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The 2018 Demon: Everything there is to know

by Patrick Rall on

We have spent the past three+ months analyzing the many teaser videos of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and speculating over every possible aspect of the car, but with tonight’s New York City debut of the new Mopar machine – the waiting is over. The Demon has been officially unleashed upon the world and with this grand uncaging comes all of the information that we have been discussing since the newest SRT Challenger was given a name back in February.

Challenger SRT Hellcat - Dodge Demon

So, after months of speculation – much of which was nonsense – here is everything that you want to know and need to know about the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

First of all, let’s get into the key details on the new Demon which have been discussed the most over the past few months – horsepower, torque, acceleration times and quarter mile times.

We will start by explaining that when Dodge set out on the mission to create the new Demon, they had two key guidelines. The car had to run a 9-second quarter mile and it had to pull the front wheels off of the ground on launch.

They achieved both of those goals.

Dodge Demon at the track

Quickest Car in the World
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the first ever production road car to lift the front wheels on a hard launch. The Demon is able to generate the forces needed to pull the front wheels off of the ground thanks to the revamped 6.2L supercharged Hemi, which delivers 808 horsepower and 717lb-ft of torque when running on premium gasoline (91+) or 840 horsepower at 6,300rpm and 770lb-ft of torque at 4,500rpm when running 100-octane (or better) unleaded racing fuel.

When the Hellcat Challenger was introduced, it was the 6th most powerful production road car in the world, trailing the LaFerrari, the McLaren P1, the Porsche 918, the Lamborghini Veneno, and the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. With 840 horsepower, the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon jumps ahead of the F12 and the Veneno – resting at 4th on the list of the most powerful full production road cars in the world.

Those figures of 840 horsepower and 770lb-ft of torque allow the 2018 Dodge Demon to lift the front wheels off of the ground and carry them for almost 3 feet, but that power also makes the newest Challenger the quickest production road car in the world in a variety of metrics. Launching from a stop to 60 miles per hour takes just 2.3 seconds and since some automakers list their 0-60 times “with rollout”, Dodge did that too – clicking off a 2.1-second run. Launching from a stop and running up to 100mph only takes 5.1 seconds and the Demon covers the quarter mile in just 9.65 seconds.

drag strip

An NHRA-certified time of 9.65 at 140 miles per hour makes the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon the quickest production road car in the world, period. This knocks off the Bugatti Veyron’s 6-year old record of 9.70, so there is literally no other street car in the world which will turn a quicker quarter mile time in stock form.

Also, while those record numbers were achieved with the skinny wheels up front and the high octane race fuel computer from the Demon crate, the numbers aren’t all that bad in the Demon’s basic form. With the stock computer system running on premium gasoline (91+) and the huge 315 Nittos up front, the new supercharged Challenger will still lift the front wheels off of the ground on launch and it will still run a 9-second quarter mile – 9.90 to be exact.

Also, as long as we are talking numbers, we should point out that during testing of the Demon’s Eco mode, which starts the car in 2nd gear and limits power to just 500hp, it still ran an 11.59.

hellcat engine

In short, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has 840 horsepower, 770lb-ft of torque and a list of acceleration figures which make it the best performing production road car in the world.

So how did it get to be the quickest and one of the most powerful production cars in the world? Here is a quick rundown.

How the Magic Happens
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is powered by the same basic 6.2L Hemi V8 which motivates the Hellcat cars, but there have been a handful of changes to get more than the Hellcat’s 707hp/650tq. Most notably, the Hellcat’s 2.4L IHI supercharger has been replaced with a 2.7L IHI unit and rather than a peak of 11 pounds of boost – the Demon runs on roughly 14.5psi when running on the 100+ octane race gas (closer to 15 with great gas and ideal conditions). To handle that extra boost, the rotating assembly of the Demon (crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons) have been strengthened while the valve train has also been beefed up for improved durability. Of course, the Demon’s engine is fitted with the new Torque Reserve system and the intercooling chilling system, but other than the bigger blower, the 100-octane tune and reinforcing the various components – the Demon engine isn’t all that different from the Hellcat cars.

demon logo

For the record, the new Demon meets emission requirements in all 50 states, even when running in 100-octane mode.

All of that power is sent through the same basic 8-speed automatic transmission as the Hellcat cars, except the Demon has a higher stall torque convertor and the integrated TransBrake, which works with the Torque Reserve system to launch with much more power than the Hellcat cars. When a Hellcat Challenger launches, it is making almost no boost pressure, resulting in around 100lb-ft of torque at the point of launch. On the other hand, the Demon is running around 8.3 pounds of boost and 534lb-ft of torque at the point of launch – which should explain very clearly how it is able to rip the front wheels off of the ground. In fact, the Demon launches so hard that it creates around 1.8g of force on launch.

Best of all, a Dodge representative confirmed that while the torque convertor is designed to “Stall” around 2,350rpm, launching with the stock drag radials to get the numbers mentioned above will have racers leaving the line around just 2,000rpm – so there is room to improve for those folks who swap to a full slick tire.

Really, there is only one downside to the performance measures of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – it has already been banned from NHRA competition. It is the first stock car to be officially banned in stock form, so Demon owners who are serious about racing will need to add a roll cage, at which point it will be legal for competition.

