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When An 840-Horsepower Dodge Challenger Demon Is A Letdown, Hennessey Is Here To The Rescue

American tuner is going to build a program for the Challenger Demon and we’re already peeing our pants

The massive hype and anticipation surrounding the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon reached a crescendo when the muscle car was officially unveiled at the 2017 New York Auto Show. For all intents and purposes, the Challenger SRT Demon lived up to the hype, that is if you thought its 840-horsepower met expectations. But some people, myself included, actually thought Dodge would’ve swung for the fences with a car that packed 1,000 horsepower. In that regard, the Demon was a bit of a letdown, that is until we heard news that American tuner extraordinaire Hennessey is making things right with a package for the muscle car that will turn the beast into the demonic 1,500-horsepower monster we thought it would be.

See, news of Hennessey’s intentions for the Demon shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who know what the tuner is capable of. This is, after all, the same company that makes a routine of developing massive aftermarket kits for America’s biggest and baddest muscle cars. It’s got kits for different iterations of the Dodge Charger, Ford Mustang, and Chevrolet Camaro, all of which peak at four-digit power outputs. It even has programs for models like the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford F-150, and lest we forget, this is the same company that gave the world the Hennessey Venom GT, considered as the fastest production car in the world as long as you’re not talking to Bugatti.

So what sinister intentions does Hennessey have in store for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon? A quick peek at the company’s website reveals a number of tuning programs for the muscle car that include power increases ranging from 1,000 horsepower to 1,500 horsepower. Other upgrades in store from the clinically insane tuner include new supercharger systems, new headers, parachutes(!), and an NHRA-legal roll cage for good measure.

Should Hennessey accomplish its intended goal for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, it’s going to go a long way in firmly establishing the muscle car as the standard-bearer of its segment. Not that it is already, but c’mon, 1,500 horsepower is 1,500 horsepower.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Source: Hennessey

High-performance Mustangs like the GT350 and GT500 (just to name a few) have always been short lived, but that’s part of their charm and one of the main reasons why they become so valuable. The latest GT350 and GT350R are also scheduled to be made in limited numbers, but the good news is that the nameplate will live on for the 2018 model year.

Unfortunately, there’s some bad news too. If you’re a fan of the latest facelift for the sixth-generation Mustang, you probably won’t be thrilled to find out that the GT350 will carry over without the updates that Ford made to the standard Mustang for the 2018 model year. That means no new headlamps or revised bumpers and no 12-inch digital instrument cluster. Just three extra colors, two of which are shared with the standard Mustang anyway.

The underpinnings remain unchanged too, as well as the 526-horsepower and 429-pound-feet output of the 5.2-liter V-8 engine. However, that’s nothing to sneeze and the GT350 is already a great performer at the race track.

Still, I can’t help but notice that Ford is keeping the current GT350 around for two model years, after which the fate of the nameplate is rather uncertain. Will Ford update it to the new Mustang design toward the end of the sixth-generation or will the GT350 be replaced by a GT500 model based on the facelift? And, if the GT350 is going away for good, shouldn’t enthusiasts get a revised model for the last year on the market?

An upgrade may seem like the logical step in the current market, but things are a bit complicated here. While adding the new headlamps and bumpers to the GT350 might seem pretty easy, it all becomes rather complicated when it comes to aerodynamics. Changing the bumpers of the GT350 would have forced Ford to rethink and reshape the aero kit too, a process that requires research and development, which translates into time and money. More R&D could have resulted in a more expensive vehicle, which isn’t exactly feasible for a nameplate that will be around for only 12 months.

To be honest, I like the GT350 as is, but I bet some of you would rather have a more special iteration for its final year on the market. So, the big question is: are you happy that Ford extended the GT350 life-cycle by one more year or would you rather have a facelifted model a mildly upgraded drivetrain, but at a higher price? Let me know in the comments.

This is Why The Dodge Demon Comes with Two Spare Tires

Donut spares prepped for double blowout after massive burnout

Dodge ain’t kidding about the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon’s ability to shred tires. Just check out those skinny temporary spare tires strapped in the trunk. The car even comes with its own hydraulic jack, for cryin’ out loud! Dodge must expect Demon owners to totally thrash those specialty Nitto cheater slicks to the point of destruction. But seriously, how thoughtful is that? Dodge doesn’t want Demons leaving the drag strip on rollback wreckers. That would kill Dodge’s image faster than United Airlines’ recent Battle Royale. Look even closer, and you’ll see an air compressor. Obviously, that’s to ensure these skinnies are perfectly inflated before heading home. Right?

Well, not exactly.

We’re well past April Fools Day, so we’ll drop the gag. No, these skinny tires aren’t compact spare tires. But you knew that. You’re a TopSpeed reader, making you smarter than the average bear. You know well and good these tires are for cutting weight. Dodge hasn’t announced the exact weight savings, but the pizza cutters certainly weigh much less than the 315/40R18 DOT-approved slicks.

But there’s more positives than just added lightness.

