Demon Torture is a real thing, as we’ve discovered while Dodge has led us on a three-month odyssey of teases for the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. The Demon’s reveal date at the New York International Auto Show, April 11, finally looms so we’ve decided to assemble the breadcrumbs Dodge has fed us all for the last three months into a half-baked loaf. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what questions still need answering after three months of hints and facts.
First, what do we know about the Demon?
OK, that’s probably a good thing to start with, so we’ll just rattle it off here, since a similar list has also been on every auto website everywhere. Everything Demon appears to be based on the supercharged, 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat. We know the Demon will have: less weight, a beefed-up driveline, drag radials with skinny tires–likely available in a customized crate, a trans brake, drag-tuned suspension, electronically switchable Drag Mode, a giant Air Grabber hood scoop, an air-conditioned air intake, 2.62 gears with the eight-speed automatic transmission, and an available 100-octane tune for the engine. Here are links to all of our Roadkill stories on the Demon in one handy place so you can mock us later when we’re wrong about everything:
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Reduction
Week 3: Body
Week 4: Crate
Week 5: Forced Induction
Week 6: Multiplication
Week 7: Third Law
Week 8: Race Hardened Parts
Week 9: Performance Pages
Week 10: No Pills
Week 11: Lock & Load
Week 12: No Ice
Week 13: Fuel
Week 13-1/2: Judgment Day
How much horsepower and torque will the Demon have?
“More than the Hellcat” is a certainty at this point, but it remains to be seen how much more. Plenty of folks have wondered if the “7:57” on the clock in the “Performance Pages” teaser might be a clue, but the chilled air intake and 100-octane tune should be good for more than 50 horsepower, right? The Performance Pages video also showed a real-time dyno chart on the car’s information display with horsepower showing in the mid-700s so maybe the output is 757 horsepower. Or maybe it’s a ruse. Additionally, Dodge mentioned in the press material that the high-strength steel driveshaft can handle 15 percent more torque. If that also means a 15-percent bump in horsepower, too, we’re looking at 800-plus ponies. Of course, horsepower and torque don’t necessarily a have 1:1 relationship so there could be much bigger gains in horsepower than torque.
Again the Performance Pages video drops a hint with these quarter-mile and incremental times flashing on the screen frozen momentarily, but how accurate is it? Some observant readers noted that the slim mile-per-hour difference from the eighth-mile to the quarter-mile doesn’t make much sense unless the driver lifted to a 10.5-second elapsed time. Given that the second tease said the Demon loses 200 pounds from the stock Challenger, we can figure the weight at roughly 4,200 pounds. With a 175-pound driver and a bit of fuel, that means that a 10.5-second Demon will need to make around 750 horsepower to the wheels—pretty close to 757—according to most horsepower/weight calculators. Accounting for driveline losses, we’ll hazard a safe guess that the rating at the flywheel will be more than 800.
What is its real quarter-mile elapsed time?
From the Performance Pages tease, it might be the 10.5 seconds. Or it might not. All of the numbers on that Performance Pages screengrab make sense except the 125 mph in the eighth-mile. Given the proximity of the 0-100 time and the eighth-mile elapsed time, I’d guess the half-track mph is closer to 100 than 125. If the only thing that’s right on that screen is the eighth-mile mph, however, hold onto your butts, because you’ll be looking at a factory car well into the 9s with gobs of horsepower, likely somewhere in the high 900 range.
Naturally, Dodge teased us with a blurry timeslip (above) after we’d already written most of this. Some of you appreciated our secret-decoder ring joke at Dodge’s expense last Friday, but we can’t tell what the hell the print-out says. In one frame, it looks like a 9.8 and in the next, it looks like a 10.3. The YouTube comments on the tease video read exactly like we’re seeing it, too: For every “Way to put it in the 9s!” there is also someone saying “That’s definitely 10.351 at 131.79 mph.” We do feel fairly confident that the timeslip reads a mph that is in the 130s, which contradicts the Performance Pages tease.
After three months of these teases, we’re not even mad. We’re instead having an existential crisis and typing “What is truth?” over and over in a text file.
What were all those weird numbers in the photos and videos?
Your guess is as good as ours. Everything we’ve come up with is one plug-wire short of a set. Anybody better at numerology than us? Here’s the numerical clues we noticed:
13.5 = 575 @ 500
#2576 @ 35
3.9 +221 = 405
8.3 + 317 = 534
Will there be a manual transmission option?
Almost everything in the teases refer to Chrysler’s eight-speed automatic when talking transmissions, but we’re wondering if you might have the option of rowing your own gears on the drag strip. The trans brake is largely an option for automatics, so we figure it’s likely there is no manual transmission option. That said, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for a gear-banging Demon.
Will there be a Charger version?
It hasn’t been mentioned. How awesome would a 9-second four-door be?
Where is the Demon saving weight?
If you rewatch the above video at 0.25 speed, you can see a whole bunch of parts on the car get highlighted. We assume this means those parts are being changed or deleted altogether. The front and rear seats are among those, so we wonder if there might just be two (or one!) lightweight racing seats in the front. The passenger-side mirror was highlighted, too, and it looks like there might be a smaller mirror from one or two of the shots we saw, which would also reduce high-speed wind resistance. Beyond that, we saw things like the lugnuts, wheels, and dashboard highlighted.
Will the Demon be street-legal?
“Probably” is our best guess. Nearly all of the information regarding the Demon has pertained to drag racing, so there’s no doubt it’ll be quarter-mile capable. The very first teaser, however, suggests the Demon might have some ability to tear up the streets. We are guessing the Demon Crate that appears to contain skinny wheels is a way to deliver the car with streetable Nitto drag-radial tires that can be switched over to the skinnies trackside. That would also give a spare set of rear tires at the track. Also, if it wasn’t street legal, why bother with DOT tires and a pump gas tune?
How many Demons will be built and what will they cost?
Given that the Demon Crate will be personalized, we suppose they won’t make a whole pile of them. We’re not sure how many will be built or how much the price tag will be, but we’ll guess a limited production run will put the price well north of the Hellcat’s $62,495 starting price. We’ll also hazard a guess that the order book will fill out in no time, regardless of the price.
Dodge will reveal the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon on April 11 at the New York International Auto Show. We’ll be there, and have the latest on it here on Roadkill.