After a month-long series of video teasers, the most powerful series production American muscle car in history is ready to impress its public.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is so potent that it is essentially a collection of automotive superlatives with a wide, Nitto street-legal drag radial tyre at each corner. It boasts a 6.2-litre Hemi V8 with a massive supercharger bolted to it. This lifts boost pressure to 14.5psi, and in doing so, sends a gigantic 840hp and 770 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Those figures alone make this the most powerful production V8 currently on the market.
However, that's just the start. That engine catapults the Demon from 0-60mph in a record-breaking 2.3 seconds. It can hit 30mph in 1 second and has been independently certified by the National Hot Rod Association as the fastest-ever production car over the quarter mile -- 9.65 seconds and a 140mph top speed in the process.
"With Demon, our goal was to build a car that would tattoo the Dodge logo into the subconscious of the general market, beyond even our loyal enthusiasts, said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars - Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat, FCA North America. "To do so, we had to set records that have never been set before, do more than has ever been done before, go beyond even the legendary Hellcat."
And that's not hyperbole. During development, it set a Guinness World Record as the first production car to pull a 2.92 feet wheelie on take-off. And to prevent mechanical meltdown, the Demon also uses a liquid-to-air intercooler to stop the engine and supercharger overheating.
Ir's also the first production car with a secondary cooling system that kicks in when the car has stopped, bringing the components in the supercharger and block down to safe operational temperatures in time for the next run.
Keeping all of this performance in check is a transmission brake. Rather than melt the disc brakes trying to hold revs before a race, the car can build up power in the engine while locking the transmission output shaft. So the power outputed by the engine doesn't go to the rear wheels.
However, all of this performance comes at a cost -- to comfort at least.
Dodge has had to jettison all passenger seats, the soundproofing, carpeting, the stereo system and speaker system among other things, to cut the car's weight by 200lbs.
What's more, though it will still impress on standard pump gas, to get the very best out of the car's engine, it will need to be fuelled by 100+ unleaded high-octane fuel, which can be hard to come by.
Still, since Dodge knows some buyers will want to use the car beyond the track, each seat can be reinstalled as a $1 option.
The Demon is a single production year car and just 6000 examples are planned -- 3000 for the US and a further 3000 for Canada. First deliveries will begin in the fall.