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That New Demon!
I am assuming that if you're reading this magazine you've heard about the upcoming Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Seven of fourteen teaser videos have been released as I write this. If you haven't seen them yet then go to, www.ifyouknowyouknow.com and you'll find the promo page. The video production quality is very good, especially on the first in the series, "Cage."
What we know so far is that the new Demon will slot into the lineup above the current Hellcat. The folks at SRT said that everything in the teaser videos means something, nothing is random or misleading. We know that it's going to be exclusive and very expensive. From the teaser videos we know that it will have fender flares front and rear like the Wide Body concept car that Mopar has been showing off. It will have twin-screw forced induction and Nitto 315/40-18 DOT legal drag radials front and rear with custom Demon icon molded into the sidewalls. The Demon will be up to 200 pounds lighter than current LC platform cars, possibly with a rear seat delete option.
Dodge has said that the drag radials allow a steeper rear gear set than the Hellcat has. The Demon will have a 3.09 gear instead of the Hellcat's 2.62. It is also going to have a higher stall speed torque converter than the Hellcat or other SRTs have. Dodge says, "The Challenger SRT Demon [will] generate more than 35 percent higher launch force than a Challenger Hellcat." So, expect a quick little devil off the line.
The videos indicate that the Demon will get upgraded steering and huge brakes at all four corners. Curiously it seems to have both dual headlight intakes and a wide "Air Grabber" hood scoop. That's a lot of air going in, so at WOT the engine must need more than a Hellcat does.
One of the videos, "Crate," indicates that the Demon will come with accessory parts. Kind of like back in the day when some Mopars could be ordered with special parts that came in the trunk for you to install. The video shows a high impact electric wrench suitable for wheel lug nuts, a torque wrench, a tire pressure gauge, a mini aluminum floor jack and most importantly narrower front wheels with front runner type tires on it. The big 315mm tires are DOT legal; drag race front skinny tires aren't, so I guess the idea is that you drive to the track, change the front tires and go racing. When the rear tires are used up, the front 315's should be good to move to the rear and get some more laps with the front skinnies on.
The video, "Forced Induction," clearly shows air flowing through a twin-screw supercharger, a la the Hellcat. Unconfirmed sources have said that the shot of a Demon fender tag that has a serial number of "0757" refers to the horsepower output of the Demon’s 6.2L engine. Considering that the Hellcat is underrated at 707 hp -- most sources say it is really 725-730 hp -- this seems easy enough to accomplish. After all, if Dodge positions this above the Hellcat it certainly can't have less power, that wouldn't be right.
OK, here's where I leave facts and speculate. I don't think the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is targeted just for the drag strip. If so, why the front fender flares? And those huge brakes on all four corners? And what is wrong with the Hellcat's steering for the street and drag strip? Let's say you are not into drag racing, maybe you own a Viper and like tearing up road courses. With Dodge Viper production ending after the 2017 model year run, what will current Viper owners look for in the future? Blue ovals and Bowties? I think not!
But wait, remove the wide drag radial tires from all four wheels, swap on some road race tires and everything makes sense. Big front brakes? Check. Improved (perhaps quicker ratio) steering? Check.
So, I think the Demon will kill two birds with one stone. A high-end supercar that is easier to run at the drag strip and faster than a Hellcat and a supercar that with a tire swap can go corner carving. Once the Viper dies, Dodge would already have a platform for a Demon AAR, a Demon option with serious road racing upgrades to keep loyal Viper owners in our family.
The official reveal of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon will be at the New York Auto Show the week of April 10th. Buckle up Mopar Nation, it looks like we're in for a Devil of a ride.