2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Month after month of teasers have finally led to this, the unveiling of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon at the 2017 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Dodge has been hyping the street-legal drag monster to stratospheric proportions, and for good reason – it’s the quickest production car in the world.

The figures are nothing short of extraordinary, with the Demon scorching from zero to 30 mph (48 km/h) in just one second flat, before blowing past the 60 mph (97 km/h) mark in 2.3 seconds. The quarter mile (400 m) mark, on the other hand, is dealt with in 9.65 seconds at 225 km/h – quick enough for Dominic Toretto, then. It will even lift the front wheels off the ground, too, a first for a production car – it holds the record for the world’s longest wheelie for a production car at 2.92 feet, certified by Guinness World Records.

It’s so quick, in fact, that it exceeds the OEM production car limit (9.99 seconds at 217 km/h) of the United States National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), which certified the Demon’s performance – meaning that it is barred from running at an NHRA Member Track.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

This level of mind-bending performance is possible thanks to a 6.2 litre supercharged HEMI V8, a heavily-modified version of the Hellcat engine. Starting with a block that has been deck plate honed, race car-style, Dodge has bolted on a larger 2.7 litre supercharger running at a higher boost pressure of 14.5 psi. There’s also a high-speed valvetrain, stronger connecting rods and pistons and improved lubrication.

On top of that, there’s a larger induction air box fed by no less than three air intakes – on the bonnet, in the driver’s side headlight and near the wheel liner. The result is a whopping 840 hp and 1,044 Nm, 133 hp and 164 Nm more than the already ridiculous Hellcat; these figures make the Demon engine the most powerful V8 ever fitted to a production car.

Another production car first is the Power Chiller, which diverts air-conditioning refrigerant to a chiller unit mounted by the low-temperature circuit coolant pump, cooling the supercharger’s charge air coolant. Also fitted is an After-Run Chiller that keeps the engine cooling fan and low-temperature circuit coolant pump running after a run to lower the supercharger/charge air cooler temperature, minimising heat soak effects.

Under the hood of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI® Demon V-8 engine.

Power is sent to the rear 315/40R18 Nitto NT05R street-legal drag racing tyres via a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. An upgraded torque converter increases torque multiplication by 18%, while stall speed is increased by 11%; the transmission lockup has also been made quicker. There’s also a strengthened prop shaft, rear differential and half-shafts.

Fitted to the gearbox is a trans-brake that locks the output shaft, allowing the engine to be revved to 2,350 rpm while the car holds still, before a pull on a paddle shifter enables a 30 millisecond quicker standing start compared to a foot brake release.

Meanwhile, the Torque Reserve feature closes the bypass valve to prefill the supercharger with boost, and manages fuel flow and spark advancement/retardation – the latter balances engine rpm and torque. Together, they result in faster acceleration at launch and quicker quarter-mile times by more than a tenth of a second. Drag-mode Launch Assist also detects wheel hop at launch and automatically reduces engine torque, reducing component damage.

Standard drag-race inspired interior configuration of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has driver seat only; first-ever factory-production Challenger with a front passenger seat delete.

Under the skin, Bilstein adaptive dampers feature a Drag Mode that softens rebound at the front to shift as much weight as possible to the rear wheels, boosting rear tyre grip by 11%. Weight transfer has also been improved through the use of softer springs and anti-roll bars, while a unique rear knuckle reduces negative camber by 0.5 degrees to increase the tyre contact patch.

Drag Mode also disengages traction control to enable drivers to perform burnouts, but retains stability control to help with straight-line performance. A line lock function is also fitted, clamping the front wheels but leaving the rear wheels free to spin up to clean and heat up the rear tyres, and allows the driver to perform a controlled rolling burnout.

In addition, the Demon is up to 91 kg lighter than the Hellcat thanks to the removal of items such as a front passenger seat, rear seats, floor mats, speakers, amplifier, mastic sealant, insulation, power-adjustable steering column and parking sensors, as well as the use of lighter hollow anti-roll bars, four-piston front brake callipers with smaller discs and lightweight wheels with open lug nuts.

The custom-painted Demon Crate contains components that maximize the Challenger SRT Demon’s flexibility, exclusivity and future collectability.

Buyers can specify a Demon Crate full of components designed specifically for drag racing. These include performance powertrain control module with high-octane engine calibration, a replacement switch module with a high-octane button, a conical performance air filter and narrow front-runner drag wheels – the car comes with full-width drag tyres all around, so racers have two sets of rear tyres with the skinny wheels and tyres fitted. A hydraulic floor jack, cordless impact wrench and a tyre pressure gauge are also included.

Limited production begins in late summer, with 3,000 units slated for the US and 300 for Canada. All customers will receive a full-day high-performance driving session at the Bob Bondurant School of High-performance Driving, as with other SRT models.