Dodge is serious about the Challenger SRT Demon. Starting with the already-outrageous 707-horsepower Challenger Hellcat, the automaker is throwing everything it can at the big-body coupe to make it a drag strip terror. We're talking 315-width Nitto NT05R drag radial tires—the closest thing you can get to a true slick tire on a street-legal car—a stripped-out interior, and a big box of goodies to take with you to the drag strip.
And it's the box of add-ons that got us thinking. Because if you take a look at what we know so far about the Demon and what it comes with, one thing becomes exceedingly clear: This is almost certainly going to be a 10-second car, right off the showroom floor.
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Some of this is just obvious: The "regular" Hellcat cuts a quarter-mile time in the mid-11s, with plenty of traction issues. Add the grippiest drag tires you can find, an adaptive suspension tuned for ideal weight transfer, and an assumedly significant bump in power, and you're going to start chipping away at that ET.
But anyone who's brought a high-horsepower car to a local test-and-tune knows that with speed come new rules. Most drag strips require a dedicated racing harness in anything that runs faster than a 12-second quarter-mile; dip below 11 seconds, and many tracks will turn you away if you don't have a cage. Folks with brand-new 11-second supercars, or those with tuned daily drivers, often only get a single run before track officials shut them down for not having the necessary equipment.
Which is why, when Dodge announced this morning that the Demon will come with a four-point harness and all the hardware needed to snap it in place with zero modifications, it piqued our interest. It sure sounds like Dodge expects this street-legal, bone-stock muscle car to run hard enough to require additional safety equipment at some drag strips.
When reached by Road & Track, a source with extensive knowledge of the Demon program couldn't give us an exact quarter-mile time. But over the course of our conversation, it became exceedingly clear that, between the tires, the chassis modifications, the gutted interior, and the factory-designed harness bar, this is a car that should very decisively run in the tens at the drag strip.
And perhaps even a little faster than that.