Demon expected to leave 707-hp Hellcats in its dust
FCA is planning a mic drop ahead of the New York Auto Show when it comes to American muscle cars. That is when the automaker will stage the world debut of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, a Hellcat on steroids, and what is expected to be the fastest muscle car in the world.
That is saying something, given that the supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat engine already puts out 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque, inducing ridiculous power-fuelled grins for those who drive it in a Challenger SRT Hellcat coupe or the Charger SRT Hellcat sedan. They are currently offered with a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic. Dodge also surprised the industry by introducing the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat for less than $60,000 USD.
“Most cars attempt to be everything to everybody. Then there are the rare few that revel in a single objective, rendering them totally irresistible to a subculture,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat passenger car brands for FCA North America, in a release. “The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is conceived, designed and engineered for a subculture of enthusiasts who know that a tenth is a car and a half second is your reputation.”
We don’t have details or specs yet. Dodge has begun a series of pre-reveal videos that will run from today until the car is revealed in April ahead of the auto show. They will roll out weekly at www.ifyouknowyouknow.com.
For the engineers who worked on the Hellcat, the original target was to get 600 hp from the engine. Then the goal crept up to 675, then 700. In the end, the team engineered it for 707 hp.
The news of even more power from Dodge comes as speculation mounts about what to expect from the next Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang which also had an initial target of at least 600 hp and likely has also ratcheted up its ambitions.
The Demon name dates back to 1971 when Dodge offered it as a two-door fastback hardtop variant of the 1971-1972 Dodge Dart. In 2007, Dodge showed a roadster concept car which it called Demon. It never went into production.
The GT500 would take on the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 which has the Corvette 6.2-liter V-8 under the hood, generating 650 hp and 650 lb-ft, making it the most-powerful Camaro to date. The ZL1 has the 10-speed automatic transmission that GM developed with Ford, which means Ford’s version is expected to show up in the GT500.
We await further news about the Demon and whether this is the ultimate drag racer or a street legal hot rod. Whatever the final numbers, Dodge has thrown down the gauntlet. The Hellcat has already become an icon for the Dodge brand and the Demon drop seems designed to cement its supremacy in the Motor City.