The mystery of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is over, and the answer to the question on everyone's mind is finally here: What is the official fuel economy rating?
No, we all really wanted to know the car's performance, and the statistics are mind-bending: 840 horsepower and 9.65-second quarter-mile, making it the most powerful production V8 and the fastest quarter-mile racer ever sold in showrooms.
We checked out the beast's debut in New York City and chatted with Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge passenger cars in the U.S., to get the skinny.
“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," he said. “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."
The Demon is so extreme, that on its way to 60 mph in a record 2.3 seconds, it actually lifts its front tires off the ground, a first for a production car.
How the hell is the Demon even possible? Dodge poured on every single trick known to boost acceleration performance and then invented a few new ones. The 6.2-liter Hemi V8 is almost entirely new, carrying over only the cylinder heads from the comparatively weak 707-horsepower Hellcat V8.
This includes an enlarged 2.7 liter supercharger, a higher, 6,500 rpm rev limit (compared to 6,200 rpm for the Hellcat), higher 14.5 psi boost pressure from the supercharger (versus 11.6 psi for the Hellcat), dual two-stage fuel pumps to provide the necessary geysers of petroleum required to produce 840 horsepower and ram air intake from a hood scoop and from a headlight socket air intake scoop.
The result is an official, Society of Automotive Engineers-approved number of 840 horsepower, but as extreme as that it is, it doesn't represent the Demon's true performance potential. That's because those air intake scoops make more power the faster the car goes, something that isn't measured on a stationary dynamometer.
The Demon features a new invention, the SRT Power Chiller, which uses the car's air conditioner to cool the air from the supercharger, increasing power, and that feature doesn't apply to the official SAE test number.
Finally, the Demon can be raced on 100 octane racing fuel using an available engine management computer upgrade. Also not employed in the official rating.
But if the official dynamometer rating doesn't recognize these aids, the stopwatch does, which is why the Demon could blast the quarter mile in a stunning sub-10-second time. That's the realm previously exclusive to hard-core drag racing cars and a couple extreme motorcycles.
There are plenty of other goodies we've talked about in previous articles about the car, such as the transmission brake, the Nitto drag racing radial tires, and the box of go-fast parts like the narrow front wheels.
Production starts later this year, with pricing apparently coming closer to the car's actual release to the public.
And the Demon's fuel economy? Who the hell knows, but we'd love to see the horror on the EPA guys' faces when they see how quickly those twin fuel pumps can drain the Demon's tank.