Say your prayers, Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

When a tuning company like Hennessey that’s at the top of its game, there aren’t a lot of places to go to when wanting to make an even bigger impression on the industry. But the American tuner seems to have done just that with its latest humdinger of a project. Is it a coincidence that this new turnkey masterpiece to come out of the tuner’s garage is called “The Exorcist?” I don’t think so since the Exorcist is all the things its name says it is. It’s all sorts of heavenly horsepower goodness, or as Hennessey claims, 1,000-horsepower’s worth.

This is the latest madness that Hennessey has come up with. It’s based on the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, a potent iteration of the Camaro line that already packs 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque on its own. None of those numbers matter though when you line it up against the Challenger SRT Demon and its 840-horsepower and 770-pound-feet of torque abilities. But that’s where Hennessey comes in, bringing all sorts of aftermarket equipment to give the Challenger SRT Demon something to really get nervous about. Ultimately, this is what the people who gave us the Venom GT came up with, and if you think The Exorcist is all bark and no bite, well, prepare to be proven wrong.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 “The Exorcist” by Hennessey.

Exterior

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey
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Before we dive into the deep end of Hennessey’s Exorcist engine upgrade program, it’s important to at least temper expectations, at least as far as exterior upgrades are concerned. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because the tuner’s forte focuses on these massive engine upgrades. That’s not to say that the tuner completely ignored this section since it does offer unique exterior badging bearing the Exorcist name and a new set of 20-inch rear drag radial performance tires.

Other tuners do have some options

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Supercharged 630 by Geiger Cars High Resolution Exterior
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In the absence of any meaningful exterior upgrades, other tuners like Geiger Cars provide aerodynamic body kits for the muscle car. The German tuner’s work includes a more menacing front section made up of a large front splitter, air scoops on the hood, side skirts, a rear spoiler and a rear valance with a diffuser.

How does The Exorcist compare to The Demon?

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey
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2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon High Resolution Exterior
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2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon High Resolution Exterior
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note: side-by-side photos of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

For the record, both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger couldn’t look more different from each other. Each has their own stylistic features that make them unique and while the Exorcist does make use of the Camaro ZL1’s more aggressive aerodynamic package, the SRT Demon largely retains its Challenger looks.

The Camaro’s front section, in particular, gets a much larger intake, larger cooling ducts, a new grille pattern, wider fenders, and vertical LED daytime running lights. It also receives a vented hood with carbon fiber inserts and that’s just on the front end of the car. At the back, the ZL1 features a larger rear spoiler sitting on top of the trunk lid. The car also gets a revised diffuser on top of the larger outlets of the quad exhausts. By contrast, the SRT Demon’s unique exterior stylings are modest by muscle car standards. It does get larger wheel arches, a revised splitter, and a significantly bigger hood scoop compared to that found in the Challenger SRT Hellcat.

From a purely aesthetic point of view, the Camaro ZL1 and the Challenger SRT Demon provide two different styling options for customers. Those looking for a more modern-looking muscle car with muscles bulging out of it, the ZL1 is the way to go. Those looking for a more classic muscle car appearance with some serious nostalgia attached to it, the Challenger SRT Demon is the choice.

Interior

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey
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The Exorcist’s interior may not look as demonic – no pun intended – as some people might expect, but those who know Hennessey understand that the notable absence of any significant upgrades to the cabin comes with the territory when we’re talking about the American tuner. In fact, those who are looking for anything of note here in the aftermarket sense better look away because as it stands, Hennessey’s only offering premium floor mats as part of the base Exorcist package. More premium upgrades are a possibility though, provided that the tuner offers them for the Camaro ZL1.

Not surprisingly, the lack of attention paid to the interior of the Camaro ZL1 is a common theme among aftermarket tuners with programs for the high-performance muscle car. Even a tuner like Geiger Cars provided little in the way of upgrades other than dressing it up in a special leather interior and adding a sliding sunroof. Beyond those few bits, the muscle car’s cabin remains largely unchanged, as is the case with Hennessey.

How does the Exorcist’s interior compare to the Challenger SRT Demon?

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 High Resolution Interior
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2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon High Resolution Interior
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 High Resolution Interior
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2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon High Resolution Interior
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note: side-by-side photos of the interiors of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Once more, this isn’t so much about what interior upgrades Hennessey offered to the Exorcist as it is comparing what Chevrolet and Dodge did to the interior of their respective muscle cars. In the case of the Camaro ZL1, the interior largely resembles other Camaro variants, most notably the Camaro SS. The Recaro sports seats in the front come standard, as do the flat-bottom steering wheel and the suede-wrapped shift knob. The car also receives contrast stitching, aluminum inserts, and a bespoke display for the infotainment system. Most important among the Camaro ZL1’s interior is the feeling of space and luxury that it exudes.

Chevy dressed up the Camaro ZL1 well, but Dodge did just as well, if not better, on the Challenger SRT Demon. While it’s still largely based on the interior of the Challenger SRT Hellcat, the Demon’s interior gives potential customers more of a say on how it’s going to look. For instance, Dodge is only offering the Demon with a driver’s seat and nothing else in the way of other seats. There’s no front passenger seat and no rear seats, but if customers want to avail them, they can be added for $1 apiece. It’s a gimmicky offer, but the ability to choose how many seats a customer wants on his Challenger SRT Demon is a unique feature of the whole car’s buying experience. Apart from this feature, the Challenger SRT Demon can also be dressed up in premium materials, including Laguna leather and Alcantara suede.

Drivetrain

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey
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We’ve already mentioned the Exorcist can produce 1,000 horsepower at 6,400 rpm. What we haven’t mentioned yet are the series of upgrades that Hennessey gave to the Camaro ZL1’s supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine that unleashed that much extra power.

One of the most important features of Hennessey’s program is the addition of a high-flow supercharger system that helps increase the amount of air pressure that goes into the engine. As you know, more oxygen on the intake cycles of the engine lets it burn more fuel and do more work, thus accounting for the increase in power the engine itself generates. To get to the level it needs to go, Hennessey complemented that upgrade by installing an updated intercooler that helps produce 14-psi of boost. Upgraded valve springs and retainers, intake valves and exhaust valves, and lifters and pushrods all help bring about a more nuanced transition to the increased power generated by the V-8 engine. All told, the Exorcist is capable of producing 1,000 horsepower under that hood. Dyno tests reveal that of that 1,000 ponies, 959 horsepower make their way to the wheels, representing an increase of over 300 horses compared to the stock Camaro ZL1. More importantly, that number is over 100 horsepower more than the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, the same car that itself can produce 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque when running 100-octaine fuel.

Hennessey made no mention of the increased torque numbers, but it did say that with the engine upgrade in tow, the Exorcist would be capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds before breaking a quarter-mile in just under 10 ticks. In other words, the Exorcist is as quick as they come.

Check out the table below to see who Hennessey’s new mad scientist creation stacks up adjacent the car it’s supposedly exorcizing.

Model Horsepower Torque 0 to 60 MPH Time Quarter-Mile Time
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 “The Exorcist” 1,000 horsepower n/a under three seconds* under 10 seconds*
Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 840 horsepower 700 pound-feet 2.3 seconds 9.65 seconds at 140 mph

note: *estimate

How does the Exorcist compare to other Chevrolet Camaro tuning programs built by Hennessey?

For this comparison, we have to veer away from the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon for a second and look at Hennessey itself for its other engine upgrade programs for the current-generation Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. These programs are understandably on the softer side comapred to the Exorcist, but they should provide some customers with alternative options in the event that they’re not willing to gamble their sanities on a car that pumps out 1,000 horsepower.

