Dodge spent weeks—weeks!—teasing the world with hint-heavy videos and images ahead of the Challenger SRT Demon's debut. At the car's official unveiling, we sat down with SRT's Tim Kuniskis and asked him to decode all of the numerical nods that showed up in Demon previews. Here are the Demon mysteries, explained.
The first hidden message was contained in one of the earliest Demon images released, showing the car equipped in its most lightweight trim: With a single driver's seat only. But take a closer look at that block off plate, sitting low in the center of where the seat would be installed.
"This was one of our earliest Easter eggs," Kuniskis told R&T. "We said, nothing is an accident. What nobody realized is, that's a picture of the Demon doing a wheelie on that panel. So we told everybody from day one that it does a wheelie." In fact, it does: On launch, the Demon pulls its wheels 35 inches in the air, a production car world record certified by Guinness Book.
Hovering in the burnout smoke in this image is a puzzling equation: 13.5 = 575 @ 500. "This one was kind of tough," Kuniskis said. It breaks down to this: At 13.5 mph, the car is accelerating with a force of 1.8 g, which roughly translates to an acceleration of 57.5 feet per second squared—all of which happens at 0.500 seconds into your drag run, hence the 500.
"This one all depended on your age," Kuniskis said. "If you were under 40, you thought it was a hashtag; if you were over 40 it was a pound sign." Chalk one up for the older folks: "The license plate tells you what the weight transfer is—2576 lbs is what's required to transfer to the rear to teeter-totter this car and lift the front end," Kuniskis said. The 35? That's how high the car lifts its front wheels, in inches, on launch, as verified by Guinness Book.
Are you getting the impression these Easter eggs are all about the launch? This one is too. The Demon's "Torque Reserve" boost-building mode allow the supercharger to build up 3.9 lbs of boost, which increases torque by 221 lb-ft. over a stock Hellcat's output at launch, for a total of 405 lb-ft. of torque going to the ground the moment you launch from the starting line.
But what if Torque Reserve isn't enough? Engaging the Demon's trans brake allows you to build even more boost and power as you're lining up to launch. With both systems engaged, the car builds 8.3 lbs of boost as it's revving at the starting line, adding 317 lb.-ft. of torque over what a stock Hellcat would make, for a grand total of 534 lb.-ft. going to the wheels the instant the Demon launches. Kusinskis explained to R&T how Torque Reserve and the trans brake feature allow the Demon to cut such outrageous quarter-mile times; read all about it here.