Although I have written a lot of our editorials over the last few decades, the one in the April 24 issue of Automotive News slipped by me. That editorial, which maintained that the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon should be banned from public roads, was misinformed and wrong.
It is up to consumers to decide if they want to buy a Demon.
The 840-hp Demon is not even the most powerful car available for purchase in the United States. There are several vehicles with more horsepower than the Demon and that may not be able to run at National Hot Rod Association drag strips without certain safety modifications (as is the case with the Demon). But they are all street legal, including a 1,500-hp Bugatti.
To suggest that a company should limit its choices to the public is simply wrong.
We may have differences of opinion in our newsroom, but Automotive News will never suggest that if a vehicle complies with all rules and regulations, it shouldn’t have a right to compete in our marketplace.
Last week, a Honda Civic Type-R with a few pieces of safety equipment set a record for the fastest-ever lap for a front-wheel-drive production car at Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife racetrack.
It will be available for sale soon. No one, including Automotive News, should suggest that any vehicle should be prohibited from sale.
One of the great things about the auto industry today is that even with tough emission and safety standards and CAFE, there are more choices than at any time. It is truly remarkable that in spite of such strict standards, engineers are able to create vehicles that push the boundaries further and further.
Any buyer of a high-performance vehicle might be wise to attend one of the very good driving schools available. But that decision should be based on a conversation with the potential customer and the dealer.
This is a great time in the history of this industry, with so many choices from gasoline to electric to hydrogen. To suggest that anyone should limit the creativity of our engineers is simply wrong.
Automotive News was misinformed.
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