After a lengthy teaser campaign, Dodge officially loosened the chains on the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon. Billed as the most powerful muscle car to date, the supercharged V8-powered HEMI is a factory-built drag car that has one sole purpose, to be the fastest muscle car on the drag strip.
“With Demon, our goal was to build a car that would tattoo the Dodge logo into the subconscious of the general market, beyond even our loyal enthusiasts. To do so, we had to set records that have never been set before, do more than has ever been done before, go beyond even the legendary Hellcat,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger cars at Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.
At the heart of the all-new Challenger SRT Demon is a 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8. While it has the same architecture as the Hellcat's V8, the Demon's engine features new pistons, rods, valve-trains and fuel injection system. It also has a bigger supercharger (2.7-liters compared to the Hellcat's 2.4-liters), a two dual-stage fuel pumps and increased boost pressure from 0.80 bar to 1.0 bar.
The result is a whopping 850 PS and a massive torque pull of 1044 Nm (with +100 octane fuel). When fed with +91 octane gasoline, the engine only cranks out 819 PS and 972 Nm of torque. A Torqueflite 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels and comes with a TransBrake launch control and Torque Reserve system for faster launches. 0 – 97 km/h comes in at a quick 2.3 seconds while the quarter-mile was clocked at 9.65 seconds. The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) deemed the Demon too fast and banned it from joining any NHRA events.
To keep things cool under the hood, Dodge installed what they call the 'SRT Power Chiller'. In a nutshell, it diverts some of the refrigerant for the cabin towards a chiller unit that is mounted near the low-temperature circuit coolant pump. It is then further cooled by ambient air that passes through a low-temperature radiator before arriving at the heat exchangers in the supercharger. It even has an After-Run Chiller which keeps the cooling fan and coolant pump system working even after the engine is turned off.
Providing grip is a set of street legal drag tires courtesy of Nitto. All four corners are fitted with NT05R drag-race rubber that measure 315/40. The tires were specifically built for the Demon and has a 15-percent larger contact patch and delivers twice the grip than the Hellcat. The tires are then mounted on lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels. Bilstein adaptive damping shocks help deliver more traction and have been specifically tuned to shift as much weight towards the rear axle. In addition, the Demon has softer springs and sway bars.
To make the most out of the engine, Dodge removed more than 90 kg of dead weight in the Demon. Some of the parts removed in the Demon include the front passenger and rear passnger seats, floor mats, 16-speaker audio system with amplifier,trunk deck and spare tire cover, insulating foam and deadeners and the parking sensors. Buyers, can however, opt to have the extra options be put back.
On the other hand, Dodge also replaced some of the standard components with lightweight equivalents. These include the previously-mentioned sway bars, all-aluminum four-piston brake calipers and smaller 14.1-inch disc brakes, lightweight wheels and lug nuts, and the manual-tilt telescopic steering rack.
As for in-car features, the Demon can come with premium cloth upholstery or with high-quality leather and suede, depending on the options. It gets a flat-bottomed steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara and comes with paddle shifters. It gets white gauges on the instrument panel and has a 7-inch multi-info display too. Like all other FCA vehicles on offer, the Demon also comes with the 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen that manages all of the car audio and infotainment systems.
As for its exterior, the Demon is the widest Challenger ever built according to Dodge and is the first production muscle car with wide-body fender flares. This was made to accommodate the wider tires as well as highlight the car's menacing stance added Dodge. Dominating the hood is the 'Air-Grabber' hood scoop which delivers more air onto the engine and is flanked by the new Demon logos.
A total of 14 exterior colors will be available for the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon: B5 Blue, Billet Silver, Destroyer Gray, F8 Green, Go Mango, Granite Crystal, Indigo Blue, Maximum Steel, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Plum Crazy, TorRed, White Knuckle and Yellow Jacket.
The Demon will also come with its own Demon Crate which will be available for buyers. It has all the parts and components that can fully unlock the potential of the Demon and is fully customized with the buyer's name, VIN and serial number. Some of the parts that are part of the crate include: Demon-branded tools, Direct Connection Performance parts, replacement switch module with high-octane engine calibration, conical performacne air filter, performance powertrain module and a hydraulic floor jack as such.