As with all things that are certain in this world such as death and taxes, it is becoming more apparent than ever that electric cars are penetrating the automotive landscape to take the place of traditional gas powered-models and that's sadly also true for muscle car brands like Dodge. But before that can happen the Mopar brand had one last big surprise for us.
So while the current generation Dodge Challenger is on its way out, Dodge is ending this glorious chapter in the Challenger's life with a bang---literally because this final Last Call model is the most insane muscle car money could buy right now. Say hello to the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170.
The Demon 170 Is No Ordinary Muscle Car
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is the seventh Last Call special edition model to arrive, and its release interval was much longer than the past six models. That's because the Demon 170 took a significant amount of development time. In fact, it all started during COVID, when 40 people met up socially distanced in a parking lot and thought that they should develop a new car as opposed to a modded version of the SRT Demon.
Why is it called the "Demon 170"? This muscle car runs on 170-proof E85 ethanol that enables it to deliver an insane 1,025 horsepower and 945 pound-feet of torque. In addition, using the said fuel emits 45% less CO2 compared to regular gasoline, in which filling up with 91 Octane of the stuff reduces the V-8's output to 900 horsepower and 810 pound-feet of torque, which are some serious numbers even for pump gas.
You might expect a degree of electrification from those numbers, but that's all from an almost new 6.2-liter ironblock HEMI V-8 that comes with a modified 3.0-liter supercharger that shares a lot of its DNA with the Hellephant crate engine. And unlike the original SRT Demon, which came with a black key and a red key that unlocks its full potential, the Demon 170's performance will only be dictated by the fuel you filled up with.
With the full potential of the engine unlocked, on a prepped surface, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 sprints from 0-60 mph in just 1.66 seconds, and can crush the 1/4 mile in 8.9 seconds at 151 mph. That's enough for the driver to experience 2.004 gs pinning them back to the seat--which is as much as what a Formula 1 driver feels when accelerating from a standing start.
The Demon 170 Is So Good, It Needs A Parachute And A Roll Cage To Compete
Dodge didn't just quote a quarter-mile time--they had it certified by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) as the first factory production car to run the quarter mile in under nine seconds, with a time of 8.91 seconds at 151.17 mph. However, just like the OG Demon, owing to its sheer capability and Speed, the NHRA has also banned the Challenger SRT Demon 170 from its events as well, because it doesn't have a roll cage or a parachute.
Dodge can at least make your car meet half of the NHRA's criteria though, by purchasing the optional parachute mount and harness bar for mounting a five-point racing harness. The roll cage, however, is only sold by aftermarket third-party companies.
To maximize its performance, the Demon 170 comes with a number of electronic features. One of which is the famous TransBrake--which is accessible via a button that lets the driver set multiple launch profiles depending on the track surface. Line Lock allows you to do burnouts, while Launch Control is self-explanatory, but is only allowed in non-competitive races. Lastly, Launch Assist along with the reworked suspension helps in reducing wheel hop, but do note that the Demon 170 is capable of popping a wheelie.
Of course, all of that power needs a lot of strengthening in the driveline so the Demon 170 won't eat itself up. With that in mind, the eight-speed automatic has been beefed up, while the rear prop shaft is 30% stronger thanks to a thicker tube diameter and larger CV joints. The rear axle has also been fortified and comes with a 53% stronger housing achieved through Hot Isostatic Pressing. Accommodating the large CV joint are the 9.4-inch ring and pinion as well as a new input flange.
Surprisingly Tame Aesthetics
As for its exterior, the Dodge Challenger Demon 170 looks surprisingly tame in relation to the breadth of capabilities it offers. While it does come with wider fender flares on the rear, the front fenders were shaved off to save 16 pounds. You get a set of staggered drag radials --the first for a factory production car. For an extra, $11,495, you can get special carbon fiber rims as well.
The front wheels come with a set of Mickey Thompson 245/55 R18 ET Street tires while the ones at the back at are P315/50 R17 ET Street R drag radials, designed specifically for the Demon. No skinny front tires or $1 Deomn crate here, like what you got on the OG Demon, as these tires are designed both for the street and the track. However, Dodge will also sell you a street-tire package.
The Air-Grabber hood and the iconic Air-Catcher headlamps make their return in the Demon 170, and in the latter's case, it loses both inboard eyes as opposed to just the left for maximum airflow. There's also an SRT Power Chiller that uses an air conditioning system to cool the temperature for the air intake.
But perhaps, the easiest indicator that you're looking at the most insane muscle car ever created is finding the new Demon logo. The SRT Demon badge has also been revised, and that's another because for this model, it gets a "170" neck tattoo and yellow eyes. Of course, the Demon 170 is a limited-production car, which means it must come with an obligatory plaque.
In this case, it is located under the hood. The interior also has a yellow and red Demon instrument panel badge with the four-digit VIN inside it. Owners of the original Challenger Demon will even have the privilege of getting a matching VIN to their car if they also order a Demon 170.
Speaking of the interior, you get model-specific graphics for the multi-information display, an Alcantara steering with an illuminated SRT logo, and houndstooth cloth upholstery to reduce weight. In fact, Dodge can even remove the passenger seat, rear seats, trunk, and sound insulation, as well as reduce the speaker count to just two if you desire.
But if you want your Demon 170 to be a bit more luxurious, you can opt for the premium interior, which uses Black Alcantara and Laguna Leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering, and an 18-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Demonic Red Laguna Leather seats are also available as an option.
The End Of An Era
Just like the original Challenger Demon, owners must sign a waiver that acknowledges the car's unique characteristics, such as the drag radials that can't be used in the cold or rain (even if they're street legal). A one-day SRT Experience session at Radford Racing School is also part of the ownership experience so that owners will be able to get a feel of their car's capabilities.
So, to summarize, just when we all thought the Demon was dead and would never come back, Dodge shocked us one last time with this incredibly special model, that will help us cherish the brand's glorious muscle car era. The Dodge Challenger Demon 170 can be yours starting at $96,666 before options, with 3,000 units to be produced for the United States and 300 for Canada.