2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
We’ve all heard the numbers and seen the hype videos. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, with its 840-horsepower Hellcat engine will do the ¼ in 9.65-seconds, while hitting 60 in just 2.3. But as with most cars, there’s more here than just numbers. So come along to the dark side with us, as we do some down and dirty deeds with the demon.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is one of those cars that you think is only possible in a dream. Fortunately, the hard-working folks at Dodge’s Street and Racing Technology division are more than just dreamers. They actually made this drag strip worthy beast happen.
It seems implausible with all of the hype surrounding it, but the Demon was actually developed mostly in secret; engineers going cloak and dagger, and even working on their own time, until they knew they had something the brass would devour.
We all know the basics for more horsepower, more air, and more fuel to react with it; but cranking the Hellcat’s 6.2-liter HEMI V8 up to 840-horsepower and 770 lb-ft. of torque required a lot of work, a few more revs, and 100-octane fuel. On premium grade gas it’s a mere 808 horse ride.
Such output also demanded cranking the supercharger up to 14.5 psi to shove said air into the combustion chambers.
Along the way it passes through an SRT-developed Power Chiller which uses the A/C’s refrigerant to reduce air temps by up to 18-degrees.
On the other end of the engine, they beefed up everything that carries the power to the rear wheels, added a production-car first TransBrake for nailing killer launches, and a line lock for simplifying burnouts.
Now, with all of that in mind, what you might not expect, is at the dragstrip, the Demon is not that insane at all. And by that we mean doing ten second ¼-miles in a car properly set up for drag racing, is similar to hitting a road course in a perfectly balanced race car.
The Demon launches extremely hard, but if you hit it just right, all of the car’s weight gets pushed to the rear, and it just hooks up and takes off; carrying all of that power down the track with no drama whatsoever.
Sure, you can get some wheel-spin if you want, but using Drag Mode with Launch Assist and Torque Reserve makes launching super simple.
All Demons come equipped with the TorqueFlite 8HP90 8-speed automatic transmission, which fired through gears without missing a beat; as we made passes continuously for an entire afternoon, without a hiccup.
So, don’t think of this as some one-off car just to do a couple runs and get some crazy numbers for publicity.
With temps in the 90s and high humidity, we couldn’t match Dodge’s NHRA-certified run of 9.65 but we ran consistent low-10s, and came real close to matching the claimed 2.3-seconds to 60.
Other things that set the Demon apart from standard Hellcat fare, are the Air Grabber hood and wide-body styling that adds fender flares to fully cover the standard 315/40/18 Nitto drag radials. Wheels for those front skinnies are part of the $1 Demon Crate option.
Unique touches inside, include a numbered Demon badge, and Demon logo on the seats. A Speedlogix 4-point harness is also an option…
…as is the front passenger seat, though Dodge will throw it back in for just a buck more.
Even though every update has been made with drag racing in mind, it remains a very street-able car. And as a value-added bonus, due to the flexible sidewalls of the drag radials, ride quality is actually better than the Hellcat.
Now, you would think that’d be enough SRT news for one year, but Dodge has got something else headed our way for ’18, it’s the Durango SRT.
Believe it or not, it’s the first time Dodge has applied the SRT treatment to this 3-row SUV.
For power, it gets the 392 HEMI V8, which supplies 475-horsepower and 470 lb-ft. of torque. The all-wheel-drive system, 8-speed automatic transmission, suspension, and 7-mode drive system all get upgraded to handle it.
This Durango will hit 60 in 4.4-seconds, and clear the ¼-mile in less than 13. But even more impressive, is that you lose none of the functionality that you buy an SUV for; as this Durango will tow 8,700-lbs.
There’s a body kit of course, and plenty of interior treatments as well.
The 2018 Dodge Durango SRT rolls out of showrooms for $64,090.
But, back to the Demon. For a turnkey 9-second drag car, base pricing of $86,090 doesn’t seem that evil. That’s less than what some of the original Hellcat’s were going for. 3,000 of them will be available here in the U.S.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon may be a hellishly fast car, but we say God Bless the U.S.A.; as the forces of good and evil have combined to create one of the most amazing cars to ever lay down rubber on America’s streets.
- Engine: 6.2 liter
- Horsepower: 840
- Torque: 770 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 2.3 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 9.65 seconds
2023 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined