Dodge Challenger V8 bows out with 1011bhp SRT Demon 170

The Hemi V8 is being phased out, and Dodge has pushed it to uncharted levels of power in the 2023 Demon 170

It’s inevitable that market pressures and legislation will force traditional muscle cars out of existence. We’ve already had a taste of what the next generation electric Dodge Charger will look like, but the firm's current V8 offerings won’t be leaving quietly: meet the Challenger SRT Demon 170. Quite simply, it’s the fastest and most extreme edition ever devised, and it signifies the Hemi V8’s final form.

With a similar ethos to the original Demon, the 170 has been designed as an uncompromising drag strip special, albeit with even more potential than the base car. The project is mostly, if not all, about the uprated 6.2-litre V8 engine - only the camshafts remain in the transition to 170 spec, with the key change being a modified 3-litre supercharger with a 105mm throttle body. 

The upgraded hardware raises power to 900bhp, but the Demon 170’s true potential is uncorked on E85 fuel - it generates an astonishing 1011bhp and 945lb ft of torque when running on 85 per cent ethanol, and the driveline components have been redesigned to withstand that grunt. 

The Challenger’s prop shaft has been strengthened (with a larger output flange on the eight-speed auto gearbox to accommodate it), with reinforced rear axle and diff housings designed specifically for the limited run car. But there’s more to the Demon 170 than brute force; the rear suspension geometry now enables a wider contact patch during hard launches, with optional carbonfibre wheels trimming unsprung mass. These are wrapped in staggered Mickey Thompson drag radials (245 and 315 width at the front and rear respectively), with specially tuned Drag Mode for the adaptive dampers to improve traction off the mark. The resultant performance figures are startling - the 170 reaches 60mph in 1.66sec, with a peak accelerative force of over 2G. We imagine these figures were achieved on a prepped drag strip, where the 170 completes the ¼-mile in 8.91sec at 151.17mph (presumably with a rollout), earning it a ban from the National Hot Rod Association for its lack of a roll cage or parachute.

The Demon 170 is one of six ‘Last Call’ models that celebrate the Hemi V8 before it bows out, with 3300 units being produced for North America this summer. As ever, the only way to secure a Challenger on our shores is through the rather costly process of importing one. 

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