After countless teases and a starring role in the newest The Fast and the Furious movie, the face melting Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has finally arrived. And as its name suggests, it could spell the end of exclusivity for super high-performance. Doing Vin Diesel proud, the Challenger SRT Demon is the ultimate in straight-line performance with various tweaks, modifications, and enhancements all done for that single purpose.
Powered by the most powerful factory-production V8 in the world, the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8-equipped Challenger SRT Demon rockets to the quarter mile in just 9.65 seconds. This figure is certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), who subsequently banned the Challenger SRT Demon at the drag strip for just being too fast. Other key performance figures are no less impressive: 0-30 mph (48 km/h) in just one second and 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in just 2.3 seconds.
En route to this mind-boggling performance, the Challenger SRT Demon is the world’s first production car to lift the front wheels at launch, achieving g-forces that peak at 1.8g. It has also managed to set a Guinness World Record for the longest wheelie from a standing start by a production car.
The Challenger SRT Demon’s record-setting performance is the result of an intensive collaboration between Dodge SRT’s design, engineering, powertrain, and manufacturing teams. Every component was scrutinized and optimized for weight, capability, and of course, durability on the drag strip.
At the Demon’s heart is an upgraded version of the Hellcat’s already potent 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine. Featuring 25 major component upgrades including a larger supercharger, higher RPM limit, a dual-stage fuel pump, and a larger induction air box with three sources of intake air (the Air-Grabber hood, the driver’s side Air-Catcher, and an inlet near the wheel liner), this engine successfully exorcises 840 horsepower and 1,144 Nm of torque. The Air-Grabber is in itself worthy of special mention because, at 45.2 square inches, it’s the largest functional hood scoop of any production car.
The keys to unleashing the SRT Demon’s full performance fury are in the Demon Crate: Direct Connection Performance Parts include a new powertrain control module calibrated for the high-octane unleaded fuel (100+ octane) and a new switch bank for the center stack that includes a high-octane button. When not smoking supercars, the SRT Demon runs on 91-octane.
Similar to the Challenger SRT Hellcat, the SRT Demon comes with two key fobs. The black fob limits engine output to 500 horsepower. The red key fob unlocks the engine’s full output of 808 horsepower (91-octane). With either key fob, the driver can activate Eco and Valet Modes. Eco Mode revises the transmission shift schedule to include second-gear starts. Valet Mode limits the engine to 4,000 rpm and reduces torque output. The high-octane unleaded fuel capability with the Direct Connection powertrain controller boosts engine output to 840 horsepower.
The only transmission on the Challenger SRT Demon is an 8-speed automatic transmission. Already proven in the HEMI-powered Hellcat, the transmission here gets significant upgrades. Internal changes include an upgraded torque converter that delivers an 18 percent increase in torque multiplication. Also, the stall speed is increased 11 percent and the lockup speed is increased.
Driveline components have been upgraded to get all that power and torque to the rear wheels, on every run. Changes include: an upgraded prop shaft and new materials for the rear differential, and larger half shafts.
The Challenger SRT Demon is equipped with a set of 4 standard Nitto NT05R street-legal, drag-race tires. The 315/40R18 tires were specifically designed and developed exclusively for the SRT Demon, with a new compound and specific tire sidewall construction. The drag radials give the SRT Demon a 15-percent larger tire contact patch and more than twice the grip of the Challenger SRT Hellcat.
The sticky drag tires are mounted on lightweight 11x18-inch wheels, with each tire measuring 12.6 inches wide. Putting full-size tires at all four corners gives drag racers an extra set of rear tires when the front tires are replaced with narrow front-runners at the track.
A unique rear knuckle reduces negative camber by 0.5 degrees, “standing up” the tire and increasing the size of the tire contact patch.
The main mission of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is to cover the quarter mile as quickly as possible. To do this, it combines the best of both mechanical and electronic tuning to deliver maximum launch grip while still maintaining precision directional control.
The Bilstein Adaptive Damping shocks have been tuned for drag racing, shifting as much weight as possible on the rear tires at launch for maximum traction. The weight transfer improves rear tire grip by 11 percent. Mechanically, weight shift in the Challenger SRT Demon is aided by softening up some key suspension components. Those changes, compared with the Challenger SRT Hellcat, include softer springs and softer, lighter hollow sway bars.
When Drag Mode is activated, the front Bilstein shocks are set for firm compression and soft rebound damping, while the rear Bilstein shocks are set for firm compression and firm rebound damping.
Also during Drag Mode, the traction control system is disabled to enable the rear wheels to spin for a burnout, but the electronic stability control system remains engaged to help the driver with straight-line performance.
And in pursuit for every tenth of a second, engineers looked to cut as much weight as possible. The result is a 100-kilogram weight loss. Broken down, it’s
- 26 kilograms: Removed front passenger seat and belt
- 25 kilograms: Removed rear seat, restraints and floor mats
- 11 kilograms: Removed 16 audio speakers, amplifier and associated wiring
- 9 kilograms: Removed trunk deck cover trim, carpeting, spare tire cover
- 8 kilograms: Used smaller, hollow sway bars
- 8 kilograms: Removed mastic, body deadeners, insulators and foam
- 7 kilograms: Used lightweight all-aluminum four-piston brake caliper and smaller, 360-mm two-piece rotor
- 7 kilograms: Switched to lightweight wheels and open-end lug nuts
- 2 kilograms: Switched to manual tilt/telescope steering column
- 1 kilogram: Removed park sensors and module
Finally, The Demon Crate, available to buyers of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, contains components that fully unleash the car’s potential at the drag strip and is fully customized with the buyer’s name, VIN and serial number. It includes:
- Direct Connection Performance Parts:
- Performance powertrain control module with high-octane engine calibration
- Replacement switch module containing high-octane button
- Conical performance air filter
- Passenger mirror block-off plate
- Narrow, front-runner drag wheels
- Hydraulic floor jack with carrying bag
- Cordless impact wrench with charger
- Torque wrench with extension and socket
- Tire pressure gauge
- Fender cover
- Tool bag
- Foam case that fits into the SRT Demon trunk and securely holds the front runner wheels and track tools