Dodge Challenger SRT Demon: The Devil is in the details

Dodge has become the first mass-production automaker to break the 800-horsepower barrier with this street-legal drag car.

Dodge Demon Street Legal drag racer ( Promotional image provided by Dodge)

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2018 – Do you find taking to the open road in a fast car to be a solo sport? Then the new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon may be perfect to you. It comes stock with only one seat. No passengers invited.

Gearheads are most likely to be excited over this new street-legal drag racing car that’s claimed to be the most powerful factory-produced muscle car ever built. Its 840-horsepower 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine the most powerful V8 ever put into a regular production car.

The Demon is boasting the fastest zero to 60 time for any production car at 2.3 seconds. It takes a mere 1.3 seconds to get from zero to 30. Which means it’s fast. Bone-crushing acceleration fast. Really fast. Faster than anything allowed on any city streets for sure.

It’s pretty clear, in fact, that this muscle monster is made for the salt flats, not the suburban street. But drive it down the avenue and see those heads turn to marvel at the functional, not just decorative, hood scoop and sleek lines of this modern era muscle car. That scoop, FYI, allows the Demon to gulp in power-inducing gobs of fresh air for that aggressive engine.

But not everyone is excited over The Demon.

An anonymous editorial titled “Keep the Dodge Demon Off our Roads,” (Automotive News) says this new nine-second drag star/marketing stunt/status symbol is way too wild and crazy for public roads, calling into question its street-legal status as well:

“The 840-hp Dodge Challenger SRT Demon from Fiat Chrysler is so inherently dangerous to the common safety of motorists that its registration as a road-worthy automobile should be banned.”

The anonymous author goes on to compare SRT’s passing off the Demon as a road-worthy vehicle to Tesla’s alleged controversial practice of beta-testing its self-driving tech on customer cars that run around on public highways.

“From its barely legal slick tires to its monstrous acceleration, the Challenger Demon introduced in New York this month is the result of a sequence of misguided corporate choices that place bragging rights ahead of public safety,” reads the editorial.

The 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat previously held the record for most powerful V-8. But the Hellcat feels like a napping housecat when compared to the Demon.

Gearheads: LA Auto Show Post Report

The Demon has already recorded the fastest quarter-mile run by a factory production car ever, as officially certified by the National Hot Rod Association. Starting from a dead stop, a Demon made the drag strip run in just 9.65 seconds.

Dodge has also become the first mass-production automaker to break the 800-horsepower barrier, offering this street-legal drag car with 808 hp on pump gas and 840 hp on 100+ octane.

On race gas, it’ll run the quarter-mile in under nine seconds.

Motor Trend magazine has said that the record quickest zero-to-60 run by a factory production car in its testing history, had been by the Tesla Model S P100D. In the hands of Motor Trend test drivers, the Tesla accelerated to 60 miles an hour in 2.28 seconds.

The Demon is also the first production car able to accelerate so hard it can lift its front wheels off the pavement stay up in the air for almost three feet, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. However, this trick is best left to professional drivers.

The basic Demon will not get the horsepower required to reach those performance levels without installing the “Demon Crate” performance package. But the performance figures are still impressive, coming in at 808 horsepower, noted Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger car brands in North America for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Essentially, the Demon is a drag race car that’s legal to drive on public roads. Even its extra-sticky Nitto tires were designed specifically for this car.

Dodge Demon “sticky tires” (Promotional image provided by Dodge)

The Demon is the first factory production with a transmission brake, something that makes for faster drag strip take-offs.

Mr. Kuniskis touted the car’s capabilities on the street, saying the Demon can corner faster and stop more quickly than Dodge’s other performance cars.

“On the street it’s an amazing handling muscle car,” he said in an interview following the presentation. “Then you can go to the track, put your race fuel in it, put your front runners on it and run faster than anybody else, then go back on the street and it’s totally compliant.”

Hagerty Insurance, known for insuring specialty and collector cars, will be the official insurer for the Demon. Covering a brand-new production car is a first for Hagerty, which will also offer day insurance to drivers who want to take this car to the track, which is really where it needs to be driven.

Dodge will build 3,300 Demons, according to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Dodge’s parent company. Three thousand cars will be released in the United States, 300 in Canada. Production will start later this summer and those lucky enough to order one can opt for a passenger seat and stereo options. However, these will add 113 lbs. for the seat and 24 lbs. for the stereo, to the cars overall weight. Pricing information has not yet been made available.

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