The Hidden Meaning Of Every Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 Last Call Teaser

Car Culture / 2 Comments

What the heck does a screaming leprechaun have to do with a 1,025-hp, sub-9-second muscle car?

Dodge has revealed its most extreme muscle car to date in the form of the fire-breathing, corn juice-drinking, record-breaking Challenger SRT Demon 170.

If you can't be bothered to click the link I've just included, here are the basics. A 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that takes lessons from but is not the same as the Hellephant C170 engine produces up to 1,024 horsepower and 945 lb-ft of torque on E85 ethanol-blended fuel. On E10, it still manages a regular Demon-decimating 900 hp and 810 lb-ft. And if you're wondering where the name came from, it's a subtle nod to the relation to the Hellephant's codename and the fact that E85 is rated as 170-proof alcohol.

Dodge put a lot of effort into producing this street-legal-but-NHRA-banned monster, and it put a fair amount of sweat into hiding little nuggets of information in plain sight, too, in a series of strange teasers. Let's go ahead and expose them.


Teaser 1 - "Runnin' Hyde"

An obvious play on words on the term "run and hide" and the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this title is tinged with menace, suggesting a fearsome personality lies beneath a relatively calm demeanor. In the first teaser, we see this represented as an average leprechaun who, after juicing up on a golden yellow liquid, transforms into the beast we'll see later.

The 'average' leprechaun sports a unique detail in that his eyes are red, but after being juiced up, they glow golden. This is symbolic of Dodge juicing up the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, with the golden liquid being corn juice (ethanol).

How does this translate to the car? Well, the Hellcat Redeye produces just 797 hp, but the E85-fueled Demon 170 is capable of far more than that. With E10 fuel, its most docile quoted form, the Challenger 170 produces 900 horsepower. That's already rather special. But as soon as the car detects more than 65% ethanol content in the fuel, the full 1,025 supercharged stallions come alive. Furthermore, Drag Mode makes the transmission trade comfort and smoothness for speed. Look, this is not the dual-personality character a Bentley Continental GT may be, it's certainly Mr. Hyde-like in its most unhinged form.

We didn't know it at this point, but the leprechaun is named the Corn Demon, alluding to its obsession with ethanol. His yellow eyes are matched by those of the Demon badge, which now has 170 as a "neck tattoo." Other yellow accents help set the interior apart too. More on the creepy character later.

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Teaser 2 - "Density Matters"

Before we go any further, we should explain that Dodge hasn't quite matched its teaser figures with its official specifications in all respects.

Teaser 2 is titled Density Matters, and it seemingly refers to the boost pressure, as the teaser you see below shows a scale measuring our leprechaun friend before and after transformation. The new and improved mythical creature is recorded with an extra 7.1 pounds, but that's not referring to weight (the Demon 170 is 157 lbs lighter than the Hellcat Redeye Widebody). We suspect it's meant to show an increase in boost pressure, and we think it's slightly off. The original Demon, and the Hellcat Redeye, are claimed at 14.5 psi, while the Demon 170 is quoted at 21.3, which is a little less than 7.1 lbs different (6.8).

Remember how this final Last Call special edition was supposed to be revealed at SEMA 2022 and then couldn't make it? Dodge didn't say much at the time, only alluding to product and supply challenges, but then later admitted it kept blowing up engines in testing and development. Perhaps Dodge set targets that it didn't meet exactly, and perhaps these teasers were finalized long ago. If you have a better theory, let us know in the comments.


Teaser 3 - "Scream @ 215 MPH"

This one's title suggests that a top speed of 215 mph is possible, and we're not ruling it out. Although we're told that the stock, street-legal drag radials that the car ships with will likely top out around 151 mph, proper street tires and wheels (available as an option) would likely be able to go all the way to 215. The aerodynamic properties of a cow are more conducive to high speed than those of a Challenger, so expect to use every one of those 1,025 ponies to dis/prove this theory.

The video shows us a screen that reads "105 @ (3.02 x 2.98) = 1582." Simple math done, the message staring us in our face is "105 @ 8.9996 = 1582." Now if you'd read that reveal article I linked earlier, you'd know that the Demon 170 can do the quarter mile in 8.91 seconds at 151.17 mph. See? Some figures are just a little off.

But the final figure is the important one here, as it refers to the air induction volume of 1,582 cubic feet per minute, up from 1,150 in the old Demon. You can thank the enhanced supercharger for that, accompanied by the Air Grabber hood and Air Catcher headlamps.

Finally, E85 is 105-octane fuel. Basically, this was staring us in the face: With more air induction volume from its new powertrain, the corn-fed Demon 170 can do the quarter-mile in under 9 seconds.


Teaser 4 - "HEMI Vice"

The penultimate teaser shows a jackhammer pounding away with 2,539 psi. This jackhammer has the heart of a HEMI V8, and Dodge has now revealed with the press information that this refers to the pressure within the cylinders of this iron block, up by some 32% over the Hellcat Redeye Widebody.

Again, the figures from the teasers don't perfectly align with those of the quoted final figures, as Dodge officially notes 2,500 psi on E85 fuel. Whichever figure is more accurate, it's no wonder an engine sporting a 105-millimeter throttle body with a 3.0-liter supercharger and a 3.02-inch pulley can suck in over 1,500 cubic feet of air every minute without cracking.

As for the teaser's name, 'vice' refers to an iron grip, representative of the fact that Dodge had to reinforce the clamp load by 38% on the cylinder head with new aerospace-grade high-strength steel studs.


Teaser 5 - "Trip Wire"

Our Corn Demon jumps out of a helicopter over Las Vegas (the scene of the Demon 170's public debut as part of the Dodge Last Call Powered by Roadkill Nights) without a parachute (since he can fly and since the Demon 170's chute is optional). Since he represents a Challenger, he soon encounters wind resistance that slows his progress at 140 mph. He gets tired of this slow pace and plows on at an even greater - but undisclosed - velocity. You may recall the last Demon managed the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph (or so), and as we've discussed earlier on, this new one is considerably quicker. Almost everything on the car has been improved, resulting in a street-legal car that Dodge says will do 0-60 mph in 1.66 seconds, record 2.004 G of accelerative force, and do the quarter-mile in 8.91 at 151.17 mph.

Unsurprisingly, it takes a lot of fuel to satisfy the big V8, with the injectors capable of delivering 164 gallons per hour, more than the average US showerhead. The Corn Demon has an insatiable appetite.

While we're on the subject, Kuniskis says the Corn Demon came from a "weird dream" he had "about evil leprechauns." They "run fast" and are "drinking all the time, and if you catch them, you get a pot of gold."

The car's love for high-octane fuel applies to the drinking habit, and the value of getting hold of a Corn Demon is as good as gold. Dodge is aiming for 3,000 US units and 300 Canadian units but is only likely to manage "an allocation of 2,500-2,700," so the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 will be hard to find and worth a fortune.

Hopefully, Dodge will stick to its promise of prioritizing dealer orders at MSRP...


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