THE Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, a near-two-tonne, rear-wheel drive American muscle machine, is officially the world’s quickest production car.
It can hit 48km/h (30mph) from rest in just one second, generating 1.8g of acceleration on launch, passes 97km/h (60mph) in 2.3sec and clocks a 9.65sec quarter mile with a terminal speed of 225km/h.
MOTOR’s testing methods differ slightly, but the quickest car we’ve ever recorded is our current Performance Car of the Year, the Porsche 911 Turbo S, which recorded 0-100km/h in 2.9sec and a 10.7sec quarter at 212.4km/h.
To achieve these numbers, Dodge took a Challenger Hellcat and optimised it for the drag strip.
The Demon uses the Hellcat’s 6.2- litre supercharged V8, but lifts outputs from 527kW/880Nm to 603kW/971Nm, or 626kW/1043Nm when fed with 100-octane fuel.
The extra grunt comes courtesy of a larger 2.7-litre supercharger supplying 14.5psi boost, an increase in rev limit to 6500rpm, two dual-stage fuel pumps and a gaping Air-Grabber intake, which can chill the air further using the engine coolant.
Wisely, Dodge has strengthened the entire driveline and included a couple of neat tricks to shave tenths off the quarter-mile time. A TransBrake function, activated by the steering wheel paddle shifters, locks the transmission output shaft and allows the driver to increase engine speed to 2350rpm instead of holding the car on the brakes.
Combined with the Torque Reserve system, which allows the supercharger to build more than 8psi boost while stationary, it allows the Demon to launch hard enough to lift the front wheels.
Key to this hard-launch capability are the Demon’s sticky
Nitto NT05R street-legal drag tyres, measuring 315mm wide on lightweight 18 x 11-inch wheels. The suspension has also been softened, with spring rates decreased by 35 per cent front and 28 per cent rear and anti-roll bars 75 per cent softer front and 44 per cent rear compared to the Hellcat.
Bilstein adaptive dampers maximise weight transfer by relaxing the front rebound damping, retaining this setting as long as the driver holds full throttle, stiffening to improve handling should the accelerator be lifted. Traction control can be deactivated to allow burnouts while retaining ESP functionality to control lateral movement.
Dodge has gone to unprecedented lengths to shed weight from the Challenger Demon, though it still tips the scales at a hefty 1910kg. Almost 100kg has been lost thanks to not only the deletion of equipment like the parking sensors, electric steering wheel adjustment, boot carpet, 16 audio speakers and rear seat, but also the front passenger seat.
Thankfully, the passenger seat, rear seats and boot carpet can all be optioned back in for US$1 each, and all the luxuries you might possibly want in a road car are available as options.
Incredibly, Dodge still offers a three-year vehicle and five-year powertrain warranty. Just 3300 Demons will be built in total, 3000 for the US and 300 for Canada, with the price still under wraps Obviously, Australia is not a potential destination, but the unhinged madness that created the Demon bodes well for the next generation of Mopar muscle cars, which are likely starters for local showrooms in the future.