These days, making a statement in the competitive world of cars typically revolves around some groundbreaking technology driving an autonomous electric vehicle pitched as the next big thing in urban mobility. But Dodge managed to steal the spotlight at the 2017 New York International Auto Show in the bustling heart of Midtown Manhattan, of all places, with what is arguably the most badass muscle car ever built.
One thing’s for certain, with an official 0 – 60 mph time of 2.3 seconds, the 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon SRT is definitely the fastest production car ever to roam the planet. In fact, you could say that the Demon is the ultimate “anti” autonomous vehicle, considering that it powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with the capability of putting out an earth-rattling 840-horsepower.
Yep, that’s eight, four, zero – just in case you thought it was some kind of typo, which is pure insanity for a production car coming straight from the factory.
Then again, a vehicle doesn’t land a pitchman the likes of Vin Diesel, who drives the new Demon in Fate of the Furious, touting how many miles it can go on a single battery charge. That kind of claim to fame is better reserved for people who prefer a nice latte topped off with whip cream during their morning commute. Appealing to guys like Diesel, who plays Dom, the adrenaline driven wheelman gone-rogue in the latest film from the Fast & Furious franchise, which opens April 14, requires a beast of a totally different nature.
Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger cars for FCA, Dodge’s parent company, told Playboy that’s the point of the Demon, a Dodge nameplate resurrected from the seventies.
“The only way to do anything in this industry from an enthusiast vehicle standpoint that crosses over from enthusiast to the general market is to come up with things that are the best and the most,” says Kuniskis. “You can have a claim that says, ‘my car does 0 to 60 in x, y, z.’ Well, who cares. But if you can say my car is better, faster or the most than anybody else that’s ever produced a car, now you got their attention.”
Well, the Dodge Demon definitely knocked that one out of the park. Following on the heels of the 2014 launch of the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the new Demon, which features more than 100 different parts than its stablemate, is one of the most insane takes on a muscle car to date. No, seriously, it’s that monumental even if muscle cars really aren’t your thing. Take, for example this: The Dodge coupe has already been crowned with a Guinness World Record for the longest wheelie from a standing start by a production car at 2.92 feet.
Now, if you aren’t really into drag racing, which is where the new Demon draws most of its inspiration, that might not mean a lot. We won’t bore you with all the hardcore technical stuff. But consider this: the type of force it takes to pull off a feat, like that Guinness World Record, is the kind of thing you might hear when referencing the power of a jet taking off from a runway.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has also been certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) as the fastest ¼-mile car in the world with a time of 9.65 seconds at 140 mph, which has actually led to it being banned from drag strip competition. And although the new Dodge dragster stays true to its “anti EV” DNA through and through, it does features a few innovative tech features, which helps the car live up to its epic performance capabilities.
The type of force it takes to pull off a feat, like that Guinness World Record, is the kind of thing you might hear when referencing the power of a jet taking off from a runway.
The biggest one? The Demon’s SRT Power Chiller, a system that diverts the air-conditioning refrigerant from the SRT Demon’s interior to a chiller unit mounted by the low-temperature circuit coolant pump that helps to keep the car’s high-powered engine from overheating. It’s the first time a system of its kind has ever been applied to a production vehicle. That said, the Demon is about as far away from your average production car as you can get. The new Dodge is essentially a supercar disguised as a fastback coupe with a heart born and bred out of American muscle.
Production sales for the Demon will be limited to only 3,000 units in the U.S. and 300 in Canada. And the new Dodge will be sold without the front and rear passengers seats, a measure that helps to cut down the weight of the car. Although, Dodge will allow buyers (or rather those lucky enough to make the cut on the Demon’s preorder list) the opportunity to add the passenger seat or rear seat for one dollar.
It’s a strategy, Kuniskis explained to Playboy, aimed at keeping the Demon true to its mind-blowing performance capabilities without alienating someone who might need to get a little practically out of the car when not roaring down a dragstrip.
So, does the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon pretty much confirm that you’ll never see an electric vehicle wearing the legendary American badge? Not exactly, says Kuniskis. But you probably don’t want to hold out for a Dodge if you’re looking to swap out your Toyota Prius for a new EV this year.
“Huge V8s and superchargers have a limited lifespan,” says Kuniskis. “I don’t know when this is going to end, I just know that at some point it has to with the CAFE Standards and greenhouse gases and the push towards autonomous vehicles. But for a period of time, there’s going to be section of the population that will not go quietly into that new reality. They are going to say, ‘I want a car like the Demon and I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to get it. So, I’m going to get it now’.”