At the New York Auto Show this week, Dodge finally unveiled its much-touted Challenger SRT Demon. What’s an 840-hp road car good for, anyway? Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis provides some explanation.
After months of ballyhoo, Dodge has finally introduced its uber-muscle car, the Challenger SRT Demon, in an over-the-top presentation at the New York Auto Show. But questions remain, especially if you are not a photo ID-carrying member of the muscle car scene. Questions like: What do you do with an 840-hp Challenger, exactly? Where would you ever legally use all the performance? What’s the point? In the video below, Tim Kuniskis, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ head of passenger cars for North America, offers some explanation.
“We’re not trying to be a sports car. We’re not trying to be a pony car,” says Kuniskis. “We’re trying to be a street-strip muscle car, and there’s no one else in that space.” In other words, the Demon doesn’t pretend to be a well-balanced package for road and road course. It’s pretty much built for one thing: turning quick times on a drag strip, and the special features including the transmission brake and the drag radials out back support that narrow mission.
And on a drag strip, the Demon is fast and quick indeed, delivering ETs in the 9.65-second range at 140 mph. It’s by far the quickest passenger car ever offered to the general public, and to be honest, probably beyond the driving capabilities of most of the people who will buy it. Technically, the car is also too quick for the NHRA, drag racing’s top sanctioning body, which insists that cars in this performance bracket must be equipped with a roll cage and other safety equipment or they can’t run.
As a result, Dodge claims the Demon is so fast it was banned by NHRA. That’s a great PR angle, but it isn’t really true—you know, like in a factual sense. In reality, Dodge simply built a car that lacks the required safety equipment for a car of its speed and intended use. But never mind all that. This is not about reason or logic. This is about a passenger car with 840 horsepower and 770 lb-ft of torque straight off the showroom floor. Video follows.