Vin Diesel’s Ride in ‘Fate of the Furious’ is a Badass, Sstreet-legal Drag Racer
It’s finally here. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon — aka Vin Diesel’s hot ride in the new “Fate of the Furious” movie — was finally revealed this week at the New York International Auto Show. For months fans have been glued to a series of teaser videos revealing clues as to just how powerful the beast would be, including a minute-long TV spot for “Fate of the Furious” which aired during the Super Bowl, racking up a record 42.27 million total views.
Now we know what all the fuss is about.
At its world debut this week, FCA disclosed that it delivers 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque from a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Demon V8. That makes the Demon the most powerful muscle car ever, and the highest-horsepowered V8 production engine ever produced.
The Challenger SRT Demon is also the world’s first production car to lift its front wheels at launch, and it has set the world record for longest wheelie from a standing start by a production car at 2.92 feet, as certified by Guinness World Records. It also registers the highest g-force (1.8g) recorded for a production car.
The Demon was developed by a team that included many experienced and active drag racers who set themselves a goal of covering the quarter-mile as quickly as possible. And they accomplished it. Setting another record, the Demon is now the world’s fastest quarter-mile production car with an elapsed time (ET) of 9.65 seconds at 140 mph as certified by National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) It looks the part, too; Fender flares and a massive Air-Grabber hood scoop look mighty mean. And a total 200 pounds of weight has been stripped out — some of it by removing all the seats except one for the driver. (They can go back in for $1 each.)
Concealed wheel wells house the massively wide 315/40R18 tires, designed and developed exclusively for the Demon. These drag radials give the Demon a 15-percent larger tire contact patch and more than twice the grip of the Challenger SRT Hellcat. They cover lightweight 11×18-inch wheels, each tire measuring 12.6 inches wide. For the track, though, owners have the option to swap the fronts for ‘“drag skinnies” — narrow drag wheels. These can be stored in the optional Demon Crate, a branded metal box also containing a jack, tire-pressure gauge, torque wrench and other essentials.
Pleasing all the senses, the Demon sounds great, too, howling like a banshee as it heads down the track.
The Challenger mines plenty of Mopar heritage (see page A19) with the Demon name and graphics, but this is a 21st-century car, packed with up-to-the-minute tech including a Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen. Along with all the usual infotainment, this also provides Performance Pages to monitor and record your telemetry. The system also provides the nerve center for the driver to select Drive Modes for on-road precision, maximum drag strip performance, or anything in between.
If it’s for the track, a high-tech Drag Mode Launch Assist uses wheel-speed sensors to watch for driveline-damaging wheel hop at launch. In milliseconds it modifies the engine torque to regain full grip and continues accelerating the car down the track.
There’s just one hitch — you won’t be able to turn up at your local “Run What You Brung” since the Challenger SRT Demon is too fast for the drag strip and is officially banned by the National Hot Rod Association, echoing the fate of the Dodge Daytona and Superbird, also banned from racing by NASCAR in 1971.
Production of the limited-edition single-model-year Challenger SRT Demon begins later this summer, with 3,000 vehicles scheduled for US delivery, beginning this fall.
The price hasn’t been released, but is likely to be around $80,000,
which includes a full-day session at the Bob Bondurant School of High