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Here's Why The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Is Banned By The NHRA But Not Really

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Dodge seems determined to make the SRT Demon a car that’s a bunch of balls-out firsts and mosts and biggests and fastests. Dodge just released a press release that goes over all these superlatives, and also drops a pretty big bomb: it’s been banned by the NHRA.

Yes, the fastest production quarter-mile car ever built has been officially banned by the NHRA. Really, that’s what the PR says:

• World’s fastest quarter-mile production car with an elapsed time (ET) of 9.65 seconds and 140 miles per hour (mph) as certified by National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)

• Challenger SRT Demon is too fast for the drag strip – officially banned by NHRA


So, wait. The one job this car was specifically designed to do better than all others, it’s banned from actually doing? That’s like if Ivan Drago was banned from boxing. What’s the point of this ridiculous 840 horsepower brute if you can’t drag race it?

Here’s the thing, though—it’s not really banned by the NHRA, as much as Dodge seems to like saying that, it’s just that in its stock form it’s fast enough that it’s required to have a competition license and extra safety equipment (a roll cage) that the car doesn’t normally come with.


That said, if you buy a Demon and take it to a drag strip, you can certainly drive it as long as you sort of suck at it. The Demon will do the quarter mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 MPH, but if you keep that down to 9.99 seconds or worse and 135 MPH or slower, nobody will make you get a license or an expensive roll cage.

So, yes, the car is technically banned from doing the one thing it was built to do really well, at least right off the showroom floor. But if you’re serious about drag racing the car – and with as fast as it is, you really should be – you’ll need to upgrade the safety and get a license that says you know at least a little bit about what you’re doing.

The NHRA may have just saved more cars and lives right there with this one little rule than regular oil changes and Superman combined.

Want to know some of the other crazy-ass things this car will do? Here, let me just give you a sample of this press release:

840 horsepower and 770 pounds-feet of torque from supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Demon V-8 engine makes Dodge Challenger SRT Demon the most-powerful muscle car ever

Highest horsepower V-8 production car engine ever produced

First-ever front-wheel lift in production car (2.92 feet) as certified by Guinness World Records

World’s fastest quarter-mile production car with an elapsed time (ET) of 9.65 seconds and 140 miles per hour (mph) as certified by National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)

Challenger SRT Demon is too fast for the drag strip – officially banned by NHRA

World’s fastest 0-60 production car: 2.3 seconds

0-30 miles per hour: 1.0 second

Highest g-force acceleration of any production car: 1.8 g

Air-Grabber™ induction system includes the largest functional hood scoop (45.2 square inches) of any production car

Significant upgrades to create the Demon engine include:Larger 2.7-liter per rev supercharger; increased boost pressure to 14.5 psiHigher rpm limit of 6,500First-ever factory-production car with innovative SRT Power Chiller™ liquid-to-air intercooler chiller systemFirst factory-production car with After-Run Chiller that keeps cooling the supercharger/charge air cooler after the engine is shut off

First-ever, factory-production car designed to run on 100+ high-octane unleaded fuel or 91 octane on demand

First-ever, factory-production car with TransBrake for more powerful and quicker launches

First-ever, factory-production drag car with Torque Reserve, to deliver increased levels of power and torque at launch

First-ever, factory-production car with front passenger seat delete

All customers who buy the new 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon receive one full-day session at Bob Bondurant School of High-performance Driving


There’s a lot of bonkers going on there. How the hell is something this heavy and with just RWD getting to 60 in times close to what rallycross cars do? A production car that does a 3-foot wheelie? Passenger seat delete?

Also, speaking of seat deletion, the PR also includes this fascinating little tidbit:

Front passenger seat and rear seat deleted to reduce weight (can be optioned back for $1 each)


A buck for a seat? That’s a pretty good deal. That may be the best deal in all of car optioning, really. Shit, Porsche usually charges you hundreds of dollars to get rid of things.

One more fascinating thing about this press release: the weight savings breakdown. Even though the car appears substantial and heavy, a lot of effort was spent shaving weight down. Dodge breaks it down for us:

58 pounds: Removed front passenger seat and belt

55 pounds: Removed rear seat, restraints and floor mats

24 pounds: Removed 16 audio speakers, amplifier and associated wiring

20 pounds: Removed trunk deck cover trim, carpeting, spare tire cover

19 pounds: Used smaller, hollow sway bars

18 pounds: Removed mastic, body deadeners, insulators and foam

16 pounds: Used lightweight all-aluminum four-piston brake caliper and smaller, 360-mm two-piece rotor

16 pounds: Switched to lightweight wheels and open-end lug nuts

4 pounds: Switched to manual tilt/telescope steering column

2 pounds: Removed park sensors and module