The Dodge Demon Is Pure Satanic Drag Strip Evil Summoned For Mopar Maniacs
In 2015 Dodge decided to offer the SRT Hellcat package for both the Charger and Challenger. Nobody really asked for a 707 horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter overpowered behemoth, but evidently it’s what some nutty enthusiasts didn’t know they needed. Now you might think that gimmick is a short-run engineer’s wet dream given the green light from bean counters just this once, but that sort of hierarchical reservation isn’t what makes Dodge different.
Say what you will about the marque, but Dodge has always been a little off its rocker compared to its Detroit competitors (see the Daytona Charger or first generation Viper for prime examples of their petrol psychosis). Since the ‘60s, Dodge has offered crazy colors, many tongue-in-cheek vinyl options, and (most importantly) serious performance packages for those seeking more flex from their muscle.
They’re the loudest of the Domestic trio. Dodge is more “Hold my beer, and watch this” than any other American manufacturer, and I thinks that’s a good thing. In fact, I think it’s a great thing—especially right now in today’s perpetually growing “go-green” eco-friendly automotive climate.
While I’m a proponent of improved safety and the imminent future of hybrids, full electric, or other alternatively propelled automobiles, I’m happy to see Dodge throwing up the figurative finger at the Greenpeace ideology, because I’m not sure how much longer anyone will be able to pull stunts like Mopar’s latest hell-born beast. Their newest dinosaur-juice-igniting installment is this Lucifer-approved machine, appropriately named the Demon, and it raises the bar (and the front wheels off the ground) to another level of lunacy.
If 707 horsepower wasn’t enough from the 11 second quarter-mile-melting Hellcat, the 840 horsepower Challenger SRT Demon will launch you down a 1,320-foot drag strip in 9.65 seconds—that’s .05 of a second faster than the 1.35 million dollar LaFerrari, which makes the well below six figure-priced Demon seem like a complete bargain. But what’s really impressive about the Demon isn’t just how fast it is, it’s how it manages to be so quick. While I’ve already heard plenty of Ford and/or Chevy fans turn their nose up at the Demon, regarding it simply as “a Hellcat with more boost,” they couldn’t be more wrong.
The Demon is so much more than a hopped-up Hellcat. It took Dodge some monumental modifications and real engineering to get 840 reliable, EPA-passing horsepower from a 6.2-liter V8. Keep in mind that’s more than 135 horsepower per liter, which is a greater ratio than the aforementioned LaFerrari, sans KERS system.
The internals of the Demon’s HEMI-based soul features all new pistons, connecting rods, and crankshaft. The valve train has also been extensively reworked along with an all-new 2.7-liter supercharger. Maximum boost peaks at 14.5 psi, which can be achieved just six feet from the starting line, in part thanks to a massive 45.2 cubic inch “Air-Grabber” hood scoop induction system and a trick dual-stage two pump fuel delivery system.
But again, it’s not just the sheer power the engine produces that makes the Demon so fast: it’s the whole package that enables it. It was specifically designed from the ground-up to dominate the drag strip. Dodge even managed to shave 200 pounds from the rather large chassis. There’s a torque reserve launch control system that spools up air and keeps it charged in the blower for instantaneous forced induction inhalation. We could regurgitate the spec sheet, or we can just take a look at all the production-car-firsts and records this trident wielding monster is crowned with.
It’s the highest output production V8 engine ever made. It’s the first car fitted with drag radials from the factory and, subsequently, the first production car to pop a goddamn wheelie. That gnarly grip equates to a production car record 0-to-60 time of just 2.3 seconds—it takes one second to reach 30 from a dig. One second. It pulls a record setting, neck-snapping 1.8 G-force!
Unlike stance fad hard parkers, the enormous over fenders fixed at all four corners on the Demon were required to fit the square (front and rear) 18×11-inch lightweight wheels wrapped in sticky 315/40 section Nitto NT05R bespoke tread. The car comes with a rolling “Demon Crate” containing various tools, a tire pressure gauge, hydraulic jack, and skinny front-runner wheels for optimal drag performance. The damned thing has a post-lap cool down mode. It’s not a street car disguised as a dragster, it’s a drag car put into mass production, and for that we should rejoice.
Is it too heavy? Absolutely. Does it matter? When you’re running sub 10 second quarter miles with a warranty, I don’t think it matters at all. This is Dodge being the very best version of themselves while they still can, and although I’m a classic car guy at heart, I can’t help but be a proud American while staring at this colossally over-engineered, resource wasting monstrosity. Am I happy to see the world collectively trying to reduce unnecessary ozone damage? Of course. Is my heart pounding just dreaming of launching a Dodge Demon down a drag strip? To that I ask, is Old Glory red, white, and blue? That’d be a resounding star spangled fuck yes.
Images courtesy of FCA