The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon exploded onto the stage in New York to massive fanfare—there were flames and pyrotechnics; celebs like Vin Diesel and Wiz Khalifa; and even some impromptu drag racing. It was epic, but it was also warranted.
Too Fast, Too Furious
Big, Fat Elevens
Keeping It Cool
Hitting the Gym
They Keep Track of That?
Phasers Set to “Drag”
You May Need a Crew—
You Won’t See That Many
Even with all the teasers Dodge released in the weeks before the big reveal, it somehow managed to keep a lid on power figures. That lid has subsequently been blown skyward, to the tune of 840 hp and 770 lb-ft of torque. That figure is 808 hp and 717 lb-ft on pump gas, and the everyday-driving black-key mode can keep the Demon chained down to a mere 500 hp when any more than that isn’t necessary.
So quick was the Demon’s recently recorded quarter-mile time of 9.65 seconds at 140.9 mph that the NHRA actually banned it from events, as the limit for production cars without a roll cage is no less than 9.99 seconds at no more than 135 mph. Did we mention the Demon sprints from zero to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds?
“No way it was going to get drag tires right of the dealership floor”, they said. Well, they were wrong; all Demons get street-legal Nitto drag radials, 375 mm wide, at all four corners. That’s a lot of rubber just asking to be laid down. Having said that: if you really want to meet those crazy times, you may want to go for the optional “front runner” wheels and tires; they’re thin enough to fit neatly into the trunk, and they cut front-end weight for even more jump off the line.
The massive “Air Grabber” hood scoop – it’s the biggest of any production car – combines with the “Air Catcher” driver’s side headlamp replacement to force an air-flow rate of 1,150 cubic feet per minute through the intake, the most on any production car.
The SRT Power Chiller unit actually steals coolant from the A/C to help cool the massive 2.7-litre supercharger. Then, when it’s time to shut ’er down, After-Run Chiller tech keeps the coolant pump and fan going, even once the engine is shut off. That’s right, the Demon is built to handle the high-stress conditions of the strip—FCA even backs it up with a three-year/36,000-mile limited vehicle warranty and five-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.
You don’t get to sub-10-second quarter-mile times easily; in addition to adding all that power, Dodge has found ways to shave every pound possible off the Demon’s Hellcat sibling, going so far as to offer to not only delete the rear seats, but the front passenger seat, as well. It costs just $1 to put the latter back in, though.
In addition to that ridiculous quarter-mile time, the Demon made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for – wait for it – being the first-ever production car to lift the front wheels under acceleration, for a length of 2.92 feet. We kid you not.
The all-new “Drag Mode” modifies everything from damper stiffness to your climate control to ensure that your day at the strip is a successful one. It even uses wheel speed sensors to “watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch and in milliseconds [modify] the engine torque to regain full grip.” Bonus: purchase includes one full-day training session at the Bob Bondurant School of High-performance Driving.
For that full drag-racer effect, all Demon buyers get the chance to opt for the “Demon Crate”, a toolbox loaded with gizmos such as a performance powertrain control module; performance air filter; the aforementioned skinny drag wheels; and a hydraulic floor jack. You don’t even need a sponsor!
Not because they won’t sell, but because Dodge wants to keep it extra-special and is limiting Canadian distribution to 300 cars and American distribution to 3,000 in order to do so. All the cars will come out of Chrysler’s Bramalea, Ontario, Canada plant, where the Challenger, Charger, and Chrysler 300 are built.