Many manufacturers like to develop high-performance models that one-up their competition. But Dodge likes to build high-performance cars that don’t have any competitors, because they’re some of the most outlandish vehicles on the road.
After teasing it for months, Dodge officially revealed the limited-production 2018 Challenger SRT Demon on Tuesday. A cross between a road-legal muscle car and a ready-made dragster, the SRT Demon is quite literally in a class of its own.
With a 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 that produces 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque, the Demon makes the company’s other satanic models, the Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats, look dull by comparison. The new engine is the most powerful production V-8 ever fitted to a car, thanks to various race-derived technology, such as a system that diverts air conditioning refrigerant to cool the supercharger.
Although Dodge claims the car can be set up for a compliant ride on public roads, it’s really at home on the drag strip. The Demon is the first road car to come with rear seat and passenger seat delete, though Dodge will reinstall them for just $1 each, and it’s the first to run on 100-plus high-octane fuel.
Street-legal drag tires give the Demon 40 percent more grip than the rubber you’ll find on a Hellcat, which with the help of Drag Mode Launch Assist, allow it to finish the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph, as certified by the NHRA. That’s faster than any other production car, and fast enough to make the NHRA ban it from competition.
In addition to its quarter-mile time, the Demon’s 2.3 second zero to 60 mph time and 1.8-G acceleration force also are better than those of any other production car. Plus, with the narrow “front runner” drag tires fitted, it’s the first production car to acheive front wheel lift, setting a Guinness World Record of 2.92 feet.
Although the Challenger SRT Demon isn’t like anything currently on the road, it does carry the torch of the 1970 Chrysler “wing cars,” which were banned by NASCAR for being too fast. But unlike the Dodge Charger Daytona and Plymouth Road Runner, the SRT Demon wasn’t developed for racing, meaning the people at Dodge have reached new levels of absurdity.
Dodge said the Challenger SRT Demon will be limited to a one-year production run, consisting of 3,000 examples for the U.S. market and 300 for the Canadian market, with deliveries expected to begin this fall.
Thumbnail photo via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles