Dodge has been on a “Last Call” kick for nearly a year now; featuring the latest speed parts, trim packages, and even unique high-performance HEMI-powered vehicles all designed to celebrate, not only the last hurrah of V8 muscle, but the vehicles that incorporate them as well.
Both the Dodge Challenger and Charger can trace their current configurations to the mid-2000s, and after nearly twenty years of utilizing the GEN-III HEMI engines that we all know and love, it’s finally time to say goodbye. It’s also time to bid adios to the engine platform itself; as Dodge is seemingly committed to electric muscle cars, and the new Hurricane 6-cylinder engines, going forward.
It’s been one heckuva ride, and we look forward to not only what Dodge has in store for the future but at the values the future collector car market will bring for these vehicles.
The Most Powerful Muscle Car in the World: 1,025-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 Sets New Performance Benchmarks
March 20, 2023 , Las Vegas – Dodge is introducing the quickest, fastest and most powerful muscle car in the world, the 1,025-horsepower 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170. The brand’s seventh and final “Last Call” special-edition model was unveiled this evening at the Dodge Last Call Powered by Roadkill Nights Vegas performance festival at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
With its 1,025-horsepower (at 6,500 rpm), 945 lb.-ft. (at 4,200 rpm) production HEMI® engine, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 reaches 60 mph in a blazing 1.66 seconds and features the highest G-force acceleration of any production car at 2.004 gs. The Demon 170 can also reach 900 horsepower and 810 lb.-ft. of torque on E10 fuel.
A Dodge special-edition vehicle like none other, the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the quickest vehicle ever produced in the brand’s 100-plus-year history. The Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the first factory production car to run the quarter-mile under nine seconds with a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)-certified 8.91-second ET at 151.17 mph. On the drag strip, the Challenger SRT Demon 170 receives an NHRA violation letter for running a sub-nine-second quarter-mile without a safety cage or parachute, following in the footsteps of the original Demon, which was also banned from NHRA quarter miles.
Black keys are also banned from the Challenger SRT Demon 170, as the fastest Dodge Challenger ever will be delivered only with red key fobs. The 2018 Challenger SRT Demon featured a black key fob to limit horsepower and a red key fob to unlock full output; the new Demon unleashes horsepower levels determined not by a key, but by sensing the percentage of ethanol fuel content.
“To celebrate the end of the HEMI muscle-car era, we pulled off all the governors to reach a new level, a new benchmark of ‘factory-crazy’ production car performance,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand chief executive officer – Stellantis. “In 2015, Dodge shocked the world with the 707-horsepower Hellcat. Then, in 2018, we did it with the 840-horsepower Demon, and now we are doing it again with the 1,025-horsepower Demon 170, the world’s first sustainable-energy, eight-second, factory-production, street-legal muscle car.”
Dodge “Last Call” vehicles commemorate the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger, which are coming to an end in their current HEMI-engine-powered forms at the end of 2023. Six special-edition “Last Call” vehicles were previously introduced, leading up to the reveal of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170.
Extensive component upgrades resulted in delivery of a nearly brand-new engine, as well as additional features that assist in harnessing the 1,025 horsepower of the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, including:
- Improved Supercharger: Modified 3.0-liter supercharger upgraded with a larger snout with 105mm throttle body, and 3.02-inch pulley increases boost pressure 40% over the Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody
- Fueling Horsepower: Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 achieves full horsepower output through high ethanol fuel blends: horsepower levels are determined by sensing the percentage of ethanol fuel content
- Driveline Upgrades: All-new driveline with 240mm ring gear, 53% stronger differential housing using aerospace-grade metals, rear prop shaft 30% stronger and stronger half shafts
- Massive Drag Radials: 315/50R17 Mickey Thompson ET Street R drag radials — never offered before on a production car — and Mickey Thompson 245/55R18 ET Street front tires deliver extra force on the strip or street
- TransBrake 2.0: Patent-pending TransBrake 2.0 provides torque-shaping capability and easier driver interaction to dial-in preset torque limits
- Unique Drag Mode Suspension: Uniquely tuned valves in adaptive-damping shocks provide maximum weight transfer and custom race settings for drag calibrations
- Staggered Widebody Design: First-ever factory production car built with staggered drag radial tires and fender flares
Production of the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 will begin this summer and will be limited to at most 3,300 units, with 3,000 for the U.S. and 300 for Canada. Final unit numbers will be based on production capacity.
