The wait is over – the most hyped out introduction of the New York Auto Show is finally officially here – the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.
We actually caught a glimpse of the model through a leaked photo – but we already felt we knew the model’s every tidbit following that humongous marketing campaign. The automaker did keep some secrets tightly wrapped for the premiere – such as the power figure, performance data and the fact that it already holds a new Guinness World Record. It belongs to the longest wheelie by a production car category – the Demon is able to go for 2.92 feet from a standing start with its front tires airborne. And while it’s touted as the drag racer’s dream machine, the Demon is actually “banned” by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the nation’s sanctioning body for all things quarter-mile. This actually makes the automaker proud – because there’s a catch – it’s only banned until you get the proper license and safety equipment to match its performance credentials.
On to the pressing questions – horsepower and performance. Dodge has revealed the Demon possessed 840 horsepower and will slap them silly to 60 miles per hour in just 2.3 seconds, pulling 1.8 times the force of gravity when it launches. Keep the throttle open and the Demon’s halo car performance will lend you a 9.65 seconds at 140 mph quarter mile time. It’s a tuned Hellcat – the Demon’s 6.2-liter V8 gets dual fuel pumps, a 2.7-liter supercharger displacement instead of 2.4, 14.5 psi of boost versus 11.6, and a redline raised from 6,200 to 6,500 rpm. The company confided that a team of about 25 dedicated SRT engineers, plus other FIat Chrysler employees, worked at least two years for the project. The diet – as we already know, slashes 232 pounds (105 kilograms) of mass – though the overall gains compared to the Hellcat amount to 215 pounds of trimmed fat – the rest is added back via the wide fenders, new wheels, huge scoop and others. The Demon actually ditches the 55-pound back seat and the 58-pound passenger seat, but you can have them back, of course.
The new wheels 18 inches in diameter and 11 inches wide are clad in 315/40R18 Nitto NTO5R drag radials, a first for any production car to be sold with drag radials as factory equipment. No manual gearbox is offered, as some Drag Mode features don’t even work without the eight-speed auto. The special branded crate is the one needed to make the Demon the drag monster – inside can be found two super-skinny front-runner wheels with no tires (so you choose them), turning the front radials essentially into rear spare tires. The special dealer-purchased crate comes with a new thermostat, air intake, and computer for the 6.2-liter supercharged V8, plus new center-stack buttons. Use Drag Mode and you’ll get the essential two-step launch control – the cylinder deactivation system will fire just four cylinders, a bypass valve in the supercharger will build up supercharger boost pressure and a transbrake built into the eight-speed automatic will lock the driveshaft. The Dodge Demon will be available for just one model year – 3000 examples for the US market and another 300 for Canada.