We finally know how much Fiat Chrysler’s unholy alchemy experiment, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, costs: one hoagie less than $85,000. Since we also know the car’s horsepower, that means we have all the constants needed to compute that most important of mostly useless automotive-metrics, the legendary cost-per-HP. Let’s see how it stands up against other muscle cars, a minivan—and a lawnmower.
This is not a comprehensive cost-per-HP of everything out there; I’ve limited to these six entries (all currently for sale, new): the Dodge Challenger Demon, the 707 HP Dodge Challenger Hellcat, the Chevrolet Camaro SS, the Ford Mustang GT, a Dodge Grand Caravan (to have a non muscle-car offering from the same company as the Demon), and a lawnmower, because hey, they make horsepower, too.
Here’s how everything stacks up. I think you may be pleasantly surprised at the $/HP leader:
Yep, that’s right. If your goal is to get the absolute best greenback-to-horseback ratio, then you, my friend, need to get yourself behind 140cc of screaming Briggs and Stratton iron, all 2.7 ponies of it.
So $57 per horsepower is pretty hard to beat. A cheap-ass Nissan Versa, for example, will charge you $110 for each of its 109 ponies, and that hunk of crap can’t even mow your lawn.
Sure, on the drag strip, a Demon or a Camaro or even a Grand Caravan is probably going to whip that mower, but once the race is done, those numbers are still not lying. The mower still has the best power-to-coin ratio of all.
For machines that you can sit in and have A/C and speeds over a sweaty walking pace, the Mustang actually turns out to be a decent deal at $76/HP.
The Demon, as much as FCA likes to brag about its numbers, though, is the big loser here.
Just to be clear, in this one particular metric, the Dodge Demon loses to a lawnmower.