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Friday, December 1, 2023

Dodge Took It to the Next Level with the Challenger SRT Demon

Things are getting serious, people. It kind of feels like the world is splitting in half. One half travels with electric pickups designed for construction and maintenance fleets (like the Workhouse W-15), hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and car share companies. The other half, old-school muscular aggression. The pioneering mutant on the muscular and aggressive branch has to be the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Just look at it on paper.

  • 808 hp (840 with Demon Crate package)
  • 6.2L HEMIĀ® V8
  • 16 mpg (source: Forbes)
  • 200(ish) pounds lighter than Hellcat
  • Softer suspension for better traction on the strip

Among its accolades:

  • First ever production car to achieve front-wheel lift.
  • Most horsepower ever available in a production car.
  • 9.65-second quarter mile (source: Dodge) @140mph
  • 0-60 in 2.3 seconds (fastest among production cars)
  • Banned from drag strips by NHRA (without a roll cage)
  • Produces 1.8 Gs (highest among production cars)
  • Meanest-sounding growl (our own opinion)

What’s the price to have all of this? $85,000. And let’s be clear, the price isn’t for luxury. Nor is it for cargo space. Passenger seats are optional, in fact. Hell, it’s not even for performance, generally speaking. Dodge’s press release says “the main mission of the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon is to cover the quarter mile as quickly as possible.” The money you spend for a Demon is mainly for acceleration, therefore. Specifically, accelerating quickly on the drag strip is what it does best. Dodge swapped or did away with over 100 parts to make the Demon faster and lighter than the already-thrilling Hellcat.

There’s no mind-boggling engineering going on, interestingly. The SRT Demon does what it does, for the most part, due to suspension adjustments and removal of comfort features. It’s not really a mutant auto. It’s really just a production car that’s been tweaked as much as possible. That’s what a muscle car is, though. That’s what is has to be. Now Dodge can finally say it’s faster than Tesla in quarter-mile format. That’s right, they are but they were not until they upgraded from Challenger Hellcat to Challenger Demon. The title for fastest quarter-mile production car used to belong to Tesla’s Models S with “ludicrous speed” package. Just filling you in, in case you didn’t know.

For those of us who aren’t dare devils or drag racers, this car is scary fast. Evil, dare we say? Bahahahaaaaaa… (evil laugh). On the other hand, to speedsters, this is a welcomed addition to Dodge’s power-packed line. Only 3,000 SRT Demons will be produced. If you want more diabolical cars like this to be on the market, you should probably buy one.

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