Eight. Hundred. Forty. Horsepower.
K.C. Colwell writes: For years, the Big Three have been selling parts-counter specials that are purpose built for drag racing: Cobra Jet Mustangs, COPO Camaros, and Drag Pak Challengers missing VINs that you order like an oil filter. These are cars only in the sense that they have four wheels. You can’t legally drive one to the corner store for milk or bait teenagers on Woodward Avenue any more than you could in an IndyCar racer. But Dodge is changing that with the Challenger SRT Demon.
Born to Drag
SRT head honcho Tim Kuniskis admits that the company wanted to go in a different direction than the Challenger’s obvious competition. Ford and Chevrolet clearly targeted the road-course demographic with their ultimate pony cars, the Camaro ZL1 1LE and the Shelby Mustang GT350R. To be different, SRT zeroed in on a target 1320 feet long—a quarter-mile—and packed this Hellcat-cum-Demon with legit drag-racing technology normally reserved for purpose-built trailer queens.
By fixating on a single goal, Kuniskis and company claim to have destroyed not only crosstown rivals, but all competition, in quarter-mile races—including the Porsche 918 (the quickest production car we’ve ever tested)—with a 9.65-second elapsed time at a blistering 140 mph. That’s quick enough that the NHRA says “no, thank you” unless the Demon’s owner installs a roll cage.
A nine-second production car that we expect will cost one-tenth the price of a new 918. Let that sink in.
So how did SRT do it? Details have been released in a form of Chinese water torture over the last three months. First we learned of all the weight SRT cut to get the Demon as trim as possible, most notably by stripping out every seat save the driver’s (the front passenger seat and the three-place rear bench can be optioned back in for $1 each). Then there was a mysterious box full of parts and tools, a glimpse at the hood scoop, the wrinkled-sidewall drag radials, some suspension details and transmission specs, and on and on. Thirteen teasers in total, which included more than a half-dozen cryptic hints that Chrysler has finally decoded. The campaign nearly caused our interest to wane. All we wanted to know was how fast and how much power. … (read more)
Source: Car & Driver