Quarter Pounder: In Depth with the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

The Challenger SRT Demon is below for one factor alone: to scorch drag strips.

In Depth with the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. That's the variety of parts in an SRT Hellcat that Dodge modifications to make a Demon. Some are made lighter, some are made stronger, as well as some are merely gotten rid of altogether. Compared to the complete variety of parts that it requires to make a running car, 115 is a handful.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Review

So is 9.65. That's how couple of secs Dodge declares the Demon has to run a quarter-mile, blistering the trap at 140 miles per hour. If we can match that number-- a large "if," given that our testing venue much better approximates grasp degrees on the street compared to the drag strip where Dodge ran its numbers-- it will make the Demon the quickest street car we've ever evaluated. Period. That consists of million-dollar hypercars as well as 1000-hp aftermarket specials. It's additionally fast enough that an NHRA-sanctioned drag strip will require you to mount a roll cage. Indeed, SRT employer Tim Kuniskis boasts of the letter he got from the NHRA telling him his car is banned without one.

To outrun the policies, the Demon leaves the lights at an asserted 1.8 g's-- some 50 percent tougher than also the Porsche 918 Spyder-- yanking its front wheels off the ground and carrying a wheelie for a few feet on its way past 60 miles per hour simply 2.3 seconds into the run. Drag racers will certainly value the 1.36-second 60-foot time; this is unabashedly a numbers car. However the tale of those numbers involves a great deal more than simply a huge figure in the horse power column.

It begins, claims Kuniskis, with the Challenger Drag Pak that, like the Chevrolet COPO Camaro and also the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, is a purpose-built drag car. It has no VIN as well as is not street legal, and also it's marketed just with dealer parts divisions. States Kuniskis: "They're $100,000 cars that you've got to place one more $50,000 to $100,000 into to be truly affordable. They're awesome cars-- they're eight-second cars-- however they're very, really limited in their range." So, at a time when the customer versions of the Camaro as well as Mustang are progressively pressing into sports-car area with the ZL1 and GT350, his group took on the possibility to do something different. "Everyone else is going sports car," he states, "so we determined to develop the first-ever purpose-built drag car, but with a VIN as well as a service warranty."

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Review

Race cars are disrobed, and so, also, is the Demon. Chucking the back bench conserves 55 extra pounds. The front-passenger chair, with all those levers and equipments allowing particular individuals to adjust it to their convenience, takes 58 pounds with it as it goes, leaving the motorist alone with his thoughts. (Both seats can be included back in as options for $1 each.) All the speakers are gone, with the exception of two that spend time to sound the seatbelt-warning chime called for by regulation. The linked wiring as well as simplified head device make up a 24-pound savings. Pulling the trunk trim conserves 20 pounds, as well as Kuniskis claims his group begrudgingly left some audio deadening in the firewall program however chucked it from the remainder of the car. "There are a couple pieces we had to leave, yet we Swiss-cheesed 'em." That conserved one more 18 pounds and makes for a car that he claims sounds "evil." He includes: "If you don't like the audio of a supercharger, you will not like this car. The important things wails in your ear when you're driving."

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Interior

Scaling down the wheels from 20 inches to 18 saved another 16 extra pounds, as did reducing the front brakes. Switching to hollow anti-sway bars conserves 19. Smaller sized savings originated from dumping the car parking sensors and the power tilting/telescoping steering systems (the modifications are hands-on currently). All told, the Demon is some 215 extra pounds lighter than a Hellcat.

Launching at 1.8 g's calls for an effective transfer of that lightened load rearward, which implies softer springs, noodlier anti-roll bars, and also flexible dampers that behave differently below than in any other car. "Every single flexible suspension ever made has a standard," notes Kuniskis. "And the concept is to take it from the standard to stiffer, stiffer, stiffer. Road, sporting activity, track, whatever." But, since drag racers on a budget have been known to pierce holes in their front dampers to drain the fluid-- promoting quicker load transfer to the rear on launch-- the SRT team tuned the adaptive dampers from the Hellcat to do the modern equivalent. At launch, the rears go complete company, and also the fronts soften entirely-- as long as the driver maintains the throttle wide open. If the car obtains squirrelly and also the driver backs out of the gas, the fronts tighten to assist maintain directional control as lots changes back onto the skinny front tires.

