Dodge Challenger SRT Demon: the ultimate muscle machine?
When Dodge released the Challenger SRT Hellcat in the US last year, it was billed as the meanest, fastest standard production muscle car ever. And yes, the specs were impressive: a supercharged 6,2-litre V8 producing 527 kW and 881 Nm to the rear wheels via a six-speed gearbox.
Demand for the tyre-shredding beast has run wild ever since, with the car in continuous short supply. But now muscle car fans have a new hero machine to aspire to: the Challenger SRT Demon, a limited-run version with even more urge, and a string of firsts behind its name.
Debuting at this week’s New York Auto Show, the SRT Demon has been the US car industry’s worst-kept secret for months. But even so, the specs make for jaw-dropping reading. The supercharged 6,2-litre Hemi V8 now pumps out 626 kW of max power and an astonishing 1 044 Nm of torque – all to the rear wheels.
The engine is the world’s most powerful production car V8 ever, and it uses all that muscle to devastating effect, at least in straight-line terms – and that despite the car’s rear-wheel drive configuration.
There aren’t any metric figures (it’s proudly American after all), but the SRT Demon needs only a single second to get from zero to 30 mph (48 km/h) and just 2,3 sec for the 0-60 mph dash (0-96 km/h) – which Dodge claims makes it the fastest production car in the world, bar none.
And it doesn’t end there. The quarter-mile stats are equally astonishing: 9,65 sec, with a terminal speed of 224 km/h – another production car record, according to Dodge.
In true dragster style, the Challenger SRT Demon lifts its front wheels when launching off the mark, thanks in part to the tenacious grip of the massive 315/40 R18 rubber. They’re special, high-traction but street legal Nitto drag strip tyres, contributing to a record-breaking (yes, another one) acceleration force of 1,8G.
Trick kit that’s standard includes the ability to switch between normal and 100+ octane fuel, a chiller system for the intercooler, a transbrake system that locks the auto gearbox’s drive shaft before launch to allow for the boost to build up, and a launch control system.
The suspension features Bilstein active dampers, while the Challenger SRT Demon is more than 90 kg lighter than the standard Challenger. Selectable drive modes make the car more user-friendly during normal use, and optimise it for drag strip sorties.
Only 3 300 Challenger SRT Demons will be built, with deliveries starting in September. And no, there are no plans for European sales, nor for a right-hand drive version.