By swapping the 315-series front tires with the skinnies, which are technically called “front runners,” racers instantly gain another pair of slicks for the rear. That should help keep Demons racing while Nitto inevitably rushes to fill a backlog of Demon-branded slicks from ambitious owners. As for the jack, yeah, the Demon comes ready for a trackside tire swap. The air compressor will come in handy for adjusting tire pressures during the pre-check, too, should they be without a better source of compressed air.

And the results that quantify the front runners? These figures are probably ingrained into your subconscious by now, but the Demon hits 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds generating 1.8 G of force while carrying those tires above the ground for 2.92 feet on its way through the quarter-mile in just 9.65 seconds at 140 mph. It’s the quickest and most powerful production car ever.

If you didn’t already know that, check out TopSpeed’s full run-down on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon here.

Play by Play: Watch the Dodge Demon’s Debut in all its Glory

Figures, facts, famous people, and an on-stage drag race!!

The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a secret no more. Surely by this time you’ve read the stats and seen the incredible wheelie this drag-pack special does when launching hard off the line. If not, check out our full review here. We’re here to talk about Dodge’s big reveal – the big party that went down Tuesday night, just hours before the kickoff of the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

It started off at 8:00 p.m. with a tedious countdown. Mopar fans, along with Chevy and Ford folks, watched in anticipation for the Demon. THREE… TWO… ONE… the timer runs out and TV personality Chris Jacobs introduces Dodge’s huge display, along with the crowd of people live streaming the event from around the world. The pleasantries move along when NHRA Top Fuel Dragster Leah Pritchett joins Jacobs to banter about the Demon. Turns out, she’s not just some spokeswoman or pretty face, rather she actually helped test the Demon during its development. How cool is that?

Craig Jackson, namesake of the Barrett-Jackson car auctions, then speculates on how much the first production Challenger Demon might sell for. “It’s hard to say, but based on what the Hellcat did at $825,000, it’ll be a lot.” Jackson isn’t kidding. The Demon might indeed break auction records when it goes under the hammer sometime this fall.

Then things start rolling with a big, yellow Viper. Yeah, it’s not the Demon, but you won’t want to miss the big, smoky, tire-shredding video but out by Dodge and Pennzoil. You won’t even care it’s a marketing stunt.

Continue reading for the full run-down on Dodge’s Demon debut.

Posted on by Pops  

So the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is all official now and everyone is drooling over the spec sheet. I can’t blame you for doing that. The Demon is an incredible machine and pretty much gives both Ford and Chevrolet the finger, but there’s a bit of problem. Once you’re done with the champagne over the juicy 840-horsepower rating and the ridiculous 0-to-60 and quarter-mile times, go check the transmission section. See? There’s no manual. Now why would you build the ultimate road-legal dragster and sell it with an automatic transmission only?


Okay, I get that the eight-speed auto makes the damn thing go faster and inexperienced drivers may do some damage to the drivetrain with a manual, but at least give enthusiasts an option. Let’s face it, many Demon customers will probably buy it so they can finally have that road-legal Drag Pak they’ve been dreaming about. Not giving them the option for a stick and a clutch pedal is like selling burgers without the meat. Sure, they could be really tasty and have the most exclusive ketchup in the world, but they still lack the essential ingredient in a burger: the juicy meat!

The Demon is a throwback to the 1960s, the golden era of factory-made drag cars. That’s when GM, Ford, and Chrysler rolled out NHRA-spec hot rods on a regular basis and output was just as insane. But unlike 50 years ago, Dodge offers a unique vehicle that won’t get a proper competitor from Ford or Chevy anytime soon, which makes it plain silly not to offer a manual option alongside the automatic. Cars like the Demon are meant to be driven fast and hard, with a stick. Just like Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins used to do back in the day.

Now watch the video and tell me you don’t want to abuse a stick shift in a Demon!

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

The quickest and most powerful factory-built muscle car ever!

Introduced in 2008, when Dodge basically revived the nameplate after a 25-year hiatus, the fourth-generation Challenger is the oldest muscle car available in U.S. showrooms and one of the longest running models as of 2017. Using underpinnings that date back to the W211-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2002-2009), the Challenger managed to survive all these years against the more modern Mustang and Camaro, redesigned in 2015 and 2016, respectively. But, even though the Challenger is dated compared to its rivals, it can be had with some of the most powerful drivetrains in its segment, which is why it’s still popular with pony car fans. Having launched the 707-horsepower Hellcat in 2015, Dodge is taking things to a new level with the Challenger SRT Demon.

Described as a vehicle that will shake "the foundation of the entire performance car industry," the Challenger SRT Demon is indeed an unprecedented creation in the market. Not only incredibly powerful, it’s also fully equipped to race at the drag strip and comes with numerous industry-first features. While the Hellcat was often described as ludicrous, the Demon is downright insane and the stats suggest it’s quicker than just about any supercar out there!

Confirmed in January 2017 and teased for more than two months with various videos and press releases, the Challenger SRT Demon finally broke cover at the 2017 New York Auto Show and it’s supposed to hit the streets (and the race tracks) by the end of the year.

