On March 27, 2023, the ordering process for the Dodge Demon 170 that enjoyed a fiery Las Vegas unveiling earlier this week is set to kick off. And, despite Dodge making certain efforts to limit the dreaded additional dealer markups (ADMs), there are signs that things are getting out of hand.
The main specs and pricing of the Demon 170
The 2023 Demon 170 is an 1,025 hp, 945 lb-ft monster—the most powerful production muscle car ever. And yes, it can run on E85. It also sets a few production car records: quickest (0-60 mph in 1.66s), highest g-force acceleration (2.004 Gs) and makes for the first eight-second factory muscle car (8.91s ET and 151.17 mph in the quarter-mile).
And with an MSRP of $96,666 (plus $1,595 destination tax and $2,100 gass guzzler tax) this is a warranty-backed bargain.
As far as the options go, Dodge seems to be sending a purpose-use message by pricing the sunroof ($9,995) so close to the carbon fiber and aluminum two-piece wheels ($11,495). So, theoretically, if the ADM stays at zero, the Demon 170 should come with a factory price of around $115,000.
What is Dodge doing to limit dealer markups
Almost nobody expected Dodge to come up with a Demon sequel, as a distinct limited edition for the model that marks the end of the Gen III HEMI V8 power era seemed like a more reasonable move.
However, this isn’t a situation like that of the Dodge Durango Hellcat, where owners of the initial batch wish to sue the carmaker over adding a second model year to the special. That’s because the 170 brings noticeable updates compared to the 2018MY Demon, and owners of the original are offered priority allocations—if they still have their cars, obviously.
Since the carmaker can only build these machines by the end of the year, the production cap—3,000 units for the US and 300 for Canada—may or may not be reached. Dodge has informed dealers that cars being sold at MSRPs will be built first, but that’s where its markup-limiting measures stop.
How much are dealers asking for the Demon 170?
Some potential buyers out there are doing their best to grab a Demon 170 at MSRP. One of the first categories that come to mind involve enthusiasts with a strong online presence.
Cue to Brooks Weisblat of the DragTimes label. Having invited dealers to contact him with offers for the Mopar, the man has received offers with ADMs varying between $50,000 and $200,000. Of course, that last number would turn the Demon 170 into a 300,000 car—we’ll get back to this number below.
In the YouTube clip below, Brooks even shows a conversation with a Tampa dealer who claims he has nine allocations for the Demon 170, asking for a $10,000 non-refundable deposit to place and order and mentioning that $300,000 price.
Brooks doesn’t give names, and we’ll stick to this practice here. However, if you head out to the official Dodge Garage website, which allows you find all the dealers in the country that have allocations, you can do your own location-based research.
Car broker and YouTuber TK’s Garage recently uploaded a video in which he’s inviting 2018 Demon owners to sell their priority allocation to him so he can have a 2023 Demon 170 as close to MSRP as possible. The man claims he had discussed this practice with his lawyer before putting it on social media.
Another type of potential Demon 170 buyer is represented by owners of various Challengers taking their search to social media and forums. And if we head over to the hellcat.org forum, we find user 215CAT (he reportedly owns a 2015 Hellcat manual), whose post is seeking an MSRP offer.
The person explains that calling out local dealers that showed allocations on Dodge Garage resulted in some upsetting, albeit perhaps unsurprising, ideas. The replies went from that $200,000 markup mentioned above to dealers with a single allocation admitting they are buying the vehicles for themselves.
Of course, the latter option could mean those dealers are willing to keep the collectible coupe or perhaps enjoy it for a little bit and then resell it as a used vehicle, since there are no more manufacturer-enforced rules on that side of the market.
How much should you pay for a Demon 170?
Of course, this is a personal decision. Nevertheless, there are a few things everybody can take into consideration. For starters, with the original Demon—this carried a $86,090 MSRP—having at least doubled in value on the used car market (a few low-mileage examples even crossed the $200,000 border), the Demon 170 is likely to make a good investment.
Then again, nobody wants to see these corn-fed beasts getting locked up in garages and flipped. After all, we can’t get upset over dealers slapping massive ADMs on the Demon 170 without mentioning private buyers looking to make massive profit instead of enjoying this monster on the prepped surface as intended by its maker.
Now, if you simply wish to drag race a factory muscle car, the Dodge Challenger Super Stock, which may end up being just as rare, if not rarer, than the Demon 170, is probably your best bet. Then again, resale values for this model, which is halfway between the 2018 Demon and the Hellcat Redeye, haven’t necessarily turned it into an investment, which may just be a positive thing in this crazy market context.
Fortunately, though, you can bet that at least certain Demon 170 buyers will give us all the opportunity to see just how well the uber-Challenger performs in real life. Sure, we know that its official 8s quarter-mile time will be difficult to replicate just by looking at how long it took people to match the 9.65s rating of the 2018 demon. But that doesn’t take away the joy of seeing this unfolding.
Examples include people close to Dodge, like Josh Welton, who drove his 2018 Demon 28 hours straight to the reveal of the Demon 170 and has put an impressive amount of miles on the car.
Then we’ll have vloggers and aftermarket developers who can use the Demon 170 for monetization and R&D purposes while actually driving it. And, of course, there are a few lucky enthusiasts who can simply afford to enjoy this drag strip animal without having to ask themselves if buying a Lamborghini would’ve been a better option and we wish them the best possible weather!