It takes just a little more than two seconds for the $85,000 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon to reach 60 miles per hour. That makes it the fastest production car on the planet when it comes to pure, straight-line drag-race-style acceleration. The Demon needs excessive amounts of raw power to pull off speedy feats, like clock a quarter-mile in just 9.65 seconds, or hit a top speed of 168. Here’s how this chunky mass of American muscle manages to rival the kind of vehicle that travels with a pit crew.
In drag mode, a transmission-locking system allows the driver to rev the Demon’s supercharged V-8 up to 2,350 rpm without the car creeping forward, making for greater torque at go time.
The car generates enough torque to pop a wheelie when it launches, lifting its front tires up to a record 2.9 feet off the ground and subjecting the driver to as much as 1.8 G’s of force. Buckle up, please.
Racing fuel packs more power, allowing the Demon to unleash more horses and drive faster. Going high-octane requires a powertrain-control module, part of a package called the Demon Crate.
To maximize grip, the Demon’s Nitto racing tires are made from a soft, road-grabbing rubber designed specifically for the car. Each one is more than a foot wide, which is inches fatter than a standard tire.
This article was originally published in the September/October 2017 Mysteries of Time and Space issue of Popular Science.