Automotive

Dodge Demon: An unhinged 840-hp dragster in civilian clothes

Dodge Demon: An unhinged 840-h...
Sticky Nitto drag radial tires put the Demon's power to the road
Sticky Nitto drag radial tires put the Demon's power to the road
View 88 Images
Don't believe Dodge's performance claims? This receipt aims to change that
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Don't believe Dodge's performance claims? This receipt aims to change that
The NHRA confirms the Demon's performance claims 
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The NHRA confirms the Demon's performance claims 
The Demon will even wheelie off the line
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The Demon will even wheelie off the line
The Air Grabber intake on the Demon is the largest fitted to a production car
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The Air Grabber intake on the Demon is the largest fitted to a production car
Sticky drag radials put the Demon's power to the road
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Sticky drag radials put the Demon's power to the road
The supercharged V8 in the Demon creates some serious heat, but the team at Dodge has worked seriously hard to keep it cool 
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The supercharged V8 in the Demon creates some serious heat, but the team at Dodge has worked seriously hard to keep it cool 
Even the headlights are used to cool the Demon's engine 
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Even the headlights are used to cool the Demon's engine 
The Demon motif is everywhere
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The Demon motif is everywhere
Dodge is keen to show how much smoke the car will create
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Dodge is keen to show how much smoke the car will create
The Demon pumps out 840 hp on race fuel
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The Demon pumps out 840 hp on race fuel
Sticky Nitto drag radial tires put the Demon's power to the road
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Sticky Nitto drag radial tires put the Demon's power to the road
The supercharged V8 in the Demon can be run on regular gas or race fuel
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The supercharged V8 in the Demon can be run on regular gas or race fuel
The Demon was launched in New York
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The Demon was launched in New York
Dodge says the Demon will hit 60 mph in 2.3 seconds 
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Dodge says the Demon will hit 60 mph in 2.3 seconds 
The Demon rides on softer suspension than the Hellcat
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The Demon rides on softer suspension than the Hellcat
Dodge puts the Demon through its paces on the drag strip
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Dodge puts the Demon through its paces on the drag strip
The Demon can use a transmission brake to make launches easier 
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The Demon can use a transmission brake to make launches easier 
Dodge has unleashed the Demon in New York
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Dodge has unleashed the Demon in New York
The Demon will wheelie off the line
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The Demon will wheelie off the line
Guinness Book of Records has confirmed the Demon's wheelie prowess
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Guinness Book of Records has confirmed the Demon's wheelie prowess
The dash in the Demon is tailored to drag racing
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The dash in the Demon is tailored to drag racing
Dodge has made no secret of the Demon's prodigious power 
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Dodge has made no secret of the Demon's prodigious power 
The engine in the Demon is based on the unit in the Hellcat
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The engine in the Demon is based on the unit in the Hellcat
The free-breathing Demon can stay cool under pressure 
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The free-breathing Demon can stay cool under pressure 
The Devil is in the details, right 
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The Devil is in the details, right 
Dodge wants owners to use their cars on the drag strip
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Dodge wants owners to use their cars on the drag strip
Yet another intake on the Dodge Demon
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Yet another intake on the Dodge Demon
Dodge has littered the Demon with little bespoke touches
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Dodge has littered the Demon with little bespoke touches
You get a net in place of rear seats in the Demon
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You get a net in place of rear seats in the Demon
The kids can stay at home when the Demon comes out
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The kids can stay at home when the Demon comes out
The Demon is a single seater
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The Demon is a single seater
Just 3,300 Demons will be built 
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Just 3,300 Demons will be built 
Press this button for race gas in the Demon
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Press this button for race gas in the Demon
The Demon motif is everywhere in this car
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The Demon motif is everywhere in this car
Selfish drivers can enjoy the Demon alone
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Selfish drivers can enjoy the Demon alone
More than 100 kg has been shed from the Hellcat to make the Demon
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More than 100 kg has been shed from the Hellcat to make the Demon
The Demon goes to great lengths to stay cool 
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The Demon goes to great lengths to stay cool 
The Demon comes with a special toolbox
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The Demon comes with a special toolbox
Even the Demon toolbox comes with a unique plaque
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Even the Demon toolbox comes with a unique plaque
Lightweight wheels are another Demon-unique touch
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Lightweight wheels are another Demon-unique touch
The supercharger in the Demon is bigger than in the Hellcat
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The supercharger in the Demon is bigger than in the Hellcat
The Air Grabber on the Demon is fully functional 
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The Air Grabber on the Demon is fully functional 
