Demon or Trackhawk ?…How about Both!
As some of you know, Dodge and Jeep just released the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Both of these vehicles are at the top of their respective automotive categories and have shattered some of the existing records. For example, the 0-60 time on the Demon beats the time that you get when buying a $1.6 million supercar, how about that???
Now to business, do you think that it was smart to release both vehicles within a week of each other? Some might say this is a genius rolling out two record-breaking vehicles in a two-week time frame. Other might say that they blew an opportunity to create two separate events and trending news. This said, the fun has just started, let dig in!
To start, we need to be up front, this car is pure <Beast>! The Demon is every American Muscle car enthusiasts dream. It bleeds and sweats American muscle and raw horsepower. Dodge and the SRT brand has done an exceptional job with producing this car. From the motor to the design of the car, it is unique and stunning. As a car enthusiast, I can say that the detail put into this car is remarkable and a job well done to Dodge.
Now to the marketing aspect: the SRT brand has been growing over the years and technically was first introduced when the Dodge Neon SRT-4 was released. Although, some would argue that the brand started with the Plymouth Prowler. Regardless, over the years the SRT brand has significantly grown from having a Dodge Charger, Ram, Challenger, Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the notorious Viper to where we are today! However, I would venture to say that over the last 5 years the SRT brand has nearly doubled, if not tripled. The awareness of their cars and what they are capable of has nearly shifted the market for cars, SUV’s and trucks.
The release of the Hellcat created an uproar on social media and everyone had to get their hands on one. This caused demand to soar through the roof while the supply was limited. Dealers being the kind souls that they are, tacked on premiums to the Hellcats and turned a $70,000 car into $100K +. No big deal right? With the recent teasers that Dodge has been releasing about the Demon and finally its long-awaited arrival, the demand once again is soaring and refuses to come down. From a branding perspective, Dodge’s release of the Hellcat was merely a large scale marketing test/tease and the consumers being the hungry fish that we are, “WE BIT” and we bit hard! We confirmed that the market could handle more, allowing Dodge to create the now known beast, the Demon. I would also like to add that Dodge even went the extra mile with the little video that they put together, which you can watch below. The video appeals to motorhead inside your brain and does a great job allowing your to feel the emotion and have a connection with the new car.
In summary, the release of the Demon has been expected for quite some time and has many buyers anxious. With the teasers, small promos, its big reveal and mostly, the strategy behind its release, all I have to say is: “Well done Dodge! The Demon is an impressive and amazing machine. Well played!”
Now up to bat, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk:
As a previous owner of a “08 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, I think that it is safe to say that I am a huge and loyal supporter of the SRT brand, especially the Jeeps. I would love nothing more than to jump back into one these beasts. That said, the Trackhawk is long overdue and strangely, it is mildly disappointing. Take that with a grain of salt, I ask. I think Jeep did a great job with the SUV and hats off the engineering team for getting 707 HP into an AWD system, that is no simple feat. However, like the other Hellcats, they were merely the same car but with upgraded power, performance, braking, and a few other minor things. That said, why should anyone pay a premium for the same car with a few extra parts.
The Jeep SRT community is massive and highly involved with their cars and helping each other. From 2006-2010 the Jeep SRT remain the same with the exception of minor changes, which is expected. When the 2014 model was released the price spiked up an extra $15,000 from previous models and above all other SRT cars. The 2014 models were entirely redesigned and came with beautiful interiors, but for the price, it is hard to adjust.
Now to business, the SRT brand in the SUV market from 2006-2010 was there, but it was growing as it was not fully acknowledged and widely known. However, post-2010 the Jeep SRT started becoming a thing, so the release of the 2014 model was accepted with open arms from the market despite the increase in MSRP. I must give Jeep credit though, the Jeep SRT prior to the Trackhawk was impressive, but now it is amazing. The disappointment comes with the lack of minor or medium changes. For example, they offer a red clay interior that has the Trackhawk logo stamped into the seats and they put a logo on the steering wheel. Some performance upgrades, the whopping 707 HP motor and increased Brembo braking system. Obviously, there is more, but from the general perspective, one can tell that the Trackhawk is exactly what we were expecting. As a consumer, it is nice to be right, but we sub-consciously want to be surprised and be wow’ed. An example of something Jeep could have done for the Trackhawk is, move the exhausts back into the middle of the car, like the earlier ’06-’10 models, this would make it unique visually, allowing the car to be visually separated from others instantly. They did mildly accomplish this with the dual tips exhaust on both side I might add.
Nonetheless, the Trackhawk is extremely impressive and it would be “Awesome” to own one. In summary, the Trackhawk is exactly what the market expected. However, you have got to give SRT credit, they produced an amazing car from the details on the interior to the performance of the SUV, the Trackhawk is a record breaking machine that has been finely tuned. Overall, I think that it was smart for Dodge, Jeep, SRT to release the cars around the same time as they will be targeting two different audiences and markets. This will allow the hype about both cars to stay up and the news to continually trend on the brands while they tease consumers for pre-sales.
Dodge Challenger Demon Intro: