Unthinkable Opportunity: Challenger SRT Demon with All-Wheel Drive
Purists might riot, but will Dodge do the unthinkable?by Robert Moore, on
Dodge shocked the world when it announced the Hellcat versions of the Challenger and Charger. So much so, in fact, that you had a better chance of catching a unicorn than getting your hands on one when the order books opened. Dodge shocked the world again for the 2017 model year (and pissed of muscle car purists everywhere) when it announced the all-wheel-drive Challenger GT. After all, muscle cars are supposed to be tail-sliding, rear-wheel-drive monsters perfect for hitting the quarter mile or showing off as you leave car shows. But, once the GT became more accepted, a lot of folks realized there was one big problem – the GT only comes with that little 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 under the hood. Some would argue that the V-6 alone voids its muscle car status, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time. The point is, there are some of us that were hoping for an AWD Hellcat version at some point, but it has yet to happen. And, now that word has spread about the Challenger SRT Demon, we’re wondering: Will Dodge will hit us with a double-whammy and offer it with all-wheel drive?
Before you set out to burn me at the stake or commit me to a mental institute for even mentioning the possibility, at least take the time to hear me out. We have no idea what kind of power that the SRT Demon will bring to the table, but we’re expecting a modified version of the Hellcat engine that could push as much as 800 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. This kind of power could be accomplished by shedding some weight, making modifications to the fuel system, upgrading the supercharger, and providing a more aggressive ECU tune, among other things. For what it’s worth Hennessey was able to get 852 horsepower out of the hellcat engine (HPE850 upgrade) by adding a high-flow air filter, new ECU, updated tuning, and a lighter crank pulley. Hennessey was even able to pull off 1,032 horsepower (HPE1000 upgrade) by adding in a pair of turbochargers and a few other minor enhancements on top of the aforementioned goodies, so it’s possible that Dodge could really up the ante, but I wouldn’t hold my breath hoping for that much power.
Either way, adding in an all-wheel drive system might be blasphemy to some, but could turn the most powerful factory version of the Challenger ever conceived into one hell of a track monster – and I’m not talking about on the drag strip either. Imagine the Challenger Demon beating some of the greats around a famous track such as the Nurburgring, a place where Dodge is practically non-existent from the list of Top 100 track times with the exception of the Viper ACR (No. 17) and the Viper SRT-10 ACR (No. 9.) Not that an AWD version would be accepted by purists, but why not leave the option available for those of us who fancy bending corners at high speed as opposed to ripping down the dragstrip and warp 3?
It’s a Well-Kept Secret
Dodge has managed to keep its latest project under wraps for a while now, with nothing more than a few leaked photos surfacing on Instagram just a few days ago. With those out in the open, it’s been noted that the Challengers shown in a video on Vin Diesel’s Facebook page look similar, so that could have been a sneak peek as well. Finally, Dodge has released a teaser video that lets us hear the engine and gives us a quick look while revealing very little aside from a few highlighted chassis pieces and a gauge that hints toward a reduction in overall weight. And, for those of you who want to throw me on the guillotine, that teaser video hints toward a rear-wheel configuration anyway, so an AWD version probably won’t happen. But, I would be happy if it did.
What do you think, though? Does the most powerful version of the Challenger deserve an AWD system or should I be punished for even thinking of the possibility? Let us know what you think about it and what kind of specs you think the Demon will have in the comments section below.