What was the Dodge Demon convertible?

The Dodge Demon was a concept car introduced in 2007 at the Geneva Motor Show. And what a looker it was. It had nice lines and looked expensive. Created and positioned to rival the Mazda Miata,  Pontiac Solstice, and Saturn Sky. The Dodge Demon was to have a starting price of $15,000. For the styling and specs offered, this was a great anticipated bang for the buck.

The Dodge Demon was projected to have a 2.4L four-cylinder engine putting out 172 horses on a rear-wheel-drive powertrain. The styling was fantastic and still holds up relatively well today. This would have been a great car for Dodge to have produced. Great looks, nice power, and an inexpensive price. A great little summer convertible. A zippy fun ride that would make heads turn. Or would have made heads turn had the Dodge Demon roadster ever made it into production.

This sweet little roadster, the Dodge Demon, never made it into production due to financial and other issues with Dodge. 2007 was the end of days for the Daimler-Chrysler pairing and ownership and partnership challenges over the years kept the idea generally afloat but never allowed it to get further than conception.

Great looks, nice power, and an inexpensive price. A great little summer convertible. A zippy fun ride that would make heads turn.

Concept Specs

The Dodge Demon was a two-seater convertible meant to compete directly with smaller inexpensive roadsters like the Mazda Miata. It was intended to be a 2.4L 4-cylinder, 6-speed transmission, outputting 172 horsepower with rear-wheel drive and an anticipated weight of 2600lb, it was anticipated to sell for $15,000. It was in essence meant to be the less expensive, sportier little sister of the Dodge Viper.

In keeping with this theme, the interior was modeled as an inexpensive sub, or little sister, of the best selling Dodge Viper. Same style seating and interior, and spacious with enough trunk space for sports gear or golf clubs.

The concept version of the Dodge Demon roadster was Road and Track tested. Their driver indicated that the car had enough pep, but that the transmission changes were ‘sloppy’. These were issues that would have likely been addressed in pre-production had the Dodge Demon roadster ever actually made it past the concept phase.

 Wikimedia Commons

Why exactly didn’t the Dodge Demon make production?

Well, there are a few reasons that the Dodge Demon roadster never made it past the concept phase. 2007 was a bad time for DaimlerChrysler. Daimler was ready to end the partnership and the buyer of their ownership, Cerebus, was not equipped to manage an automotive company. The 2008 recession also hit the auto industry hard. It was not an ideal time to be investing massive funds into what was essentially a second car, or a one-season vehicle.

2007 was the end of days for the Daimler-Chrysler pairing and ownership and partnership challenges over the years kept the idea generally afloat but never allowed it to get further than conception.

Dodge kept the dream of the inexpensive Demon roadster alive with a 2008 partnership with Chinese automobile manufacturer Chery. Dodge and Chery were to work together on a front-wheel-drive base to use for the Demon roadster, and also for Chery’s anticipated 5-door hatchback. This joint base for both auto projects never materialized. Maybe it was for the best. Switching from a rear-wheel-drive base to a front-wheel-drive base would have lessened the appeal of the Dodge Demon roadster convertible.

Despite all of these issues and setbacks, the dream of the Dodge Demon roadster convertible was kept alive. In 2010, after a partnership with Fiat, there were rumors, again,  of a rear-wheel-drive version bandied about. It was rumored to be similar to the Alfa Romeo Spider. But again, the Dodge Demon roadster convertible was a no-show. Always waited for, never materializing.

A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:

– Insanely fun features for luxury cars | Autos101

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– Most expensive luxury celebrity cars, ranked | Autos101 

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