The first of these two “weaker” upgrades is the HPE750 program. The engine upgrade program consists of a new high-flow air induction system, long-tube stainless steel headers, high-flow catalytic converters, and some engine software updates. The end result is a car that can produce as much as 750 horsepower and 695 pound-feet of torque. The second of these two upgrades is the HPE800 program. As the name implies, this kit is capable of giving the Camaro ZL1 800 horsepower and 706 pound-feet of torque to play with. That’s largely due to the addition of new cylinder heads, valve springs, intakes, and exhaust valves on top of most of the upgrades provided by the HPE750 kit. The muscle car’s new output allows it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds before breaking a quarter mile in 10.4 seconds at 130 mph and hitting a top speed of 210 mph. Peek through the table below and you’ll see how these two kits line up next to each other.

Hennessey kit Power Torque 0 to 60 MPH Quarter-Mile Time Top Speed
HPE750 750 horsepower 695 pound-feet three seconds* n/a 200 mph*
HPE 800 800 horsepower 706 pound-feet 2.9 seconds 10.4 seconds at 130 mph 210 mph

Pricing

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey
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There’s a lot to piece through here because Hennessey is offering plenty of add-ons and options on top of the base price of the Exorcist upgrade. Those who are interested in the upgrade should be prepared to shell out $55,000 for it. That cost comes with a two-year, 24,000-mile warranty. Those who want to equip their Exorcist ZL1’s with an automatic transmission will cost them an extra $9,950 while another optional feature, the drag pack, will cost another $8,995 to get its contents. These include an upgraded drive shaft, a floor jack, tool kit, and set of 20-inch wheels wrapped in Nitto drag radial performance tires. If that option is a little too expensive, the tuner is offering an alternate pack made up of a set of 20-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires at a price of $6,995.

Put all those options together and those interested the Exorcist ZL1 will have to pay close to $75,000 for the opportunity to own one. That, of course, doesn’t count the actual cost of the muscle car itself, which starts at $62,135. Add all that up and the total cost of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 “The Exorcist” could reach over $130,000. It’s definitely more than a pretty penny, but then again, that’s the price people will have to pay to own a sinister 1,000-horsepower Camaro ZL1 with some very bad intentions.

Competition

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 HPE1000 Voodoo by Hennessey

It doesn’t seem right that the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 “The Exorcist” are represented in this all-world muscle car showdown and the Ford Mustang isn’t. So in lieu of a traditional competitor in terms of programs for the Camaro ZL1, we’ll turn our attention towards the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, which just so happens to have its own 1,000-horsepower courtesy of Hennessey. Fittingly, this particular even has its own nickname – Voodoo – that inspires plenty of fear among people from all walks of life. The Voodoo program is made up of a heavy dose of new and upgraded components, including 11.0:1 compression aluminum pistons, extreme duty connecting rods, high flow fuel injectors, an upgraded fuel pump, and a new turbo system. All these changes help the ‘Stang unleash as much as 1,003 horsepower and 852 pound-feet of torque when the car is using 104 octane racing fuel. Those numbers translate to a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.3 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 10.8 seconds at 133 mph. On the flip side, using standard 93 octane racing only nets 850 horsepower. It’s not as mental as having 1,000 ponies under that Shelby hood, but it’s still good enough to make the Demon raise its eyebrows.

Conclusion

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey
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What else can you really say about a car like the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, an engine program that helps it reach 1,000 horsepower, an aftermarket company that’s known for building upgrades like this, and a ridiculously ominous yet awesome name that puts a neat bow on the whole project. Hennessey has done some incredible work in the past, allowing it to earn the praise and recognition it so richly deserves. The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Exorcist is another incredible example of what the tuner is fully capable of. And for what it’s really worth, that name – The Exorcist – is about as cool as it gets for a 1,000-horsepower Camaro ZL1. Slay the demon, it says, and truer words have never been spoken.

  • Leave it
    • No exterior and interior upgrades
    • Not suitable for everyone
    • Quite pricey, all items considered
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