In fact, the new tech has just won a prestigious award from Popular Science.
It’d be typical to assume that any award given to the 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon would be for outright speed because, damn, this thing is fast. Like 0-60 mph in 2.1 seconds fast. But the beastly muscle car/drag strip dominator is also packed with new bits of technology, one of which has just received Popular Science magazine’s annual Best of What’s New awards for technology. It’s called the SRT Power Chiller, and it’s very appropriately named.
Basically, it uses the Demon’s air conditioning refrigerant to help cool compressed air entering the 840-hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8. Here’s a system breakdown: the Hemi V8 utilizes a dedicated liquid circuit that’s separate from the engine cooling circuit in order to cool air after it leaves the supercharger. The SRT Power Chiller, only enabled in Drag Mode, then diverts air conditioning refrigerant from the cabin to the chiller unit. This supercharger charge air coolant then passes through a low-temperature radiator up front, which then flows through the SRT Power Chiller unit, where it’s further cooled by the refrigerant.
The chilled liquid then flows through heat exchanger units in the supercharger housing, cooling compressed air as it enters the intake ports. Remember, cooler air is denser than warm air, and with more oxygen entering the engine, it adds more fuel that produces more power. Sounds kind of complicated, huh? Popular Science understands it just fine. "The Best of What’s New awards honor the innovations that shape the future," said Joe Brown, Editor in Chief, Popular Science. "From life-saving technology to incredible space engineering to gadgets that are just breathtakingly cool, this is the best of what’s new."