Dodge Demon reincarnated from the 1970s

When Dodge introduced the Demon back in 1971-1972, it got noticed. Sometimes it was a lightning rod for the wrong reasons, like when religious groups objected to the name. But that was better than the original moniker of the “Beaver.” Speed enthusiasts appreciated its max 275 horsepower and top speeds in the 120+ mph range. In just 6.3 seconds, it could hit 60. It was sporty and cool, with dual exhausts and a mean, low stance with a heavy-duty suspension.

Then in 2018, Dodge revived the Demon to much acclaim and excitement. With a maximum horsepower of 840 and a time of 9.65 seconds on the quarter-mile track, the new Dodge Demon seemed like the ultimate temptation for those speed demons out there.

All the more tantalizing was the Demon Crate of add-ons including narrow drag-racing wheels, the upgraded electronic control module (which boosted the horsepower from 808 to 840), and all the tools required to swap out your front tires at the drag strip. Other add-ons available for a buck each? The front passenger seat, rear seat, and trunk liner.

The meteoric rise of the Hellcat

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The first Hellcat was released in 2015 and offered a whopping 707 horsepower. It was shod with 275/40/20 tires. It was the most horsepower offered in an American muscle car ever.

That is until Dodge proclaimed the Hellcat “demonized,” and released the 2018 Demon. This demonic version is truly the Hellcat, only targeted for the drag strip. For the years 2016-18, the Hellcat stayed essentially the same as far as the performance statistics are concerned. They offered different color choices and wheel and tire packages, but the horsepower rating and speed data remained unchanged.

That is, until 2019 when a quartet of upstarts entered the field with widebody and regular body versions. All four versions share the same engine: the supercharged 6.2-liter V8. The Demon comes in either the widebody style with bigger tires or the regular body style. Each gives you 707 horsepower.

A special kind of Hellcat arrives: the Redeye

But if you want to take it up a big notch, you can go with the Hellcat Redeye edition in either body style. The Redeye essentially is a detuned Demon and will thrill with 797 horsepower. This one hits 60 mph in 3.4  seconds, obliterating most of the competition.

Taking it to the track will be an adventure since you can get under 11 seconds in the quarter-mile, at 131 mpg. With the Redeye, you can reach top speeds of just over 200 mph.

The 2020 versions of the Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye are pretty much the same thing as the previous year, but hey, why would you want to change anything? What more could you possibly ask for in an American muscle car?

Which car is best for you also depends on what you want the muscle car for. Is it a once in awhile zip-around-a-track, but mostly store it like a treasured artifact from Tut’s tomb?

Demon versus Hellcat: which is right for you?

On the surface, it appears there’s no contest between the 2018 Demon and the 2019 Hellcat. Speed and horsepower reveal the scale to be decidedly tipped to the Dodge Demon. No question on that. But it’s not that simple, really. What it comes down to is whether you are better suited to own or drive a Demon or a Hellcat Redeye.

First, let’s look at prices. For the 2018 Dodge Demon, you can now expect to pay in the range of $125,00 up to $150,00 That’s a tidy profit quickly made for anyone who purchased the Demon new, with a sticker price of $83,295.

Today’s Hellcat Redeye begins at right around $71,000, including the gas guzzler tax. So, that’s a win category for sure, for the Redeye.

Which car is best for you also depends on what you want the muscle car for. Is it a once in awhile zip-around-a-track, but mostly store it like a treasured artifact from Tut’s tomb? Then the Demon is probably your ride. Especially considering the 2018 Dodge Demon was a limited edition, with only 3300 made. It’s certain to continue its rise in value over the years to come.

But if you want a muscle car to drive, maybe even as a daily driver, then besides saving a little green, you may be best fitted with the Hellcat Redeye. So is your perfect American muscle car a Demon or a Hellcat Redeye? It will likely be decided by your budget and whether you want a collector car in pristine condition or a blazing fast regular ride that also looks cool as hell.

A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:

– The Dodge Demon convertible that never was | Autos 101

The sporty Demon concept car that never made it.

Most expensive celebrity cars, ranked | Autos 101

Crazy-expensive rides that stars enjoy.