Current owners of the original 2018 Challenger SRT Demon who secure a dealer allocation for the new 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 will also be given the unique opportunity to match the same vehicle identification number as their original Demon when finalizing their order.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 will be available at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $96,666 (excluding destination and fees). Available dealer allocations for the new Challenger SRT Demon 170 can be viewed starting today via the Dodge Horsepower Locator tool at DodgeGarage.com, with ordering beginning on March 27, 2023. Ordering will close on May 15, 2023. Dealer orders at MSRP will receive priority scheduling.
First-ever 1,025-horsepower HEMI engine from the factory
Putting 1,025 horsepower to the ground — from the factory, no less — isn’t easy. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 delivers on the strength of upgrades to almost every primary engine power component (only the camshaft is untouched) of the 6.2-liter high-output supercharged HEMI engine.
The fire-breathing heart of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 shares DNA with the Direct Connection Hellephant C170 crate engine (another reason for the “170” proof callout in the new Demon model’s name), part of the Direct Connection family of Hellephant crate engines that debuted last year at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Direct Connection is the Dodge brand’s factory-backed performance parts lineup.
Engine upgrades implemented in the Demon’s rebirth include:
- 3.0L Supercharger: Modified from the Direct Connection Hellephant C170 crate engine supercharger, a 40% increase is achieved in boost pressure, taking the Demon 170 to 21.3psi compared to 15.3psi for the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, with 30% more airflow
- Supercharger Pulley: The 3.02-inch pulley delivers 14% more overdrive compared to the Hellcat Redeye Widebody and features an updated 2.68 drive ratio
- Fuel Rail/Injectors: High-flow fuel injectors are capable of providing 164 gallons per hour, more than the average U.S. shower head; fast response ethanol sensor is integrated into the fuel injector rail
- 105mm Diameter Throttle Body: Increased throttle body diameter results in 33% higher air-flow volume than the Hellcat Redeye Widebody or 2018 SRT Demon
- Valvetrain: Nitride-coated intake valves and upgraded valve guides and seat materials assist with ethanol compatibility
- Cylinder Head/Clamp Load: Aerospace-specification high-strength steel studs with steel inserts integrated into aluminum cylinder head contribute to a 38% increase in clamping load
- Main Bearing Caps/Clamp Load: Upgraded head and main cap fasteners for increased clamping load capability allow a 44% increase in clamping load compared to the Redeye, with aerospace-specification high-strength steel bolts and billet steel main caps
- Cylinder Pressure: Cylinder pressure is 32% higher than the Hellcat Redeye Widebody, measuring 2,500psi on E85 fuel
- Main Rod/Bearings: Main and rod bearing materials upgraded to copper-lead for increased load capability
- Connecting Rod: Higher-strength connecting rod and improved pin bushing support increased combustion pressure
- Block Machining: Modified machining for head studs and main bearing cap bolts
- Crank Damper: Viscous damper assists in reducing torsional vibration
- Spark Plugs: New spark plugs with lower heat range for optimal combustion with ethanol fuel
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 features the proven TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission, with an updated output flange to accommodate a larger diameter and stronger prop shaft.
Unlocking the Demon
The “Corn Demon,” star of the five-video teaser series leading up to the reveal of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, hinted at the key to unlocking the maximum horsepower of the quickest Dodge vehicle ever: the ethanol percentage is what fuels the fire of the Challenger SRT Demon 170.
A recalibrated powertrain control module (PCM) optimizes fueling and spark timing for both premium and high ethanol-blended fuel. Ethanol percentage is automatically shown in the vehicle instrument cluster, and a gas pump icon appears in the cluster when a significant percentage of ethanol is detected in the fuel.
The horsepower rating adjusts automatically and is displayed based on the ethanol percentage in the fuel. When a 20% threshold of ethanol is detected, the gas pump icon located in the cluster will appear as white. When high ethanol fuel content of more than 65% is detected, the cluster icon morphs to blue, informing the driver that the Demon’s maximum 1,025 horsepower output can be unleashed.
Doubling down on Demon driveline durability
Driveline components of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 have been reinforced, including a rear prop shaft that is 30% stronger within the same packaging space. Aerospace-grade metals were put to work in the reinforced, 53% stronger rear axle housing, which features a new Direct Connection logo integrated into the structure of the housing.
