2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Revealed at 2017 New York Auto Show: NHRA Ban Not Absolute

Apr 13, 2017 07:39 AM EDT | Andrew Davis


The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon's most awaited reveal date has come. And as its seemingly never-ending teaser trailers, the Demon does live up to its name, making the 707-horsepower Hellcat look like a baby. But there is one minor catch in all the excitement.

Following weeks of hint-heavy teasers and images, Dodge finally took the covers off the much-hyped muscle car at the 2017 New York Auto Show. Official numbers are in, and they are more than astounding.

The Demon boasts a 0 to 60 time of 2.3 seconds and its quarter mile is 9.65 seconds topping at 140 mph. The 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 dropped in the Demon's engine bay delivers an impressive 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque.

However, because of its numbers, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has been "banned" by the NHRA from the drag strip. Note that "banned" here is such a strong word.

There is a limit to the amount of power and speeds for racing vehicles. Other than that, safety precautions and specific licenses are also required by the NHRA, especially for vehicles that can run a quarter mile in 9.99 seconds at speeds of more than 135 mph.

Hence, for the Demon to enter the strip, a roll cage is in order, which is not offered by Dodge. In relation to this, Tim Kuniskis, head of Fiat Chrysler's Passenger Car Brands, has said that there are a number of reasons as to why the Demon isn't coming from the factory with a roll cage, or will never.

These reasons include crash-testing costs, development time, and potentially greater legal liability as an OEM. As a manufacturer, we will never offer a roll cage. And any roll cage that goes into a car has to be inspected and certified by the NHRA. That is really the sticking point on the quote 'ban.'"

Point being, the NHRA doesn't require a roll for the 10-second, sub-135 mph run, if you are happy with that, for the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Thus, the "NHRA ban" isn't completely absolute.

Dodge has remarkably outdone itself with the Demon this time, as this beast has more than half of its parts containing production-first and hi-tech features, allowing the muscle car to outperform even the Hellcat. Kuniskis also noted that the Demon pulls its wheels 35 inches in the air upon launch, which has been certified by Guinness Book as the first production car in the world to have accomplished such feat.

But remember the car is just half of the equation.Take into consideration the driver's abilities. If you want to outstrip the strip, then be sure your driving skills are at par with the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon's abilities as well.

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