Watch a Dodge Demon Bring Shame to the McLaren 720S, Porsche 911, and Ferrari 488
The extra weight means nothing when 808 horsepower are under your right footby Michael Fira, on LISTEN 06:58
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was designed for one thing and one thing only: scare the living bejeezus out of just about any production car that shows up at a dragstrip. With 808 horsepower on 94 octane gas and up to 840 horsepower, if you feed it with 100 octane gas, the Demon blitzes through the quarter-mile the quarter-mile in about 9.6 seconds at over 140 mph, dwarfing the already menacing Challenger SRT Hellcat in the process. It’s also one of the fastest non-electric production cars reaching 60 mph from naught in just 2.3 seconds which is why anything from a Ferrari 458 Italia to a McLaren 720S turns into ground beef when pitted against the 4,255-pound wide-bodied behemoth.
It Was A Real Demon-lition Derby Out There!
Dodge went all out when creating the Demon, cramming inside the muscular Challenger body all of its tricks to make it go fast on the drag strip. The 3,300 Demons made are all equipped with a 6.2-liter HEMI V-8 engine featuring a 2.7-liter supercharger, which cranks out 840 horsepower (revving all the way to 6,500 rpm) and 770 pound-feet of torque when running on 100 octane gas. With so much power, the most insane Challenger in the world was, for a while, the fastest accelerating ICE-powered production car in the world and, also, the first to be able to perform a wheelie. It was also the first to come with a set of drag radial road tires, the bespoke Nitto NT05R.
With the red key in, the Challenger SRT Demon is ready to unleash its full might: 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds, 0–100 mph in 5.1 seconds, 1.8Gs of longitudinal G-force at launch, and the ability to do 9.54-second quarter-mile runs.
All that is possible thanks to some special features from the world of professional drag racing. For instance, the SRT Demon comes with a trans-brake that engages both reverse and the first forward gear in order to hold the car in place. The torque converter then builds up hydraulic pressure while the ’Power Chiller’ system is there to employ the air conditioning to pre-cool the intercooler before the start of a run. While the car tips the scales at 4,255 pounds, it’s still some 215 pounds lighter than an SRT Hellcat.
Having said that, parked next to a lithe McLaren or Lamborghini, it looks huge and it is a bit like a bodybuilder next to a gymnast. The Demon’s prowess on the drag strip was confirmed time and again, smashing the dreams and hopes of many supercar owners whose egos were surely tarnished when their +$250,000 ’gymnasts’ were left in a cloud of dust by the $85,000 Demon. First up on the chopping board is a 2017 Porsche 911 991 Turbo S. While a bit cheaper than a Ferrari or a McLaren, the Turbo S still cost some $190,700 and with 580 horsepower, 553 pound-feet of twist, and a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission that sends the oomph to all four wheels, it’s no slouch. Porsche says that with the optional Sport Chrono package installed, the 991 Turbo S goes from naught to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds en route to a top speed of 205 mph. That’s half a second slower to 60 mph and you can see it in the gap the Demon pulls to the Porsche. You can also see the effect the 12-inch rear tires have at launch (although some Demons in the video run Hoosier or Mickey Thompson tires), as well as the trans-brake system.
The following victims come straight from the House of Maranello, a 458 Italia and its replacement, the even sleeker 488 GTB.
The former packs a naturally aspirated 4.5-liter V-8 mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends 562 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 398 torques at 6,000 rpm straight to the rear axle. With almost 300 horsepower less than the Demon, the 458 gets hanged out to dry despite being 805 pounds lighter than the Dodge. The 488 GTB in stock form is a definite step forward as the move away from a naturally aspirated V-8 to a turbocharged one sees power go up by almost 100 horsepower to 661 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 561 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. Even that isn’t enough to stop the Italian Prancing Horse from being mothballed by one of America’s finest muscle cars (although a better launch would’ve helped the 488).
Up next, the pack of Demons set their sights on Lamborghini’s cheapest offering, the $203,674 Huracan. While we’ve been drooling all over the Performante and the Evo recently, the standard model is also impressive in its own right. The mid-mounted 5.2-liter V-10 churns out 602 hp and 413 pound-feet of torque - enough to make an impression on most of us but not on a Demon owner. In fact, the Dodge is so fast that it managed to beat a Huracan by half a car length despite apparently running out of gas towards the end of a run.
McLaren of Woking, England, isn’t spared either as both the 570S and the luscious 720S get beaten by the comparatively overweight but hellishly fast Challenger. The 570S is like a snack to the Demon despite putting out as much power as a Ferrari 458 Italia - 562 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque.
The 720S, however, puts a proper fight and is edged out by the Demon by barely a tenth of a second and, truth be told, we know the 720S can go quicker than the examples shown in the video.
McLaren’s 710-horsepower supercar with one being able to complete a quarter-mile run in sub nine seconds while stock examples fitted with semi-slick Toyo rubber can easily go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds, as fast as a Demon.
Towards its conclusion, the video treats us with one more duel, although, this time, it’s entirely unfair. The Demon takes on Bentley’s Bentayga SUV. While fast among its high-riding brethren, the Bentayga is far, far away from home on a drag strip next to the 840 horsepower daddy of all road-legal Challengers. The result is predictable and the only thing that’s hard for us to count is the number of car lengths separating the Dodge and the Bentley at the end.
|Porsche 911 (991) Turbo S||Ferrari 458 Italia||Ferrari 488 GTB||Lamborghini LP610-4 Huracan||McLaren 570S||McLaren 720S||Bentley Bentayga W12|
|Engine||3.8-liter Twin-turbocharged boxer six-cylinder||4.5-Liter, naturally aspirated V-8||3.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8||5.2-liter, naturally aspirated V-10||3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8||4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8||6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W-12|
|Output||580 hp at 6,750 rpm||562 hp 9,000 rpm||661 hp at 8,000 rpm||602 hp at 8,250 rpm||562 hp at 7,500 rpm||710 hp at 7,000 rpm||600 hp between 5,000-6,000 rpm|
|Torque||516 pound-feet between 2,100 - 4,250 rpm||398 pound-feet at 6,000 rpm||561 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm||413 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm||443 pound-feet of torque between 5,000-6,500 rpm||568 pound-feet of at 5,500 rpm||664 pound-feet of torque between 1,350–4,000 rpm|
|Gearbox||PDK seven-speed dual-clutch sequential transmission||seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with flappy paddles||seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with flappy paddles||seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with flappy paddles||seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic with flappy paddles||seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with flappy paddles||eight-speed automatic|
|Performance 0-60 mph||2.8 seconds (with Sport Chrono Package)||3.4 seconds||2.8 seconds||2.5 seconds||3.0 seconds||2.6 seconds||4.0 seconds|
|Top Speed||205 mph||210 mph||205 mph||204 mph||212 mph||187 mph|
|Weight||3,528 pounds||3,450 pounds||3,241 pounds||3,423 pounds||2,989 pounds||3,167 pounds||5,380 pounds|
Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.
Read our full review on the 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia
Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S