Dodge is bidding a final farewell to its venerable 6.2-litre supercharged V8 with a new variant of the Challenger muscle car so rapid that it has been banned from drag racing in its factory configuration.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 hosts a series of upgrades for the Hemi engine, boosting its outputs to 1025bhp and 945lb ft when running on E85 fuel.
The switch to E85 – which comprises 85% ethanol and 15% unleaded petrol – is alone responsible for a significant proportion of the boost, with outputs dipping to 900bhp and 810lb ft when running on conventional E10.
The supercharger has also been reworked with a larger intake and a smaller 3.02in pulley, giving a 40% increase in boost pressure to 21.3psi (1.47bar). A ‘power chiller’ system also diverts the air-conditioning system to the supercharger, helping it to maintain optimal temperatures.
Such is the might of the Demon 170 that it can cover a quarter-mile drag strip in just 8.91sec, reaching 151.17mph. This makes it the first factory-produced muscle car capable of an 8.0sec quarter-mile, claims Dodge, earning it a ban from National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag races at full speed without a roll cage and a parachute.
The huge output also makes the Demon 170 the world’s fastest production car in the 0-60mph sprint, completing it in just 1.66sec. For reference, the previous title holder, the Aspark Owl, claims 1.7sec; the Rimac Nevera clocks 1.95sec; and the Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 2.4sec (to 62mph).
“To celebrate the end of the Hemi muscle car era, we pulled off all the governors to reach a new level, a new benchmark of factory-crazy production car performance,” said Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis.
However, the engine – mammoth as it is – isn't solely responsible for such pace. New 315mm-wide Mickey Thompson radial tyres and a new Drag suspension mode help to transmit that power to the road.