“With Demon, our goal was to build a car that would tattoo the Dodge logo into the subconscious of the general market, beyond even our loyal enthusiasts, said Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger cars at FCA North America. “To do so, we had to set records that have never been set before, do more than has ever been done before, go beyond even the legendary Hellcat.”

Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Despair Mortals, Your Time Has Come – Dodge Reveals Challenger Demon

Dodge claims it’s the fastest production car in the world

After months of teasers and more than a few leaks, it’s finally here – the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has arrived. Unveiled with the help of Wiz Khalifa and Vin Diesel during a slick, pyrotechnic-filled production the night before the 2017 New York International Auto Show, Dodge claims the Demon is the fastest production muscle car in the world, framing it as the cure for soulless mobile appliances. More importantly, here are the numbers you’ve been begging for.

Output is rated at 840 horsepower at the rear wheels thanks to a 2.7-liter supercharger making 14.5 psi of boost. Acceleration looks like 2.3 seconds in the 60-mph sprint, while 5.1 seconds is needed to hit 100 mph. Launch it right, and you’ll do wheelies on your way to a 9.65-second quarter mile pass at 140 mph. Curb weight is rated at 4,200 pounds, 200 pounds less than the “regular” Challenger Hellcat.

What’s more, Dodge revealed you’ll be able to spec yours to taste, from stripped-down track tool, to something more suitable for the street. For example, the front seat and rear seat are offered for a dollar a piece, while a stereo system is also on the options list.

Looking for more info? Continue reading for all the good stuff.

Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Exclusive Interview: We talk Camaro ZL1 1LE with Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser!

Oppenheiser clears the air on Carbon Ceramic brakes & why it isn’t the Z/28

The 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE has made plenty of headlines over the last year thanks to spy shots, a wreck on the Nürburgring during development, and a persisting rumor it was the upcoming Z/28. Big aerodynamic surfaces helped fuel that rumor, but alas, Chevy’s top dog Camaro is supercharged – something Al Oppenheiser says isn’t in the Z/28’s bloodline.

Oppenheiser gave us an exclusive interview at the 15th annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach, Florida. It was there the rights for the first production 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE were auctioned. Not surprisingly, Hendricks Motorsports placed the final bid of $250,000, all of which went to the United Way. When that first ZL1 1LE will be produced is still under wraps, but Oppenheiser says it will begin production with the standard 2018 model Camaros sometime within the next quarter.

What’s more, Hendricks will witness the ZL1 1LE come to life at Chevy’s Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Michigan. Hendricks will also be the first to start the car, which will have the VIN of 001, and drive it off the assembly line.

And though much about the ZL1 1LE is under wraps, not everything was hush-hush in our conversation with Oppenheiser. In fact, a few nuggets of unreleased info slipped out, giving us an unprecedented glimpse at the upcoming Camaro track star.

Continue reading for more information.

Leaked! Could The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Really Make Four-Figure Power?

We’re close to learning the truth, but it looks like the cat is already out of the bag…

Dodge is gearing up for a full reveal of the hotly anticipated Challenger SRT Demon this evening, but it looks like one of the biggest question marks just got spoiled a few hours before the big debut. According to a rash of leaks on social media, the Demon will produce upwards of 1,023 horsepower in its most potent drive configuration.

According to a variety of sources, including Instagram account @thedarkestride, the Demon will come with three separate power modes, each offering progressively greater levels of output. Mode 1 will be good for 757 horses, Mode 2 will be good for 815 horses, and the top Mode 3 will make that jaw-dropping 1,023-horse figure already mentioned.

The leaks go on to specify that Mode 3 requires a tank filled with fuel with at least a 100-octane rating, a new Power Control Module (PCM) tuned for the ultra-high-test juice (a $3,000 option), and the appropriate “Drag Mode” setting selected in the cockpit.

Whether or not the leaks are accurate remains to be seen, but either way, the Demon should manage to post numbers above and beyond those of the already insane 707-horsepower Challenger Hellcat.

We’re very excited to see what happens this evening when Dodge SRT spills the beans with the official debut. For now, read on for a little last-minute speculation.

Ready your protective talisman – Dodge is preparing to summon the Demon!

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Set To Debut At 7:30 PM EST!

This evening, just before the full moon rises, the Demon will appear. Bearing the marks of a hellish beast from the underworld, this four-wheeled monster will bestow incredible power upon those capable of controlling it. But be warned – this is not a vehicle for the timid. Think you’re up to the challenge? Then join us tonight as we watch the debut of this pitchfork-wielding drag strip domination machine.

That’s right – after weeks of teasers and cryptic messages, Dodge will finally reveal the highly anticipated Challenger SRT Demon. Despite the odd official hint and a surplus of rumors, there’s still quite a few questions left unanswered – how much horsepower will it make? How quick will it blitz the sprint to 60 mph and quarter mile run? Does it run on high-octane gasoline, or the souls of power-hungry mortals?

Hopefully we’ll uncover all the details tonight when the Demon makes its official debut. We’ll be covering it as it happens, but click this link at 7:30 PM EST if you wish to watch it all unfold for yourself. In the meantime, check out our review here.

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