company spokespersons confirming bizarre new details about the upcoming Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Apparently, the beastly LX-platform variant is a real stripper.
Yes, to shed as much weight as possible from the Challenger Hellcat’s considerable mass, the mysterious Demon with make do without many of the things we’ve come to associate with modern automobiles.
No, the driver won’t be required to bring his or her own milk crate, but they sure won’t find themselves engaged in stimulating discussion. That’s because they’ll be alone.
When Dodge finally brings its devilish creation to consumers, the model will boast a single seat. Gone are the front passenger seat and rear bench. This, along with other notable deletions (described in detail by Motor Authority), is FCA’s easy and fast route to shedding 215 pounds from the vehicle’s weight. The missing seats alone account for 113 pounds of weight loss.
When we say this vehicle is a stripper, we mean it in the real, junkyard sense of the word. The automaker plans to ditch all but two stereo speakers, leaving one in each door, while scrapping 18 pounds of sound insulation. Those speakers had better be loud. Also on the list of missing components are the spare tire and trunk liner.
While it seems that FCA engineers simply tore down the model French Connection-style, there’s also a few factory add-ons to help the model’s slim-fast regimen. Dodge has seen fit to add narrower, hollow sway bars (shaving 19 pounds), 18×11-inch aluminum wheels (16 pounds), and smaller-diameter,Â 2-piece, 4-piston aluminum Brembos (16 pounds).
In a way, it’s a lot like the desperate weight-saving program that spawned the 1979 Chrysler R-bodies, only this one is steeped in performance, not malaise. Wider rubber and less weight equals an acceleration and handling boost, even if the Hellcat’s 707-horsepower V8 remains unchanged. However, few expect that mill to stay stock in Demon guise.
Some have said that the removal of extraneous seats makes this Dodge the ultimate bad-ass driving machine, but there’s something dangerously antisocial about a 4,200-pound car with only one seat. It’s like flying a kite at night. No one fully trusts the person doing that.
Luckily, it sounds like performance-minded drivers who like mingling with other humans will have a choice. Autoblog reports that rear and front passenger seats will remain on the options list. For a fee, a warm, loving couple can drive straight to hell in their new Demon.
Expect to see the vehicle revealed in full at the New York Auto Show in April.[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]