Dodge has unveiled the wildest muscle car in modern history, a pumped-up and stripped-out machine called the Challenger SRT Demon. It’s built for the drag strip, where it holds a new world record for the longest wheelie by an unmodified car.
Yep, wheelies. The Demon will lift its front wheels off the ground during a hard launch, just like a sports bike or serious drag car. The machine officially hikes its front tyres off the ground for 2.92 feet – a little less than a metre – while producing a staggering 1.8g of accelerative force.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the world’s first production car to lift the front wheels at launch. It set the world record for longest wheelie from a standing start by a production car at 2.92 feet, certified by Guinness World Records.
How fast is it?
Dodge says it accelerates to 60 miles per hour (96km/h) in 2.3 seconds, completing the 0-400 metre drag strip run in 9.65 seconds. That’s enough for America’s NHRA drag racing body to declare the Demon as the fastest production car over a quarter mile.
That’s too fast.
Under US drag racing rules, you can’t drive a sub-10 second car on the drag strip unless it has additional safety gear such as a roll cage. Similar rules apply in Australia, where the ANDRA drag racing body allows modern cars built after 2008 to go as fast as 10.00 seconds in the 400 metre dash before a proper roll cage is mandatory. That means you could be kicked off the drag strip after just one run.
Whoa. What’s under the bonnet?
Remember the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and its 527kW (707 horsepower) supercharged Hemi V8? The Demon takes that motor to a new level with a bigger supercharger that helps produce staggering 626kW (840 hp) and 1043Nm outputs. While those sort of numbers are regularly achieved in the world of aftermarket tuners, we’ve never seen a car like this in stock form with a factory warranty.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon’s standard Air-Grabber intake system features a significantly larger air box that is sealed and ducted to the hood scoop.
Are there any clever tricks involved?
The record-beating drag run was achieved in a Challenger with super-sticky drag racing tyres and just one seat. While that doesn’t seem fair to rival machines, you can order the car with racing rubber and no passenger seat or rear bench, so it technically remains a “production” car. Demon owners can have a passenger chair and rear seats re-fitted for $1 each, which will no doubt make the machine more practical, if a little less collectable.
It also uses special technology including a transmission brake that allows the car to build more revs at a launch. You activate that by entering a special launch mode, then using its gearshift paddles to release an electronic hold on its eight-speed automatic transmission. Dodge reckons the result is significantly faster than holding the car back with one foot on the brake pedal.
Yep, we haven’t seen anything like that in a road car before. You can also get it with skinny, lightweight drag-spec front wheels and a handy tool kit to take to the track. Other innovations include a reworked intercooler system that uses air conditioning refrigerant to keep intake temperatures in check, as well as a sophisticated traction control system intended to eliminate axle tramp.
The custom-painted Demon Crate contains components that maximize the Challenger SRT Demon?s flexibility, exclusivity and future collectability.
Does it do burnouts?
Of course it does. There’s an electronic line locker that allows you to brake the front wheels while spinning up the rears, along with a special stability control setting that allows you to safely warm the rear tyres in rolling straight-line burnouts without fishtailing or losing control.
Is it coming to Australia?
Not officially. FCA’s local arm says there are no plans for right-hand-drive production of the Demon, but you can bet that a handful will be imported and converted to meet local requirements – or kept in left-hand-drive form as the ultimate drag strip toy. Dodge is building just 3300 examples for sale in the US and Canada, so we certainly won’t see them in large numbers.