Halo cars are traditionally built by automakers as a way to show off their latest and most high-tech accomplishments, these unique vehicles are a pride to each and every automaker. Even Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger car brands for FCA North America, admits that there is more to these vehicles than for business purposes. With that, Dodge has released the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon – another exotic performance vehicle, or should we say, “halo car”, that will draw customers around the globe towards Dodge’s other, more “attainable” performance cars.
Though it looks like pretty much as if everything about the Demon has been released – what with Dodge’s weekly teasers, spy shots and leaked photos – let’s take a look at how the Demon is prepped for its debut straight from Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. headquarters.
If you’re talking about insanity, well, let’s just say that the Demon is set for a new Guinness World Record for “Longest Wheelie by a Production Car”. And what does that mean? It just means that Dodge’s halo car can travel 2.92 feet from a standstill with its front tires airborne. Not yet impressed? Then get this: apparently, the Demon is “too fast for the drag strip” that even the country’s preeminent sanctioning body for all quarter-mile vehicles, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), has banned it due to its lack of safety equipment required for a vehicle with such performance records.
From teasers and leaked photos, it is apparent that the Demon exudes an aura of power and potential. And it definitely does not disappoint – according to Dodge, the Demon is capable of producing 840 horsepower and by pulling 1.8 times the force of gravity at launch, can sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in only 2.3 seconds. Maintaining throttle will get the Demon across a quarter-mile in just 9.65 seconds at more than 140 mph. With these numbers, the Demon is quite as impressive as Dodge intends it to be.
From the teasers alone, it is obvious that the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon offers more in store than just being a stripped-down Hellcat. The Demon is VIN-ed and fully street legal, and can actually be used as a go-to car for grocery shopping. However, at drag strips, it can also easily wipe out competition.
It took more than two years for a team of around 25 dedicated SRT engineers, plus other Fiat Chrysler employees, to work on the project, leading to its unveiling at a pier in New York City.
Other than relying on grip during super-fast drag launches, the Demon has 35-percent more “launch force” compared to the Hellcat, with a shorter final-drive ratio of 3.09:1 (from 2.62:1). The eight-speed automatic’s torque converter has an 11-percent higher stall speed, providing 18-percent more torque multiplication – meaning, more grunt on the road. Driveline parts have also been strengthened to compensate with the added stress.
Unfortunately, the Demon does not have a manual-transmission option as it will affect its speed and consistency in drag racing. More so, its Drag Mode features requires the eight-speed box only.
Safety systems on the Demon include a backup camera, stability control, and tire-pressure monitoring. A Valet mode is also available, limiting speeds to only 4,000 rpm and disabling launch control.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon comes with a three-year per 36,000-mile warranty, even when using the crate parts. The crate parts come with a leather-bound book explaining the mechanisms of the car, how to set it up and how to get the best performance in action.
Dodge also offers a one-day driver training class hosted by the Bob Bondurant driving school, and in partnership with Hagerty Insurance, the car’s official insurance provider.
Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a limited-edition model, which will be sold for just one model year. In the U.S., only 3,000 cars are set for production this summer, with an additional 300 units to be shipped off to Canada.
Although we already know more than what we should about the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, it still remains a mystery how enthusiasts will respond (also depending on their use). The Hellcat may have paved the way for the introduction of ludicrously overpowered street cars, but the Demon will show us that there’s more in store for buyer, especially when power is put to good use.