Muscle cars aren't forever for this world, and since the march to electrification has already claimed Dodge's future, the automaker launched a series of 'Last Call' special editions to celebrate the end of the Hemi V8 era. While we've gotten to know the first six of these special editions already, the seventh has taken a little longer to arrive. But it was worth the wait: enter the first ever eight-second factory muscle car: the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170. A car with high-performance EV capabilities from a V8 combustion motor, the Demon 170 makes up to 1,025 horsepower, can smash the 60-mph sprint in 1.66 seconds, and will need a parachute to bring it to a stop on a drag strip. While the '170' in the name represents the 170-proof E85 ethanol it feeds on, it's the 'Demon' part we find most apt.
See trim levels and configurations:
|SRT Demon 170||
6.2L Supercharged V8 Gas
As far as a release date for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 goes, the order books open end of March 2023. A maximum of 3,300 units will be produced, with 3,000 of those destined for the USA, although final numbers will be determined as production progresses.
The price of the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is $96,666, excluding destination fees and gas-guzzler tax. The manufacturer has stated that dealer orders at MSRP will get priority scheduling, which should go some way to abate loaded sticker prices.
Other Last Call models range in price from $60k to just under $100k, with the Black Ghost being the most expensive. This model costs around $3k more than the SRT Demon 170. As far as rivals go, there isn't really anything to compare this to. The Tesla Model S Plaid and Lucid Air Sapphire compare purely in terms of performance specs, with 1,020 hp and 1,200 hp, respectively, which result in a sub-two-second benchmark sprint. But neither of these provides this insane power from a combustion engine: the raw, brute force of the ICE-powered Challenger SRT Demon 170 puts it in a class on its own.
Like every muscle car, the new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 coupe looks the part, although considering the sheer power it has, fans may have wanted to see a much more aggressive exterior. Instead, the two-door coupe looks almost deceptively understated for what it is. It gets the expected Air-Grabber hood scoop and Air Catcher headlights to maximize air intake, and rear widebody fender flares help contain wide, sticky wheels - but up front, things are kept simple to keep weight down, making this the first Dodge with a staggered widebody configuration. The rear spoiler is made of lightweight material.
Such a special car needs special badging, which here takes the form of an updated version of the original Demon badge that sports a '170' neck tattoo and yellow eyes representing the E85 that fuels it. Large 17-inch by 11-inch rear wheels allow for taller, higher-profile tires that have been specially designed for the SRT Demon 170. The Mickey Thompson P315/50R17 ET Street R drag radials provide a larger contact patch to get maximum traction under hard acceleration. Up front, 18-inch by eight-inch front wheels get 245/55R18 ET Street rubber, also specially designed for the drag strip.
The wheels are aluminum as standard, but you can opt for combination aluminum (the center) and carbon fiber (the barrel) items to enhance performance. There will also be regular street performance tires available.
Exterior colors for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 feature some returning heritage hues like B5 Blue, Plum Crazy purple, and Sublime green. Destroyer Grey is available, as are all the other colors from the regular Challenger range. Any of these can be matched with the optional Satin Black hood, roof, and decklid, as seen in the images here. With the darker wheels, it looks particularly menacing.
Core dimensions for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 include a length of 197.5 inches, a width of 85.8 inches with the mirrors included, and a height of 57.4 inches. It's set on a 116.2-inch wheelbase and has a ground clearance of 4.5 inches. With all the weight savings to counter vastly strengthened mechanical upgrades, the Demon 170 tips the scales at 4,280 pounds, although you can shave another 12 lbs off with optional carbon fiber wheels. Weight is distributed 58% front and 42% rear to aid in getting the best launch possible, although wheelies are guaranteed with the combination of power and grip on hand.
The engine of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is what this car is all about, and while the exterior certainly doesn't shout about it, the monstrous 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 will. The primary engine components have been entirely upgraded for strength and capability to handle over 1,000 hp. We can understand why it's taken a while to perfect; early tests resulted in engines blowing up, thanks to the magnitude of forces at play, but the end result is a power plant that can handle a total output of 1,025 hp at 6,500 rpm and 945 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm.
There's a caveat, though - to get this kind of power, you'll need to use an E85 ethanol blend to fuel it. The SRT Demon 170 comes with sensors that display the percentage of ethanol detected in the fuel on the in-dash screen, and outputs vary depending on what you're adding to the tank. E85 sees the full scope, while Premium 91 octane nets you 900 hp and 810 lb-ft. Even the latter is nothing to sniff at.
With the highest-yield blend, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 will do 0-60 mph in 1.66 seconds, delivering G-forces of 2.004 gs and making it the quickest vehicle the automaker has ever created. It's also the first factory production car to manage the quarter-mile run in under nine seconds - verified by the NHRA at 8.91 seconds. This certification comes with a violation letter from the association for the truly demonic sprint without a safety cage or parachute - subsequently, an optional parachute is made available for buyers who purposefully want to make a scene, but a roll cage would make the Demon 170 no longer road legal. In this case, the 14.2-inch front and 13.8-inch rear brake rotors won't be sufficient to bring the car to a stop.
A TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission helps to lay down all this power to the rear wheels, and with various drive modes - including an updated Drag mode - and the ability to change settings for traction, shift torque, and vehicle launches, the SRT Demon 170 isn't going to be the car you stay under the radar with. This is purely for those who want to tear up the drag strip or cause a scene on the way to the store. The top speed is limited by tire ratings, so expect it to top out at around 151 mph with the standard rubber, but an optional street tire package is expected to raise the top speed to 215 mph. This may be worth considering as buyers will have to sign an indemnity acknowledging the standard tires' limitations in cold and wet weather - they're street legal, but only just.
There's no chance that the mpg figures for the Challenger SRT Demon 170 will be anything other than horrendous, and we're quite okay with that. We were told it would drain the tank as rapidly as water in a shower disappears, so the fuel economy figures of 13/21/15 mpg must be when you, reluctantly, drive the Demon 170 with restraint.
It does run on ethanol, however, and the automaker makes a big deal of it being the world's first eco-friendly, sustainable muscle car. It ostensibly produces 45% less CO2 than regular gas, but make no mistake, this isn't about being environmentally friendly.
When it comes to the interior of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, buyers shouldn't expect to find comforts and conveniences - in fact, it comes standard with seating for just one, stripping out passenger seating to keep weight as low as possible. Available configurations include one additional seat up front or seating for a total of five with a rear-seat bench added. Furthermore, weight is saved by not adding a bunch of unnecessary equipment, and even the audio system is kept basic with just two speakers.
A serialized instrument panel badge is standard, displaying the four-digit VIN, and a new model-specific gauge cluster in red echoes the main display's red design. The Alcantara performance steering wheel is fitted with an LED 'SRT' logo, and there are carbon fiber bezels around the cabin. Four interior color schemes exist for the Challenger SRT Demon 170, but lightweight houndstooth cloth on the driver's seat is standard. You can also get premium Black Nappa leather and Alcantara or Demonic Red Laguna leather.
However, buyers don't have to settle for the barebones track-focused feel, and optional extras include heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and an 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
As for cargo space, that depends entirely on how you configure your Demon 170. Stripped out and bare for track use, there's ample space for all your track gear, tools, and some extra wheels. The automaker quotes the official cargo space of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 as 16.2 cubic feet above the spare tire wall, however.
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