New driveline components include:
- Rear Prop Shaft: 30% stronger over the 2018 SRT Demon driveshaft and also boasts increased tube diameter, tube wall thickness and larger CV joints
- 240mm Rear Axle: Includes HIP (Hot Isostatic Pressing) processed housings, the first time used in driveline components to eliminate porosity of castings, larger 240mm ring and pinion, new input flange to accommodate larger CV joint, new geometry housing with Direct Connection logo, larger rear cover-mount fasteners, increased case depth and more result in 53% stronger housing
- 43-spline Rear Half Shafts: Inboard and outboard CV joints designed with larger inner-connecting spline and revised heat treatment; interconnecting shaft is upgraded to a larger diameter shaft with larger joint splines and optimized stiffness for acceleration performance
Staggered drag radials and fender flares: first for a factory production car
The 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 arrives as the first-ever factory production car built with staggered drag radial tires and fender flares, a set up that creates more launch force compared to the Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody.
Dodge worked closely over many months with Mickey Thompson Tires to develop applications exclusively for the Challenger SRT Demon 170, which were crucial to the vehicle achieving maximum traction under extreme acceleration.
Massive 17-by-11-inch rear wheels accommodate wider, taller and higher-profile Mickey Thompson P315/50R17 ET Street R drag radials that provide a large contact footprint. Developed exclusively for the Challenger SRT Demon 170 by Mickey Thompson Tires, this bespoke version of the ET Street R drag radials features added grooves for improved on-street performance. Mickey Thompson’s soft R2 compound provides superior traction and the ET Street R uses a nylon body for greater power transfer compared to standard polyester sidewalls. Increased sidewall height when combined with the tire construction allows for a “wrinkle effect,” improving power transfer and reducing tire slip.
Smaller 18-by-8-inch front wheels keep weight and rolling resistance down and fit Mickey Thompson 245/55R18 ET Street front tires, optimized for the drag strip. The lighter-weight front set helps transfer weight to the rear and delivers a significantly higher coefficient traction when compared to street tires used on similar surfaces.
Rear Widebody fender flares cover the Mickey Thompson ET Street R drag radials in the back, while standard configuration front fenders keep weight down by 17 pounds.
Next-generation TransBrake 2.0
TransBrake 2.0, a second-generation version of the first-ever feature that debuted on the original 2018 Challenger SRT Demon, is reborn with patent-pending updates that allow the driver to configure and select from multiple launch-torque profiles to match the engine power delivery to specific track conditions, technology used in competitive drag racing. TransBrake 2.0 is accessed quickly through an easily reachable new button located near the center console, taking the driver straight to the TransBrake Performance Page on the main display screen.
Drivers can dial-in launch and shift torque settings with a memory function that can be customized to different grip surfaces — high grip, medium grip or low grip — to choose the increased engine torque and vehicle launch settings that best fit the surface on which the vehicle is running.
TransBrake allows engine throttle to be increased up to 2,350 rpm and generates greater powertrain energy with maximum torque converter multiplication, an up to 110% increase in engine stall torque compared to brake torque, and produces up to 15% more torque at the rear tires during launch.
As with the original Demon, TransBrake will work in conjunction with another of the vehicle’s purpose-built features, Torque Reserve, which is automatically enabled when using Launch Control and TransBrake and also works when using foot torque braking. Torque Reserve opens the throttle and prepositions the supercharger bypass valve, delivering excess air, and controls torque supply by changing spark events and timing. Torque Reserve maintains supercharger airflow, provides faster engine torque response and improved vehicle acceleration and creates a unique exhaust note.
Additional returning features include:
- Line Lock: Enables stationary or rolling smoky burnouts at the touch of a button, warms up the rear tires for racing by locking the front brakes independently of the rear brakes and is enabled via the drag options and steering wheel “OK” button
- Launch Control: Designed to allow the driver to achieve maximum vehicle acceleration in a straight line, managing tire slip while launching the vehicle
- Launch Assist: Reduces wheel-hop by maintaining optimal tire contact with the ground during vehicle launch
Wheels up, weight down
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 arrives with standard 17-by-11-inch rear and 18-by-8-inch front forged aluminum wheels, with a lightweight carbon-fiber wheel option.
The optional Lacks Enterprises carbon-fiber wheels shed weight from the Demon, with the lightweight 17-by-11-inch rear wheels shaving a total of 11.98 pounds off the rear compared to the standard Redye Widebody configuration. Front 18-by-8-inch wheels save a total of 20.12 pounds off the front.
