Despite the Dodge having a massive horsepower advantage, a numbers showdown between the new Challenger SRT Demon and Jeep’s Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee Trackhawk reveal the boxy SUV actually has the higher top speed—but why?
With a healthy 707 horsepower on tap, the Trackhawk can make pulls at up to 289 km/h (180 mph), which is way fast for something that big and square.
Even more impressive, that number’s actually better than the one boasted by the 840-horsepower Challenger Demon; according to its stats sheet, it tops out at 270 km/h (168 mph).
The reason is quite simple, as Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained relates in a recent YouTube video: the Demon is electronically limited by the manufacturer to that 270-km/h top speed, because the barely street-legal rubber compound it uses in its way-fat rear slicks can’t handle any more than that.
They’re instead tuned for maximum off-the-line grip – there’s no quicker mass-produced car in the quarter-mile than the Demon – and the artificial limit prevents owners from shredding those hides prematurely.
The Jeep, meanwhile, boasts high-speed-rated tires that take to 289-km/h (180-mph) driving no problem.
Now the top speed of the new Challenger Hellcat Widebody – which, like the Jeep, churns out some 707 horsepower – is roughly 313 km/h (195 mph), and it shares most of its bodywork with the Demon. Taking that into consideration, you could likely swap those tires on the Demon and take the limiter off and clear 320 km/h (200 mph) with ease.
(Engineering Explained via Jalopnik)