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
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style
What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!
While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.
It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.
This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.
It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.
That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.
It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.
With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.
Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.
We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.
Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.
The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.
We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.
Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.
Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.
For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.
Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
- Engine: 5.5-liter V8
- Horsepower: 670
- 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
- EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
- Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
- Torque: 460 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph