Over the course of the past few weeks, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has been strategically fed to us with clues and hints that had everyone, including us, guess at what they all mean. From the beginning when the first image was leaked, we had just a few details that we were working with that our source fed to us: about 850 horsepower, not AWD, supercharged 6.2 Hemi, and that the Demon was going to be exciting.
But when videos started dropping, it left many wondering what all the numbers would mean, and the speculation was all over the map, including ours. So lets look at the videos, in order, and explain what the numbers all mean, as revealed by FCA.
Video 1: Cage – The Beast Is Unveiled
In this video, we get to see that the Demon is indeed a Challenger by the reflection on the dark glasses where we see the halo lights. We see a Hellcat type of animal in a cage, a finish line, and a racing gas can filled with green liquid. The Hellcat bites into the can and transforms into the Demon. No numbers were displayed, but with the red finish line we know the car is meant to compete.
Video 2: Reduction – Losing 200 Pounds
In this video we see that Dodge is serious about cutting some weight, and in this video, despite the already existing rumors of Nitto drag radials all around, we can see that AWD is definitely not part of the Demon package. What we do see is the where weight is cut, starting with the wheels, which end up being 18-inch wheels instead of the Hellcat’s 20-inch wheels.
We see the front suspension is lightened, the passenger seat flashes, and parts of the body flash, around the door and roof. The rear seats flash, and a few other components, but still – no numbers. The passenger mirror flashes, but the Demon pics all show a mirror, perhaps it’s not heated or electronic, because who needs that stuff when you’re drag racing? The weight reduction was said to be about 200 pounds.
Video 3: Body – #[email protected] Explanation
The video starts with a spinning rear tire, and ends with a bit of smoke clearing and a few sets of 11s painted on the asphalt. The traditional Demonic flames appear with the Dodge logo and “Domestic. Not Domesticated” and for the first time a set of numbers show up on the license plate.
It reads “#[email protected]” and we will admit we were duped into thinking it was a blower size and boost. But that wasn’t the case, and like us – nobody knew what it meant. The answer coincides with the Guinness Book of World Records certificate of being the only production car that can do a ‘wheelie’, and we find out that 2,576 pounds of weight transfer lifts the front wheels for 35 inches: #[email protected]35.
Video 4: Crate – What’s In The Box
The crate video gave us a look at the crate, but it didn’t tell us exactly what was in it, at least, not everything that was in it. As we watched, again and again, we saw the set of skinnies, the floor jack, the torque wrench, and a few other tools. So we know that the Demon is ready for racing, and given the Challenger’s less than stellar handling, we know this is going to be a drag car. But the biggest clue about the crate didn’t make it into the video, it was in a press release photo from FCA that had the plaque on the crate.
If you’re into the history of Dodge, then you knew that Tom Coddington was one of the original Ramchargers, a group of Chrysler engineers that went drag racing with the less-than-attractive High & Mighty. But two numbers showed up: 757 and 1121, and that started speculation that it was “black key/red key” or that it was the horsepower rating and the quarter mile time.
But neither of those would make any sense. The number 757 was the original target for the Demon’s horsepower, but we all knew that would be lame, and would make the Demon a laughing stock as Hellcat’s can do far better with a pulley and a tune. So it was a starting point. The 1121, however, was very significant and if you check out the date that the NHRA certified the 1/4-mile time for the Demon, it was November 21, 2016: 11/21.
Video 5: Forced Induction – Air Grabber
Here we see the induction system for the first time, and it shows massive amounts of air passing through both inner headlights and the largest hood scoop on any production car. For the old school Mopar crowd, the Air Grabber image brings back old memories from classic musclecars and is a welcome sight.
We don’t get to see any numbers here, but what we do see is the CAI (cold air intake) and the ducting to bring as much air into the supercharger as possible. We also see a passenger seat at the end of the video, which we learn later can be added to the car for just $1, and another buck for the rear seat, should you want passengers.
Video 6: Multiplication – What Was 815?
At first, a slight detection of panic rushed through those following the Demon videos, particularly those who lack mathematics skills. Alas, there were no mathematics in this video, at least not on the surface, but we do get to see some numbers. The numbers we see are the massive P315/40R18 tires that we all found out are at all four corners. Why at all four? Because it gives you two sets of drag radials in case you wear out the first. The crate has your skinnies for the front.
This also brings up the edited tire photo from the wallpaper downloads. What we saw was the “315” replaced with an “815” and that led us to believe that it was a hint at the Demon’s horsepower. We maintained that our source told us “about 850” so 815 seemed close enough to be a hint. Many thought it was the torque (which turns out to be 770, a number not seen anywhere throughout the video series.) All we know is that the torque is enough to wrinkle the walls on the Nitto drag radials quite a bit.
What some are saying is that the demon-tail arrow on the wheel was pointing to a white chalk mark that was later edited out of the image, and when that photo was edited, the ‘8’ showed up, but that’s a little too obvious, unless the person editing had no idea that there isn’t an 815 mm (32-inch) wide tire. However, this doesn’t explain the 815 we see in later screens, and as of this writing the 815 is yet unexplained.
Video 7: Third Law – Deciphering 13.5 = [email protected]
If you went to school you likely heard about Newton’s Third Law. If you paid attention and you weren’t sleeping or passing notes, you know that it says, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” What this means is that if one object exerts force on another object, that second object exerts similar force on the first. This is about the launch, and the Demon pulls about 1.8 G forces at its peak.
What we’re being told is that when the Demon launches, it has traveled 57.5 feet in a half a second, and the speed is 13.5 MPH. If you calculate 1.8Gs, however, that’s roughly 57.9 feet per second squared, so we’ll be the first to admit that this one still has us baffled.
Video 8: Race Hardened Parts – Nothing Cryptic, Just Good Common Sense
In this video, we get a much needed break from the mathematics we’ve just been through. While there are some numbers shown, they are basically numbers that many gearheads can relate to. One of the problems that Dodge has to face when you start playing with horsepower and boost is the strength of the driveline. Case hardened parts means more strength, and the Alloy 383 (a383) heat treated differential is stronger, as are the 41-spline axles. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a harness bar, either, and that all helps the car – and the driver – maintain composure.
Video 9: Performance Pages – That 757 Showing Up Again
Anyone familiar with the Hellcat is familiar with the Performance Pages. This is where you can not only see more details than your gauge cluster, but you can also make some settings to your suspension and performance. In this video, we see that 757 number show up and it leads us to believe it has something to do with horsepower because of that “707” screen shot we got with the Hellcat.
As stated earlier, 757 was the base horsepower rating, or target, for the Demon. So why did they keep showing us this number? To throw us all off, most likely, and it worked on most of us, but we knew it had to be much more than 757 horsepower to be impressive. Likewise, we weren’t impressed with the 10.5 second 1/4 mile time shown, especially since the Hellcat achieved 11.2. We always want more, don’t we?
This is also the video that gave us that blue line that was blocked off with the Demon logo for the Boost Pressure. What some failed to realize was that the blue line for boost was the identical line for both intake temperature and air/fuel ratio.
A quick overlay and you can see that boost is right between the first line (10) and 20. Since we incorrectly guessed at 17 psi, if we had looked closer at our graphic we would have been a little closer to the actual 14.5 psi, which is right where this graph places the blue line. This is also the video where we find out that the Demon has line lock, the first in a production car from Mopar.
Video 10: No Pills – More Math For Us To Figure Out
Right from the start, we’re given more math to figure out and this one had many people baffled, including us. We guessed as best we could, but nothing came to mind and a search through the web returned nothing. So what does 3.9 + 221 = 405 mean? This has to do with the Torque Reserve system in the Demon.
The Torque Reserve allows you to build 3.9 lbs of boost while launching, which provides an additional 221 lb-ft of torque, giving the Demon a total of 405 lb-ft at launch. So it’s not really math, it’s just information that Dodge provided us, even though we really didn’t know what it meant.
Video 10: Lock & Load – Using The Line Lock On Launch
We found out in the Performance Pages video that the Demon has line lock, but what does that mean for launching? It’s not math here, either (thankfully) but still nobody could figure it out because we all expected it to be some extreme calculation. But it’s actually just more information about what the Line Lock will do for your Demon. Using Line Lock will allow an additional 8.3 lbs of boost allowing the torque to increase by 317 lb-ft which provides 534 lb-ft torque at launch.
Video 11: No Ice – Keeping Things Chilled
This video is aptly titled because the Demon doesn’t use ice, like many boosted drag race vehicles, to chill the incoming charge of air. What they do is everything possible to intercool and liquid cool the air, including using the vehicle’s A/C system to chill things up a bit. This cooler air helps you spank the competition, who is undoubtedly blowing a lot of hot air.
Video 12: Fuel – Feeding The Beast A Liquid Diet
Here we get to see that rumored “Race Gas” button for the first time and it’s simply labeled “HO” with the graphic of a gas pump. This screen also had everyone jumping on the bandwagon that the Demon could be the ADR (American Drag Racer), with a PCM change that is part of the crate kit. Is the Demon the ADR? So far we haven’t seen anything, and our source who told us 850 horsepower also told us that the ADR is a separate car, and that it replaces the Drag Pak and will be over 1,000 horsepower. That we can believe, but for this video, we’re left with the driver filling up with the same green liquid that the Hellcat bit into in the first video.
Video 13: Launch – The Demon Revealed
In what has been one of the most anticipated reveals in automotive history, Dodge outdid itself with the reveal of the Demon. Not only did we get to find out some history-making facts about the Demon, we actually got to see a first: the Demon launched, right there on stage, after doing a burnout. When was the last time you saw a reveal like this? It’s also here that we find out a few facts about the car, thanks to CEO Tim Kuniskis, who assures us that Dodge was telling everyone, “You can’t handle the truth.”