Those tires, referred to as "joggers" in the drag-racing world, are part of a gymnastic technicality squirm Dodge had to carry out to get the Demon past its own legal representatives. They are not road lawful, which is why, when buyers get their Demon from the dealership, it will certainly ride on 4 identical Nitto NT05R drag radials, 315/40R -18 at each edge. The car will certainly feature a coupon that qualifies the customer to purchase a huge box called the Demon Crate from the parts department; like the seats, the Demon Crate choice costs $1. In it are, to name a few points, a set of 4.5-inch-wide wheels together with a jack, a Snap-on electric impact wrench, and a torque wrench so the proprietor could fit them to the car. Seriously, though, the dog crate is sold independently from the car and also does not even feature tires. "The wheels don't come with the car, they're not on the car, and we do not also offer you the tires," states Kuniskis. What legal representative could possibly object? And, while the crate is much too big to fit in the Demon, it also includes a foam service provider that situateds into the spare-tire well as well as has cutouts to transfer all the crucial bits to and from the track. So, yes, those Nittos on the front axle when the Demon grumbles out of the showroom are back spares.

The drag radials are ranked for just 168 mph, which is why the Demon is regulated where the less effective Hellcat is totally free to go to 199. A Demon logo design formed into the sidewall confirms the Nittos aren't off-the-shelf rubber. Near-slicks, they have just sufficient step to be street lawful as well as are made to run reduced pressures to allow the sidewall to wrinkle at launch for that last shred of grip. A devil-tail index mark stamped into the wheels assists guarantee that they're not running insufficient stress. Simply make a mark on the tire next to the tail before a pass; if it removals about the tail, your wheels are rotating inside the tires, as well as you need to include air.

Larger by 1.7 inches compared to the rubber on a Hellcat, these tires are the factor for the Demon's menacing fender flares, which widen the body by 3.5 inches and also do a lot to aesthetically diminish the Challenger. In advance, where they wrap around the fender creases, they appear to pull the hood toward the ground. Out back, they separate the huge property of sheetmetal that is the rear-quarters as well as, coupled with the higher-series slicks on black wheels, add a step of threat or else lacking from the Hellcat's buttocks.

Engine Specs

There's more lawful sleight of hand in the weaponized powerplant, which makes 808 horsepower as well as 717 pound-feet of torque. But that's on pump gas. In addition to the wheel-swapping package, the Demon Crate contains a replacement engine controller which contains shows for race fuel and a new climate-control panel with a 100-octane button. On high-test, the Demon will certainly make 840 horse power as well as 770 pound-feet of torque.

Just as "Hellcat" refers both to the car and also the engine, so, too, does "Demon." And while the Hellcat engine has an orange block, the Demon's is red. Only the block and the heads are shared in between both; Dodge isn't really saying yet just how the engine's internals are fortified, but everything from the crank to the valvetrain has been boosted to manage the added outcome. The supercharger expands from 2.4 to 2.7 liters, with max increase climbing up from 11.6 to 14.5 psi.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Engine

To meet the air flow needs of such a brute, the Demon gets a new hood with a bigger inside story. The Hellcat has had its innermost driver's- side headlight burrowed and ducted into the airbox; the Demon gets that exact same treatment, plus its passenger's- side light comes to be a similar gap.

As colder air makes more power, Dodge added exactly what it calls the After-Run Chiller, which runs the fans and also pump to keep the coolant flowing, strongly bringing the intercooler temperature back down to ambient. Then the SRT group took it one step further, plugging an added heat exchanger into the intercooler's liquid circuit that enables them to use the air conditioner to super-chill the coolant as high as 45 degrees below ambient temperature level. "On a sticky 80-degree day," states Kuniskis, "your car thinks it's in Alaska."