Breathing can be tricky on the drag strip, so the Demon has plenty of air intakes 
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Breathing can be tricky on the drag strip, so the Demon has plenty of air intakes 
We'd tie that wheel down well if exploiting the Demon's full performance potential
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We'd tie that wheel down well if exploiting the Demon's full performance potential
Dodge has unleashed the Demon in New York 
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Dodge has unleashed the Demon in New York 
Fat wheelarches make the Demon look meaner than a Hellcat
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Fat wheelarches make the Demon look meaner than a Hellcat
The Demon is at home on the drag strip
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The Demon is at home on the drag strip
This is the largest air intake fitted on any production car
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This is the largest air intake fitted on any production car
The Demon and its loot crate
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The Demon and its loot crate
The Demon will match a Model S off the line 
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The Demon will match a Model S off the line 
Dodge has one-upped itself with the Demon
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Dodge has one-upped itself with the Demon
The Demon playing peek-a-boo through its own smoke 
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The Demon playing peek-a-boo through its own smoke 
The Demon playing peek-a-boo through its own smoke 
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The Demon playing peek-a-boo through its own smoke 
The Demon playing peek-a-boo through its own smoke 
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The Demon playing peek-a-boo through its own smoke 
The Demon playing peek-a-boo through its own smoke 
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The Demon playing peek-a-boo through its own smoke 
The Dodge Demon is the most focused muscle car we've ever seen 
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The Dodge Demon is the most focused muscle car we've ever seen 
The Demon contemplating another crack at the drag strip
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The Demon contemplating another crack at the drag strip
The Demon is fully street legal
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The Demon is fully street legal
Dodge will be selling a limited number of Demons in North America
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Dodge will be selling a limited number of Demons in North America
The Demon is ridiculous, but we love it for that
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The Demon is ridiculous, but we love it for that
Very few production cars will be able to keep pace with the Demon in a straight line
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Very few production cars will be able to keep pace with the Demon in a straight line
The Demon is fully street legal
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The Demon is fully street legal
Dodge unleashed the Demon after a protracted tease campaign
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Dodge unleashed the Demon after a protracted tease campaign
Staring the Demon in the face
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Staring the Demon in the face
The Demon is a dinosaur, but the best kind of dinosaur
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The Demon is a dinosaur, but the best kind of dinosaur
Dodge has been hyping the Demon for months now
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Dodge has been hyping the Demon for months now
The Demon looks very similar to the standard Challenger from up here 
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The Demon looks very similar to the standard Challenger from up here 
Dodge will be selling 3,300 Demons 
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Dodge will be selling 3,300 Demons 
The Demon can be fitted with unique drag front tires 
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The Demon can be fitted with unique drag front tires 
The Demon comes with a crate of performance parts 
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The Demon comes with a crate of performance parts 
The Dodge Demon is one of the most hyped cars of 2017
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The Dodge Demon is one of the most hyped cars of 2017
Dodge is unleashing the Demon 
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Dodge is unleashing the Demon 
The new Dodge Demon
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The new Dodge Demon
The new Dodge Demon
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The new Dodge Demon
The new Dodge Demon
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The new Dodge Demon
The new Dodge Demon
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The new Dodge Demon
The beating heart of the Demon, on show in New York
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The beating heart of the Demon, on show in New York
Dodge is keen to show the Demon in full-attack mode 
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Dodge is keen to show the Demon in full-attack mode 
The Demon on show in New York
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The Demon on show in New York
The sticky drag tires attached to the Demon are unique in production cars
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The sticky drag tires attached to the Demon are unique in production cars
The Demon is most at home on the drag strip
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The Demon is most at home on the drag strip
The Demon was launched after an unbearably long teaser period
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The Demon was launched after an unbearably long teaser period
The Demon will lay long, black lines down the road should the driver so desire
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The Demon will lay long, black lines down the road should the driver so desire
The Demon is being used as a halo car for Dodge
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The Demon is being used as a halo car for Dodge
The Demon joins the Hellcat in the Dodge family
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The Demon joins the Hellcat in the Dodge family
Looking into the eye of the Demon
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Looking into the eye of the Demon
The Demon's air grabber hood still looks good in black 
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The Demon's air grabber hood still looks good in black 
Dodge has stolen the show in New York 
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Dodge has stolen the show in New York 
View gallery - 88 images

