At a pier on the west side of New York City, Dodge finally unveiled the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon, the drag-racing variant of the already-outrageous SRT Hellcat. "We wanted to build a car for the NHRA, not the PTA," Dodge's Tim Kuniskis said at the official unveiling. That's putting it mildly. Here it is: The 2018 Dodge Demon.
"Demon isn't an incremental change to an existing vehicle," Kuniskis said. "It would have been easy to take a Hellcat and make it faster. But we didn't want to do that," he said. Kuniskis explained how the many teaser videos released over the past weeks helped to highlight the engineering of the vehicle.
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Remember those rumors about the Demon having no passenger seats? It's true, but! You can add options back to your Demon to make it street-ready and daily-driver-able. Front passenger seat? It'll cost you one dollar. Back seat? Another buck. A Harmon/Kardon stereo is optional, though Kuniskis wouldn't reveal the price on that.
He then detailed the chassis changes to the Demon. Looser front suspension, firmer rear springs, and those massive street-legal drag radials all come together for a monster launch. Two-step ignition timing helps pre-fill the supercharger with eight pounds of boost during staging, and lets the car achieve the full 14.5 pounds of boost within six feet of your drag strip run. The factory trans brake helps maximize that violent launch.
A higher stall speed torque converter and 3.09:1 rear-end gearing provide more torque. More cool air, supplied courtesy of the largest cool-air induction system and the only air-conditioner-powered charge-air cooler fitted to a production car, help to drop intake temps by more than 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
A larger 2.7-liter supercharger, Demon-specific crankshaft, camshaft, valvetrain, connecting rods, and pistons all upgrade the engine over the regular Hellcat. Dual fuel pumps and the world's only factory-provided race-gas tuning make sure this thing is super quick.
The Demon even comes with a leather-bound Track Tech manual, with all the tips and tricks to set up your super-Hellcat for maximum drag strip performance.
Oh, and when they finally revealed the car, they did it in true drag-racing fashion: Rolling the Demon out of a crate, doing a big smoky burnout, then launching it. The car nearly pulled the front wheels in the air inside this concrete-floored event space; on a prepared drag strip, Dodge promises it'll launch the front wheels precisely 2.92 feet in the air—a production car world record certified by the Guinness Book. We're not joking about that.
The numbers: 840 horsepower; 770 lb-ft of torque—the world's most powerful production car V8 engine. 2.3 seconds 0-60 (world's fastest for a production car), 5.1 seconds to 100 mph. Quarter-mile: 9.65 seconds at 140 mph, the world's fastest production car quarter-mile, as certified by the NHRA. In fact, that's so dang fast, Dodge says the car is "officially banned by the NHRA" for being too quick for a production car to run at a drag strip without a cage.
And yes, shockingly, this is all covered by Dodge's three-year, 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and, even more astoundingly, the automaker's six-year, 60,000-mile drivetrain warranty.
Dodge will build only 3000 Demons for the U.S. market, and 300 for Canada, in the 2018 model year. Production begins in late summer, with delivery to dealerships taking place this fall. Pricing has not yet been announced, though however much it costs, each buyer will get a free day of driver training at Bob Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving.