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First look: Dodge Demon chases MX-5

Distinctively Dodge: The Demon sports the signature Dodge crosshair grille.

Dodge continues its rollout of exciting product with the Demon two-seater

13 Feb 2007

LOOKING more like a vehicle close to production, the Dodge Demon concept that surfaced this week is being described as a "roadster with an attitude".

Due to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show next month, the mainstream-oriented rear-drive Demon demonstrates that Dodge is hunting in MX-5 territory, with dimensions shadowing those of Mazda’s two-seater roadster.

At 1736mm wide, 1315mm high and sitting on a 2429mm wheelbase, the Demon is marginally bigger all round, while its 3974mm overall length is just 21mm shy of the Mazda. With a kerb weight of 1179kg, it is also 74kg heavier.

Power comes from a Chrysler-sourced 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine developing 124kW at 6000rpm and 224Nm at 4400rpm. The engine is the same as that in the Caliber and PT Cruiser.

Chrysler Group principal exterior designer Jae Chung said that while the Viper was a dream car for many "the Dodge Demon is designed to be an attainable dream car".

"The exterior design is simple yet bold, featuring an energetic combination of curves and intersecting planes," he said.

Visually, the Demon has a strong Dodge identity with dominant crosshair grille with recessed air outlets, 19-inch brushed alloys, projector headlights, wheel-at-each-corner on-road stance and strong design lines flowing over the car. The bonnet is hinged at the front.

41 center imageAt the rear, the surface area is divided into three planes with two chamfered outboard planes, dominated by tapering trapezoidal LED tail-lights. The beltline kicks up at the rear into the high bootlid, providing a cocooning environment for the occupants.

"In the manner of timeless British sportscars, the interior is purposely functional, not frivolous," said principal interior designer Dan Zimmermann. "Everything relating to the driving experience is emphasised, while that which is not is made visually secondary.

"The well-laid-out instrument panel, for example, is familiar, yet modern. Everything you really need – the gauges, outlets, radio – is encapsulated in a cross-car brushed aluminum bezel that also accentuates the width of the cabin."The wide, brushed aluminum centre console is deliberately not a part of, or attached to, the instrument panel. The console incorporates the six-speed leather shifter, handbrake, electric windows, softly lit cupholders and a 12-volt power outlet. The upper portion of the instrument panel, including the cluster brow, is accented by a stitched seam with contrasting silver thread.

The three-spoke steering wheel is an aluminum open-spoke design while the rim itself is brushed aluminum on the inside, complemented with stitched vinyl on the outer rim. Immediately forward of the wheel, the four-gauge cluster features classic white-on-black dials with graphics inspired by sports watches.

Each circular gauge is set inside a finely detailed silver and chrome bezel ring, while gauge pointers are coloured to match the exterior.

In keeping with its sportscar pretensions, the Demon’s sports seats are set in exposed low-gloss carbon fibre shells with integral headrests. Behind the driver and passenger are individual brushed aluminum and carbon fibre rollbars.

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