The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon: Everything We Know So Far
A preview guide for the baddest Challenger to date.
Next week at the New York Auto Show, Dodge will finally reveal the vehicle it’s been teasing every Thursday for the past several weeks: the Challenger SRT Demon. Of course we’re excited, and you should be too. So we figured it was time to compile everything we know so far about this drag racer-focused Demon. Despite being just a few days away from complete details and official photos, this preview guide will provide a handy guideline for what to expect of the new car.
The Demon is built on the same platform as all other Challengers, but it will look unique due to 3.5-inch wider fender flares and the largest functional hood scoop ever on a production car. Dodge calls the scoop the “Air Grabber,” and it’s vital to the supercharged 6.2-liter V8’s ability to achieve maximum power. Speaking of which, Dodge has yet to release official output figures, but a previous report believes the Demon will have about 50 more ponies over the “base” Challenger Hellcat. Figure around 757 hp (not 909 hp, sorry). With all of that power, comes great responsibility to cool everything down, so Dodge has outfitted the Demon with its first factory liquid-to-air system, which can drop intake charge by as much as 45 degrees.
Because of its drag racing nature, there’s a fairly good chance an automatic will be the sole transmission. But don’t be too disappointed because this will allow for quicker launch times by locking the output shaft of the automatic transmission, keeping the car stationary until launch. This will also result in faster brake delivery and even higher engine launch torque potential. There will also be a TransBrake that enables brake-free launches up to 2,350 rpm. But instead of drivers doing a conventional foot-brake launch, all they’ll have to do in the Demon is simply tap the steering wheel’s paddle shifters to activate the TransBrake function. According to Dodge, doing this will improve reaction times by 30 percent compared to using the brake.
The TransBrake also preloads the driveline with torque prior to the launch to reduce the risk of component damage. Remember, all of that power goes directly to the rear wheels. And yes, the Demon will have a dedicated Drag mode (along with Street and Custom) – it even has Bilstein adaptive dampers, another first in a production car. Dodge has also taken pains to reduce weight wherever possible – and we do mean wherever. Dodge has shaved a total of 215 pounds compared to the Hellcat. For example, not only are the rear seats optional, but so is the front passenger seat, which weighs 58 pounds.
Other weight removals include the tilt and telescopic steering wheel, numerous HVH components, parking sensors, aluminum wheels with open lug nuts, most speakers, and 20 pounds worth of trunk lining as well as the spare tire and wheel. A little weight – 17 pounds, precisely – was added because of the wider fender flares. Lastly, performance. Dodge hasn’t revealed numbers, but a previous teaser indicated a 0-60 mph time of 3 seconds flat. The Challenger Hellcat does that in 3.6 seconds. Buyers will also receive a custom crate packed with necessary track tools developed specifically for the Demon. Wow. A lot to absorb, we know, but the wait is nearly over. We think it’ll be highly worth it.