The two-piece carbon-fiber wheels feature a forged aluminum center with SRT logo center caps and are fastened together with titanium alloy hardware. A larger weave pattern than traditional carbon-fiber wheels allows the material to be seen from a greater distance.
The Lacks carbon-fiber wheels lower unsprung vehicle mass, reducing vibrations while maintaining a more consistent tire load and ultimately improving handing, acceleration and braking
The lightweight wheels are part of an overall weight reduction of 157 pounds for the Challenger SRT Demon 170 in comparison to a Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody. Additional areas of weight savings include lightweight front brakes, hollow sway bars, passenger and rear seat delete, trunk trim and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) pad delete and lightweight interior carpet with a minimal audio system. Removal of the front flares generates a weight savings of 16 pounds.
Cooling is critical to a 1,025-horsepower performance machine like the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, especially when it comes to success on the drag strip.
The innovative SRT Power Chiller, a purpose-built production car first for the original Demon, returns to help cool down the SRT Demon 170. Compared to vehicles without a chiller, the feature can reduce air induction temperature by up to 45 degrees Fahrenheit, diverting the air conditioning system to cool the supercharger intercooler for optimal air intake temperature. The Demon 170’s standard Race Cool Down feature also provides additional cooling after the engine has been shut down following a run down the strip.
Two additional key returning features of the Demon are the Air-Grabber hood and the Air Catcher headlamps. The features maximize air intake flow with functional, illuminated headlights that work in conjunction with the air-induction hood.
It’s a balancing act harnessing horsepower while shifting weight to specific areas of the vehicle to achieve maximum performance combined with precision control. Uniquely tuned valves in adaptive-damping Bilstein shocks provide the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 with improved launch response and user customizable drag race settings.
Adaptive-damping Bilstein shocks are tuned for maximum acceleration and offer a raised rear ride height of 10mm and restricted rear jounce travel by 17mm to package the massive Mickey Thompson drag radials. A revised rear suspension camber increases contact patch under load compared to the Hellcat Redeye Widebody. Weight transfer is further aided by softer springs (35% front, 28% rear) and softer sway bars (75% front, 44% rear).
The updated Drag Mode option for the Challenger SRT Demon 170 dials in performance — front Bilstein shocks are set for firm compression and soft rebound damping while in Drag Mode, while the rear Bilstein shocks are set for firm compression and firm rebound damping.
Demon Drive Modes/Performance Pages
Drag Mode is one of three drive modes for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170, along with Custom and Auto (Street) Mode options, which allow drivers to change or customize a full menu of vehicle performance parameters, including the transmission, shift paddles, traction control, suspension and steering.
Choosing Drag Mode lets drivers control a range of features:
- Power: Full power is enabled based on ethanol content in fuel
- Transmission: Fastest possible shift speeds engaged with the highest comfort trade off
- Paddles: Steering wheel paddle shifters are engaged
- Traction: Dialed in for drag race applications
- Suspension: Promotes optimized weight transfer for best launch traction
- Steering: Greatest amount of steering feel and steering effort is delivered
SRT Performance Pages keep the driver in tune with the vehicle’s vital signs through a full slate of real-time performance stats, including timer pages with data on reaction times and 0-60 times, gauge information, G-force numbers, engine performance information and dynamometer horsepower and torque stats.
Race Options deliver information on key drag-specific vehicle functions, such as shift lights, SRT Power Chiller, Line Lock, Launch Control with Launch Assist and Race Cooldown.
The 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 will be available in all 14 exterior color options for the Challenger, including returning heritage exterior colors B5 Blue, Plum Crazy purple and Sublime green, plus popular modern color Destroyer Grey. All colors will also be available with an optional unique Satin Black painted hood or a Satin Black painted hood, roof and decklid.
The Challenger SRT Demon 170 badging reimagines the original Demon badge with a “170” neck tattoo and a new E85-representative yellow demon’s eye, decorating the front side fenders. An SRT badge adorns the grille. Under the hood, a Demon-themed supercharger badge announces the vehicle’s spirit and, as with all 2023 Challenger models, it boasts a special commemorative “Last Call” plaque.
Inside, a yellow and red Demon instrument panel badge calls out the four-digit VIN. A new Challenger SRT Demon 170-specific cluster screen shares a red gauge design, with a red Demon 170 main cluster graphic. The Alcantara performance steering wheel carries an LED “SRT” logo, and real carbon-fiber bezels add to the performance feel of the interior.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 comes with a lightweight houndstooth cloth interior sporting the Demon 170 logo on the driver seat. The cloth interior cuts content to minimize weight and maximize performance, featuring standard passenger seat delete, rear seat delete, trunk carpet delete, sound insulation delete, trunk light and dress delete and bright pedal delete, along with a minimal two-speaker audio system.
A premium leather interior option adds more content and customer-convenience features, with black Alcantara/Laguna leather seats carrying the Demon 170 logo, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, an 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with a Harman Kardon amplifier and trunk-mounted sub, and more. Distinctive Demonic Red Laguna leather seats provide yet another colorful alternative for those looking to dress up the inside. All interior options have rear seat delete available.
Owning your Demon
Dodge isn’t satisfied with just building the world’s quickest 0-60 production car. The brand is enhancing the ownership experience by delivering the Challenger SRT Demon 170 with customized, limited-edition and serialized content.
Each owner will also receive a commemorative Demon decanter set, serialized to the specific owner and vehicle. The set will include:
- A custom Demon-styled decanter with the owner’s name and VIN engraved on the back
- Demon-badged coasters and whiskey cubes
- Rocks glasses
- Demon 170 supercharger badge cover
- Owner name, build number and VIN plate
- Unique Demon 170 illustration on the inside top of the set cover
A custom instrument panel badge will be included and ordered by the customer after delivery of their SRT Demon 170, adding even more personalization to the SRT Demon 170 experience.
A unique Goodwool breathable mesh car shell will be available for purchase and protects the exterior of the Challenger SRT Demon 170 while mimicking the vehicle’s appearance, down to the 3D SRT and Demon 170 logos on the shell. Finishing Touch Auto Spa will serve as the exclusive distributor of the Goodwool Car Shell for the Demon 170.
The Challenger SRT Demon 170 will be delivered with a selection of premium car care products from a trusted source, Jay Leno’s Garage. Working with in-house detailers and through years of testing and formulating blends, Jay Leno’s Garage has developed car-care products that are both affordable and easy to use.
Additional personalization options for the Challenger SRT Demon 170 will be available through Direct Connection, the Dodge performance parts brand. Direct Connection parts for the Demon 170 will include:
- Challenger SRT Demon 170 street wheel and tire package, providing the highest level of street driving characteristics versus the vehicle’s standard drag radials
- Harness bar with coordinating lightweight carbon-fiber rear seat delete inserts featuring the Dodge Rhombi logo
- Direct Connection Parachute Mounting System
Similar to the original Demon, owners must sign a waiver acknowledging the unique characteristics of the Demon 170 as a purpose-built, street legal production drag car. As with all new Dodge SRT vehicles, the purchase of a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 allows owners to take part in a one-day SRT Experience class at Radford Racing School, the official high-performance driving school of Dodge//SRT. Additional information on the Radford Racing School is available at DodgeGarage.com.
2023 Dodge Charger/Challenger “Last Call” highlights
The 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the seventh and final Dodge “Last Call” special-edition model, commemorating the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger, which are coming to an end in their current HEMI-engine-powered forms at the end of 2023. Six Dodge “Last Call” models were previously introduced: the Dodge Challenger Shakedown, Dodge Charger Super Bee, Dodge Challenger and Charger Scat Pack Swinger, Dodge Charger King Daytona and Dodge Challenger Black Ghost.
In addition to the seven “Last Call” special-edition models, Dodge is also celebrating its 2023 model lineup by bringing back three beloved heritage exterior colors, B5 Blue, Plum Crazy purple and Sublime green, plus one popular modern color, Destroyer Grey. 2023 Charger and Challenger R/T models will also feature new “345” fender badging, a callout to the 345-cubic-inch HEMI engine under the hood, and all 2023 Dodge Charger and Challenger models will carry a special commemorative “Last Call” underhood plaque.
Dodge also launched a new Horsepower Locator online tool to help Brotherhood of Muscle members make the “Last Call” for the model of their choice. The Dodge Horsepower Locator tool, as well as information on the brand’s 24-month Never Lift plan, is available at DodgeGarage.com.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of AutoCentric Media, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles; GM, Ford, Dodge, imports, trucks — you name it! When he isn’t clacking away on his keyboard, he’s building, tuning, driving or testing his current crop of personal projects!