Some people will surely gripe about it, but think about it this way. If you are going to build a mid-to-low 9-second quarter mile car, you are going to add a roll cage. In this case, the Dodge Demon has all of the work needed to run times which require a cage, so that is the only step required of owners who want to go racing in the low 9s. For example, say that you were going to build a Hellcat Challenger to run low 9s. You would need to add the components needed for the added power, the stronger driveshaft, the stronger axles, the 18 inch wheels with drag radial tires and the roll cage. The Demon already has the extra power, the stronger drivetrain bits including a stronger rear differential, a TransBrake, the advanced cooling features and a lightened-up interior – you just add the cage and go racing in the 9s.

Costs and Production Numbers
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the quickest production car in the world and the first to lift the front wheels off of the ground, but how much will it cost?

We don’t know just yet. Pricing will be announced closer to the dealership debut this summer, but we do know some of the option pricing.

While the Demon doesn’t come with a front passenger seat, a rear seat or trunk trim from the factory, buyers can add each of those items as an option for a dollar. Seriously – the front passenger seat costs $1, the back seat costs $1 and the trunk trim costs $1. That Demon Crate with the skinny front wheels, the tools, the high performance PCM, the new switch panel and a few other odds and ends also costs $1, so if you check all of the boxes for those items, it adds $4 to the final price.

Each Demon comes with a leather bound book which the owner receives when the order is placed with FCA by the dealership. This book explains all of the unique features, how things like the TransBrake, intercooler chiller and the after-run cooling system works along with offering hints of how to set up the drive mode system for the best possible quarter mile times. This book also includes a race log and a coupon which allows the Demon owner to order their Demon Crate from FCA. The Crate is sent directly to the owner’s home (or wherever they want it sent), so the dealership isn’t involved in that aspect and it is during this phase where Dodge is doing something interesting to try to prevent greedy dealerships from ordering a car and adding a huge markup without a buyer waiting.

crate

When the Demon buyer orders his or her new Mopar muscle car, that person’s name is applied to the Demon Crate which has a matching VIN to the car. This cannot be ordered blank, so dealerships will be forced to provide a name and if they just put the dealership name or a generic name – it will make the car less attractive to some buyers. With this system, dealers almost have to order the car with an actual buyer lined up, which should help curb the massive markups.

Also, while the 2018 Challenger Demon will be a limited production vehicle – offered only for the 2018 model year – Dodge will build 3,300 examples of the wheel-lifting beast. 3,000 of those units will be intended for the US and 300 for Canada, and prior to the first batch of orders, every dealership in the US and Canada will be told exactly how many Demons they will be getting. This way, dealerships won’t be able to tell prospective buyers that they “might get a car”, since the dealership will know exactly how many they will get before the first car reaches an owner.

Odds and Ends
Over the past few months, there have been lots of rumors about the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon which have led to lots of questions not addressed by the basic press materials. Fortunately, I had a chance to sit down with Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis and ask him about some of the hottest topics outside of power numbers and track times.

The 2018 Demon will be offered in the full spectrum of 2018 Challenger colors, including B5 Blue, Billet Silver, Destroyer Grey, F8 Green, Go Mango, Granite Crystal, Indigo Blue, Maximum Steel, Octane Red, Pitch Black, Plum Crazy, TorRed, White Knuckle and Yellow Jacket. All of these colors are available with a satin black hood, roof and trunk lid.

All-wheel drive was never a consideration for the Demon. The car essentially comes with four rear tires, but having those big, sticky tires up front makes the car far safer for road use than the race skinnies. In fact, even with the smaller (than the Hellcat) front brakes, the Demon will get stopped from 60 miles per hour in just 97 feet. That is supercar-like stopping performance.

This new Dodge Challenger SRT model was named the Demon from the early stages of development, and the rumored “American Drag Racer” won’t be used on the car at all – contrary to some of the forum rumors. The company wanted a name which would build a reputation similar to the Hellcat, and the Demon name is certainly one which people can remember.

One question which we have heard a great deal relates to the crankshaft pulley on the Demon. The Hellcat cars with some work done have been forced to add a reinforcing pin to the crankshaft pulley assembly, but the company believes that there isn’t a problem when the factory top pulley with the clutch system is left intact. However, the lower pulley on the Demon is affixed with more than twice the torque of the unit on the Hellcat engine.

The 2-piece driveshaft of the 2018 Challenger Demon was a surprise to some, but the engineers went this route to help remove vibration and excess noise from the cabin. The 2-piece driveshaft effectively dampens vibrations coming through the rear wheels, so rather than go to a 1-piece driveshaft, the company opted for a significantly stronger 2-piece.

The Demon comes with the standard FCA warranty of three-year/36,000-mile bumper to bumper coverage and five-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain coverage. This warranty covers problems which occur on the dragstrip, even when running on 100-octane fuel, but it only covers the car in stock form. Any aftermarket engine tuning, adding nitrous, swapping to a smaller pulley or other power-adding goodies will impact the warranty, but in bone-stock form, damage which occur at your local test-n-tune should be covered. In other words, the Demon is literally a 9.65 quarter mile car with a drivetrain warranty.

Every 2018 Demon buyer will a one-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.

So, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is finally here, and it is as every bit as impressive as we had expected – arriving as the most powerful American production car ever and the quickest production road car in the world in 0-60, 0-100 and a standard quarter mile.

In short, the 2018 Dodge Demon is, without question, the greatest muscle car of all time when it comes to doing what muscle cars have always done best.

We will soon have an additional piece which takes an in-depth look at the fine details of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, as this piece includes all of the most important information so the smaller features would be lost in this piece.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.


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