After one of the longest teases in history, Dodge has unchained the Demon in New York. As predicted, it's one of the wildest production cars ever created, with 840 hp (626 kW) being put to a set of drag radials. It'll match the Tesla Model S P100D off the line, and makes the Hellcat look leisurely over the quarter-mile thanks to a focus previously unseen in muscle cars. Meet the new king of all-American performance.

There are so many crazy details on the Demon it's hard to focus on just one, but lets start with the thing that defines any good muscle car: what's under the hood. The engine is a supercharged HEMI V8 making 840 hp (626 kW) of power on race fuel and 808 hp (603 kW) on regular pump gas. Peak torque is pegged at 770 lb.ft (1,044 Nm) in race tune, and 717 lb.ft (972 Nm) on the stuff you'll find at the local BP.

This power, coupled with a glut of chassis changes we'll talk about shortly, makes for some serious figures on the drag strip. From standstill, the Demon will hit 30 mph (48 km/h) in 1 second, 60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.3 seconds and cover the quarter mile in a staggering 9.65 seconds at 140 mph (225 km/h). For anyone playing along at home, that means the old-fashioned Dodge will keep pace with Elon Musk's maddest Model S off the line, before blowing it into the weeds in a vicious blaze of supercharged fury as the electric motors run out of puff.

The Demon is fully street legal
The Demon is fully street legal

Of course, getting this kind of out of the blocks performance out of something with an internal combustion engine is much, much trickier than it is when you're working with batteries and motors. Dodge has rifled through the trick bag to unlock this degree of performance from the Challenger, and created the most focused production muscle car we've ever seen in the process.

The engine is based on the already-bonkers donk from the Hellcat, but engineers have fitted a bigger supercharger (2.7 vs 2.4 liters) and cranked the boost up to 14.5 psi. The redline has jumped from 6,200 to 6,500 rpm as well, and there are now two dual-stage fuel pumps in place of the single unit in the Hellcat. Suffice to say, fuel efficiency wasn't front of mind during the development process.

Keeping such a highly-strung engine cool is no mean feat, especially in a brutal drag-strip environment, forcing a set of unique solutions from Dodge. Keen-eyed readers will notice the huge hood scoop on the Demon – the largest fitted to any production car – but that alone wasn't enough, so there's also an intake integrated into the driver-side headlamp that's said to deliver a 30°F (16°C) drop in engine temperature.

On top of that, engineers then turned the car's air conditioner into an engine-bay cooler. The PowerChiller diverts air-con refrigerant from the interior to the heat exchangers in the supercharger when the driver selects the most focused drive mode, helping the engine run at full power in almost any weather. Dodge likens it to creating a little pocket of Alaska under the hood, while your rivals are forced to breath soupy Florida air.

The engine in the Demon is based on the unit in the Hellcat
The engine in the Demon is based on the unit in the Hellcat

Getting the most from the HEMI in the Demon will require 100 octane race fuel, but the car can also be run on regular pump gas. If they've managed to secure some race-ready jungle juice, the owner can switch the engine map to its most powerful using a switch on the dashboard, at which point the engine is pumping out the full 840 hp. The car can detect when fuel quality drops and automatically switch to a more conservative tune if the driver forgets what's in the tank, thanks to a set of sophisticated knock sensors.

Power is put to the road through a reworked take on the eight-speed automatic from the Hellcat. Engineers have improved the transmission's torque multiplication, and stall speed has been raised by a useful 11 percent, but these changes pale in comparison to the TransBrake function. Dodge says the Demon will be the first production car to be fitted with this feature, which will lock the transmission output shaft as the driver builds the revs to 2,350 RPM on the start line. Usually, building the revs up like this would overpower the brakes, but the TransBrake system allows you to keep them in the optimum range without actually sending any power to the wheels. Only when the driver is ready to go will the output shaft engage, sending the car on its way.

Working with the Torque Reserve system, which closes the supercharger bypass valve and modifies the spark advance to maintain peak boost while sitting on the start line, the TransBrake ensures the car is making more than 8 psi of boost at launch and pre-loads the driveline, removing any possible slack when the light turns green. This all sounds complex, and there's no doubt the Demon is smarter than the average muscle car, but you wouldn't necessarily know from behind the wheel. Drivers just press the right buttons, floor the throttle and hold on tight as 840 frantic horsepower are deployed. Sounds like fun to us.

The new Dodge Demon
The new Dodge Demon

As you may have gathered, harnessing this fury is a task too tall for regular road tires, so Dodge has teamed up with Nitto on a set of road-legal radials. The car comes standard with NT05R rubber measuring 315/40 at all four corners, although devout dragsters can swap the fronts for skinny drag-strip appropriate units if they desire.

