Dodge’s 2018 Challenger SRT Demon will be the first production car to come with a transmission brake from the factory, to help it deliver even more torque to the wheels when launching from a standing start down a drag strip, the automaker said March 23, ahead of the car’s reveal early April.

Normally when trying to build up torque while waiting for the light on a drag strip “Christmas tree” to go green, the driver of an automatic-trans car holds their feet on the brake and gas, risking damage to parts or the car creeping forward if the front brakes are over-powered.

The trans-brake instead locks the power in the transmission, requiring the driver only to work the throttle; on the Challenger Demon, the lock is released by a shift paddle on the steering wheel, sending all that built-up torque to the wheels at once.

Dodge says while using the trans-brake, the Demon will launch at 2,350 RPM, and that supercharger boost pressure is increased by 105 percent and launch torque levels by 120 percent. The old two-foot method would at best give you 40 percent less torque than that.

The Challenger Demon will also come with other professional dragster tech, including line-lock, which locks the front wheels while allowing the driver to smash the pedal and make the rear tires spin in an epic burnout, building up heat in the tires and increasing traction.

But Dodge has been mum so far about a manual transmission, leading some publications to wonder if the Demon will even be made available with a traditional stickshift and clutch.

Over the past few weeks, Dodge has also revealed that the Challenger Demon will be significantly lighter than its Hellcat sibling, in part by making parts like the passenger seats optional; and that it will feature the largest production car cold-air intake scoop, to better feed the car’s supercharger.

What it has not revealed is the car’s horsepower or torque figures, which are also supposed to be substantially better than the Hellcat’s impressive 707 hp and 650 lb-ft, respectively. Instead it has released a cryptic series of equations, like the one below – “8.3+317=534” – which also came out March 23.


Rumors are the Challenge Demon may have 757 horsepower in street mode, and up to 815 horsepower in a track-only mode. Dodge will release to the public all of the details regarding the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon at the car’s official launch in New York in early April.