2023 Dodge Demon 170 delivers 1,025 hp, rips 0-60 mph in 1.66 sec for $100,361

2023-03-23 16:23:39 By : Ms. Lily Huang

Dodge just put an exclamation mark on the end of its gas-powered muscle car era.

On Tuesday, the company that launched the Hellcat and Demon one-upped itself with the reveal of the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170. This is the seventh and final “Last Call” special edition model before it’s lights out for this era.

Production will begin this summer and each Demon 170 will cost $100,361, including a $1,595 destination charge and a $2,100 gas guzzler charge. The MSRP is a devilish $96,666.

The Demon 170 cranks everything to 11. Peak output on E85 is rated at 1,025 hp and 945 lb-ft of torque. Filling the tank with premium fuel (E10) drops power output to 900 hp and 810 lb-ft. It can also run on any combination of the two as the electronics automatically determine the percentage of ethanol in the fuel and recalibrate the engine to run accordingly. The Demon 170’s name is a riff on the 170-proof rating of E85 fuel. The Hellephant C170 crate engine carries its name for the same reason.

Dodge said the Demon 170 launch from 0-60 mph in 1.66 seconds and pull 2.0 g off the line on a prepped surface with rollout. On a non-prepped dragstrip it will still make the 0-60 mph run in less than 2.0 seconds, though Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis noted it won’t run that on a street.

It rips through the quarter-mile in an NHRA-certified 8.91 seconds at 151.17 mph, and its 60-foot time is 1.20 seconds.

The Dodge Demon 170 is the fastest accelerating and quickest production car money can buy.

As a reference point, the Demon had 840 hp and 770 lb-ft of torque on E85, ran the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph, pulled 1.8 g during acceleration, and posted a 0-60 mph time of 2.3 seconds.

The NHRA already gave the Demon 170 a violation letter for its ability to run a sub-nine-second quarter mile. As soon as it dips below 10 seconds it needs a safety cage and when it eclipses nine seconds it needs a parachute, both of which can result in a ban until those items are added.

Dodge began developing the Demon 170 as a modified Challenger Demon but with the goal of four-figure horsepower. Kuniskis said the team ended up replacing far more than originally intended because engines kept blowing up. The only internal pieces of the engine still shared with the Demon are the camshaft, valve springs, and lifters.

The Demon’s 6.2-liter V-8’s cast-iron block had to be modified for Demon 170 duty with studs for higher clamping force for the heads to enable higher cylinder pressures. Engineers swapped out the Demon’s 2.8-liter supercharger for a 3.0-liter supercharger pushing 21.3 psi. A modified version of the Hellephant’s supercharger, it's fed by a new 105-mm throttle body and hooked to a 3.02-inch pulley.

The cylinder heads are rated at 2,500 psi on E85. That’s about 25% higher than the Demon on race gas and 50% more than a Hellcat Red Eye. The engine also features new pistons, rods, nitride-coated intake valves, valve guides, cranks, billet main caps, spark plugs, and an upgraded crank damper.

The Power Chiller system SRT developed for the Demon carries over to the Demon 170. The system reduces induction air temps by up to 45 degrees by diverting the air conditioning system to cool the supercharger’s intercooler both before and after a run down the dragstrip.

The fuel rail and injector system was upgraded to handle the change to E85 capability. The system flows 25% more fuel through injectors that flow at up to 164 gallons per hour. “You can drain the tank in 5.75 minutes,” Kuniskis said.

The Demon’s 8-speed automatic transmission has an updated output flange to accommodate a larger diameter prop shaft that’s 30% stronger than the Demon’s. It hooks to a 240-mm rear differential and a larger CV joint with revised geometry housing. That rear differential is now pressure cast instead of flow cast, which makes it 50% stronger than the Demon’s rear differential. New 43-spline rear half shafts were swapped in with larger inner connecting splines to ensure things didn’t snap under the torque during a launch.

Kuniskis noted the Demon’s TransBrake was a tricky piece of hardware and the team redesigned the system dubbing it version 2.0 for its improved user interface. The car’s electronics can also work with the TransBrake to dial back torque a certain percentage in tenth-of-a-second intervals to help the tires grip; this works all the way down the track to prevent tire slip between gears. The TransBrake now allows users to select from various launch profiles to match the engine power delivery for the track and conditions. There’s also a memory function enabling drivers to store their dialed-in launch and shift settings for the grip of various surfaces. The system enables the TransBrake to increase the engine throttle up to 2,350 rpm. Line Lock, Launch Control, and Launch Assist functions all carry over from the Demon.

The Demon’s suspension has been electronically and mechanically recalibrated for Demon 170 duty. The Demon could pop a wheelie then slam the front end back down to earth, but the Demon 170 skips the slamming back to earth step. The suspension’s new tune results in the front end lifting up more slowly, which provides the car more energy to move forward. The rear suspension is 50% firmer than the Demon’s to help jam the tires into the track and make them wrinkle as they hook.

Adaptive Bilstein shocks remain, but they feature a Demon 170-specific valve tune, which increases rear ride height by 0.4 inch and restricts rear jounce travel by 0.7 inch. Both of these changes were made to ensure the massive Mickey Thompsons cleared in the rear.

Rear suspension camber was revised to increase the contact patch under load. The front springs were softened by 35% up front and 28% in the rear, while the front and rear sway bars are softer by 75% and 44%, respectively over a Hellcat Redeye Widebody.

The Demon 170 rolls on staggered tires. Smaller 18x8-inch wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson 245/55 ET Street tires are mounted up front, and rear features 17x11-inch wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson P315/50R ET Street R drag radials. Dodge worked with Mickey Thompson to ensure the rear tires have added grooves to help with on-street performance.

The wheel and tire setup is street-legal, so the car can be driven from the garage to the drag strip, run down the track, then driven home. No front runners are needed, and no tire and wheel swapping is necessary at the track.

Kuniskis noted these tires should not be used in the cold, rain, or with any moisture on the ground. Dodge will require buyers to sign a notarized document acknowledging they understand this safety detail.

Kuniskis said the Demon 170 is a smidge heavier than the Demon, even with the optional two-piece carbon fiber wheels. The supercharger adds another 5 pounds, the throttle body adds about 1 pound, and all-in the Demon 170’s about 25 pounds heavier than the original Demon.

For reference, the Demon was originally said to weigh 4,250 pounds, which puts the Demon 170 at about 4,275 pounds.

What does the Demon 170 look like?

At a glance you might think the Demon 170 is a Demon. But look closer.

The rear fender flares remain but the fronts were dropped. Removing the front flares and dropping the front wheels from 315s to 245s saved 16 pounds of weight.

But the Demon 170 shares its body panels with other widebody Hellcats and the Demon. It also features the Demon’s air catcher hood.

The Demon badge on the front fenders has a 170 on the logo as well as a yellow eye to represent the E85 capability.

Inside, the Demon 170 is standard Challenger SRT fare but with seating for one. To drop weight, there’s no front passenger seat, no rear seat, no trunk carpet, no sound insulation, and no trunk light. The radio has only two speakers, and Dodge outfits the car with Demon 170-specific gauge cluster screens and a Demon 170 dash plaque.

Dodge will offer no $1 options like with the Demon and no Demon Crate option either. Kuniskis made a point to say there will be no cheap options.

A premium interior package will add heated and ventilated leather front seats, a leather-covered back seat, and an 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. The rear seat can be deleted with this package.

A sunroof is a $10,000 option. “You want a sunroof, you’re going to pay,” Kuniskis said.

Through Dodge’s Direct Connection program Demon 170 buyers can option a parachute and a roll cage, both of which would ensure their cars are legal in the eyes of the NHRA to run in the 8s. A CO2 bottle will be an option through Direct Connection.

For Hellcat or Demon owners looking to upgrade their cars, Dodge will sell the Demon 170’s rear cradle, driveshaft, throttle body, and countless other bits through the Direct Connection performance parts program.

A trick set of two-piece carbon-fiber wheels from Lacks Enterprises will be on the options order sheet. Buyers who tick this box will shave 12 pounds off the rear end and 20 pounds off the front end compared to a Hellcat Redeye Widebody running stock 315s.

Because no Demon 170 crate is available, Dodge is giving every Demon 170 buyer a custom Demon-styled decanter with their name and vehicle VIN engraved onto it, Demon-badged coasters and whiskey cubes, rocks glasses, a Demon 170 supercharger badge cover, a VIN plate, and a Demon 170 illustration.

Using Dodge’s Horsepower Locator tool, buyers seeking the Demon 170 can locate which dealerships will have allocations and check their pricing.

Orders will be taken beginning March 27 with order books closing on May 15.

Dodge won’t prevent dealerships from marking up the Demon 170, but orders at MSRP will receive priority build slots.

Any Demon owner who secures a Demon 170 build slot will be offered the opportunity to match their car’s VINs.

Kuniskis said Dodge aims to build 3,000 Demon 170s for the U.S. and 300 for Canada, which was the same number produced for the Demon.

But the executive quickly noted he isn’t sure if Dodge will be able to produce those numbers. Between down time at the plant, parts shortages, and other issues, the team expects to initially put out an allocation of maybe 2,500 or 2,700 and go from there. Once Dec. 31 rolls around production stops regardless of the number of Demon 170s built.

Each Demon will come with Dodge’s standard 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

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