The sticky rubber is attached to lightweight 18-inch wheels, hooked up to a Bilstein Adaptive Damping setup designed specifically for drag racing. Softer springs and lighter, hollow sway bars improve weight transfer, forcing the car's considerable mass onto the rear wheels at launch for maximum grip. They also make the Demon capable of popping a decent wheelie, with the front wheels capable of leaping up to 0.89 meters (2.92 feet) off the ground.

We have no doubt a strict diet and exercise regime also helps in this regard. Removing the passenger seat saves 58 pounds (26 kg) alone, while dropping the audio system cuts another 24 pounds (13 kg). All up, the Demon is a whopping 232 pounds (105 kg) lighter than the Hellcat, although it isn't exactly super-light: even with the diet program, curb weight is still 4,280 pounds (1,941 kg).

The Demon playing peek-a-boo through its own smoke 
The Demon playing peek-a-boo through its own smoke 

From the outside there's no missing the changes Dodge has made to the Demon. It's wider than the Hellcat, and the giant hood scoop is also a giveaway. Add the chunky drag tires to the mix, and you've got a seriously purposeful machine, albeit one that doesn't deviate too far from the basic Challenger formula.

The changes are even more pronounced inside, where there's only one seat. A four-point harness is optional, locking the driver in place as they stare at the new 200 mph speedometer. The driver also has a huge array of performance stats to drink in through the central touchscreen, and a few new buttons on the center console. Things might be lonely inside, but at least you'll be able to run away from your abandonment issues at record pace.

There's no doubt the Demon is, well, a dinosaur in 2017. Internal combustion is being fast overtaken as the weapon of choice for crazy straight-line figures, as Tesla and Rimac work to perfect their software. I have no doubt devotees to the Church of Elon will flood the comments mentioning this fact. But to write off the Demon because it takes an old-fashioned approach to performance would completely miss the point of crazy machines like this. Dodge has gone to extraordinary lengths to create a performance monster, and we have to applaud its efforts. Petrol power will die eventually, but cars like this prove it won't be going quietly into the night.

Just 3,300 examples of the Demon will be built. Each owner will get a crate full of tools with their car, and a day at Bondurant Driving School is also included in the unspecified list price. The car was released ahead of the New York Auto Show, where it will be on display for the next two weeks. If you can't make it to the Big Apple, check out the Demon in the video below.

Source: Fiat Chrysler

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Running Footage

View gallery - 88 images
23 comments
blanky2
Epic...not really a fan of American muscle cars as all the muscle tends to be spoilt by a cheap finish. But Id love a go in this baby..dread to think what it will retail at
YogSototh
what about corners?
RaymondC.Porter
My Dad in 1976 had a Dodge demon
Daishi
If they would have an included an optional easy-out passenger seat they would have needed passenger safety equipment too. It does mean it has less seating capacity than a motorcycle though. This makes me wonder if there is a market for a factory sport bike with an extended swingarm because they could advertise it for sub 10 second 1/4 mile times out the door and it wouldn't be nearly this expensive. You could get a bike into mid 9s for probably $10k. A lot of people would probably hate on a bike with a factory extended swing arm through.
Bob
That's 190 hp more than a Corvette but about 1000 pounds heavier. Pounds per horsepower and its pretty close. But a stock Corvette would not be set up exclusively as a drag car like the Demon. I doubt that the Demon will be king of the drag strip for long. Should be fun to watch like the old days.
jriii
At least the Koch Brothers will love it...
EdwardDominiak
Don't worry about "electrics" or bazillion HP 4-bangers...nothing sounds like a V8! (Except maybe a WRX...they sound pretty cool with coffee can exhaust!
Bruce H. Anderson
I think I would go for the Hellcat, mostly because of the extra seating. That way I can scare the crap out of somebody besides myself. Kudos to Dodge, though. Totally badass.
CzechsterMarek
NHRA said this production care is too fast and claim to ban it. How is that for supporting big money conglomerates like GM and Ford. Bunch of whining babies. Put up and take it like a man you pussified wimps.
Milton
Very Awesome! BUT... A production car with a single seat, pizza-cutter tires, and running 100+ Octane racing fuel doesn't really sound like a production car.
I'd like to see the numbers as a more realistic car: All the seats, normally sized tires, and pump-fuel. Then maybe they can stake claim to the quickest production car.