Future Classic: The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

By John Coyle | July 30, 2020

Even if you're a dedicated gearhead, you'd be forgiven for not knowing about the 6.2-liter Hellcat engine. Since its debut in 2015, Ma Mopar's monstrously powerful mill has largely flown under the radar, thanks in part to a curious lack of promotion from FCA. At this point, it seems like the mighty motor is destined to be a footnote in modern muscle car lore. What a shame.

Obviously, we're kidding. Anyone with even a passing interest in cars, and frankly, loads of people who couldn't care less about the automotive hobby, know that the Herculean Hemi debuted with 707 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. When the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat debuted back in 2014, those astronomical figures made it the automotive story of the year, and launched a horsepower war that rages today.

The smell of the tire smoke had barely left the air when it unleashed the Demon, which is - bar none - the most insane production vehicle ever released by an American manufacturer.

But as crazy as the Hellcat was, it wasn't enough for the mad scientists at Dodge. Nope. The smell of the tire smoke had barely left the air when it unleashed the Demon, which is - bar none - the most insane production vehicle ever released by an American manufacturer. In an era when the line between muscle cars and sports cars has become increasingly blurred, the Demon was designed to do one thing, and one thing only: dominate the drag strip. 

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On pump gas, the Demon makes 808 horsepower and 717 lb-ft of torque. But even that's not the end of the story. Feed it 100-octane racing fuel, and those numbers jump to 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque. Uncork the full potential of the Demon, and it will go from zero to 60 miles and hour in a mind-boggling 2.3 seconds, blast through the quarter-mile in a blistering 9.6 seconds, and subject occupants to 1.8 Gs.

According to the folks at Guinness World Records, it's also the only production car in history that's capable of lifting its front wheels off the ground when it accelerates.

This is the part where we remind you that unlike, say, a Chevrolet COPO Camaro or a Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, this is a street-legal car you can take to the grocery store.  

According to the folks at Guinness World Records, it's also the only production car in history that's capable of lifting its front wheels off the ground when it accelerates. This car is so quick, that if the National Hot Rod Associate is watching, the officials won't let you run a Demon until you install a roll cage. So if you've ever wondered what being shot out of a cannon is like? Just take a few passes down the strip in a Demon. That's probably about as close as you can get without joining the circus. 

As you might expect, there were some compromises made to achieve that incredible performance. While they can be added back as options, for the low price of $1, there's no passenger seat or rear bench. There's also no stereo, almost no sound deadening, and no trim in the trunk. Also, the 4.5-inch wide, pizza-cutter style front wheels are another $1 option that comes as part of the Demon Crate, which contains the track-specific bits. Though to discourage overzealous fans from running them on the street, they don't come with tires.   

 

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