Bringing the new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon to market was an exercise in corporate secrecy that would make the Department of Defense proud. In the end, they pulled it off. It’s an 840-horsepower drag-racing monster that will run high 9-seconds in the quarter mile straight off the showroom floor. That was the car’s development mantra, according to Tim Kuniskis, Dodge boss and the driving force behind the Demon. “Nines with light,” he said at a recent deep dive into the Demon development in Pontiac, Mich., referring to the targeted quarter-mile time and the desire to see daylight under the front wheels of the car when it launches (meaning it can do a wheelie for the first 3 feet of forward travel).
A lot of work went into making it possible, and what resulted is extraordinary. Here are 10 ways the Demon is much more than just a hotter Hellcat:
1. Over half of the engine components are new.
Sixty-two percent of the engine components, to be exact, are not shared with the Hellcat. This includes things like the pistons, supercharger, engine block, connecting rods and more.
2. The Demon engine flows 35 percent more air than a Hellcat
It has three air inlets (the Hellcat has two), a unique 92 mm throttle body and the biggest supercharger ever fitted to a passenger car engine. If it was hooked up to the cabin air vents, at full throttle it would suck all the air out of the cabin in just 800 feet of travel.
3. The induction system features a unique air-conditioning intake air chiller.
The air-conditioning coolant is piped into a heat exchanger to help cool the air coming into the engine. Keeping that air cold is important because at full tilt, the Demon engine puts out enough heat to boil one quart of water in 1.2 seconds, or the equivalent of 250 electric toasters going at once.
4. The Demon has a special 100-octane race gas setting.
To make the full 840 hp, you have to run 100-octane gas, which you can find at some stations near tracks. Without that gas and the special button to activate that setting, you’re “only” making 808 hp.
5. There’s also an upgraded fuel delivery system.