A torque-management system cuts gas to arbitrary cyndrical tubes and slows down the timing when the car is in Launch setting, enabling the Demon to rotate up its supercharger as well as things the engine packed with boost. The repetition soundtrack that results is a bit of perk drag-strip movie theater.

Extremely, the ZF eight-speed in the Demon stays the same. It obtains a trans brake [see "Explained," listed below] as well as a higher-stall torque converter that is modified for additional torque reproduction, however the equipment ratios also carry over from the Hellcat. Every little thing aft of the transmission is beefed up, however. The driveshaft tubes is 20 percent thicker, the differential obtains a higher-strength gearset and a stronger case, and also the half-shafts are strengthened. A shorter 3.09:1 final-drive proportion (compared with the Hellcat's 2.62) far better matches the engine rate to the Demon's single-minded objective of Christmas-tree auto racing.

To encourage the driver to maintain that goal in emphasis, the Demon likewise consists of a variety of new infotainment features. A real-time screen of horse power and also torque result will certainly try to sidetrack you as you handle the real-world effects of that result, while a data-recording attribute will produce a log of runs. It aids track any performance adjustments due to anything from shifting weather condition to repairs. You can change your launch-control rpm as well as handicap your reaction time by customizing the timing of the shift light for each individual gear, or just watch on things with digital assesses for oil stress and temperature; coolant, trans fluid, intake-air, and also intercooler temperatures; the air-fuel ratio; the supercharger boost; as well as the battery voltage. An additional screen stories the performance of the After-Run Chiller and tells you exactly when the car awaits one more full-power pass. Still others will certainly clock your zero-to-60, zero-to-100, as well as eighth- and quarter-mile times in addition to your reaction time against an in-car countdown.

As thorough and as uncompromising a rethink as the Demon is, it won't be a big step up in price from the Hellcat. It begins at $86,090, although suppliers shouldn't have a tough time finding people to pay several tens of thousands much more. Dodge will crank out 3000 Demons for U.S. customers as well as an extra 300 for Canadians. Deliveries start this autumn.

The Demon, while undoubtedly a numbers car, has to do with something else beyond numbers. It's regarding headlines. Kuniskis stresses the value of the Demon being the utmost. "If the car ran 10.2 seconds and it was not outlawed, as well as it was not the quickest, that 'd be wonderful, however no one would certainly care because it had not been the quickest zero to 60, it wasn't the quickest quarter-mile, it had not been prohibited, and also it didn't do a wheelie. However when it does all those things, that's when people go: 'Wow, just what simply taken place? That Bugatti is expected to do that, not a Dodge.'".



front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 1-, 2-, 4-, or 5-passenger, 2-door coupe




supercharged and intercooled pushrod 16-valve V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, port fuel injection


376 cu in, 6166 cc

Power: 808 or 840 hp @ 6300 rpm

Torque: 717 or 770 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm


8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode


Wheelbase: 116.2 in

Length: 197.5 in

Width: 79.2 in Height: 55.7 in

Passenger volume: 94 cu ft

Trunk volume: 16 cu ft

Curb weight: 4300 lb


Zero to 60 mph: 2.3–2.6 sec

Zero to 100 mph: 5.7–5.9 sec

Standing ¼-mile: 9.8–10.0 sec

Top speed (governed): 168 mph


EPA combined/city/hwy: 13/10/18 mpg

Clarified: The Demon's Transmission Brake

A trans brake is a typical drag-racing gadget that helps a car launch harder. When triggered, it concurrently involves first and also reverse gears, locking the transmission's input and outcome shafts and also stopping the car from removaling. It's like brake-torquing yet eliminates the threat of doing an exhaustion or, at the strip, pressing those skinny front tires via the hosting lights. It likewise permits the engine to hold higher revs, which suggests that the car could launch at specifically the torque converter's stall rate. In a supercharged car such as the Demon, that likewise permits the blower to develop boost before launch. As well as since lots of people's hands are quicker compared to their feet, and the chauffeur launches the transmission brake by drawing either change paddle, it ought to assist reaction times at the strip too.

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