2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon First Drive
The Dodge Challenger has been with us since 2008, but like a fine wine the car just gets better with age.
It’s now more powerful than ever, and it offers the strongest model lineup in its history. In fact, there are 16 distinct models all up.
There really is something for everybody, with the range kicking off with a 305-horsepower V-6 SXT and topping out with the ungodly 840-horsepower SRT Demon.
The real highlight is the Demon, described by Dodge as the world’s first purpose-built, street-legal drag car. It features numerous modifications designed to make it go down the line as fast as possible. The result is a world record (for a production car) 0-60 mph of 2.3 seconds and quarter-mile elapsed time of 9.65 seconds.
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody
Sadly, only 3,000 Demons are bound for the United States (an additional 300 will be sold in Canada), and all of the cars are likely accounted for. The good news is that you can still get the aggressive wide-body look of the Demon on the SRT Hellcat via the new SRT Hellcat Widebody model. The output is unchanged from the regular Hellcat at 707 horses, though.
Beyond the addition of these two new models, there isn’t much going on with the Challenger for 2018.
All Challengers receive a rearview camera as standard, while all Hellcat models receive new grille and fender badges, as well as newly illuminated Air-Catcher headlamps with Hellcat logo. There are also new colors available for the Hellcat’s brake calipers and a new Matte Vapor finish for the wheels. Challenger R/T and R/T 392 models also have the option of red brake calipers.
Cars equipped with the 5.7-liter V-8 can be ordered with a Performance Handling Package which adds 4-piston Brembo brakes and sport-tuned suspension, while the SRT and 392 models can be ordered with a new 5Deep light alloy wheel design that saves around 16 pounds.
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
Finally, new F8 Green and IndiGo Blue exterior paint options have been added to the lineup, along with returning B5 Blue and Plum Crazy hues (late availability).
The powertrain offerings continue to include V-6, V-8 and supercharged V-8 options. The base unit is the 3.6-liter V-6 good for 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, found in the SXT models. Above this is the 5.7-liter V-8 which delivers 375 hp and 410 lb-ft and is found in R/T models. Further up is the 6.4-liter V-8 good for 485 hp and 475 lb-ft, found in 392 models. And at the top of the range is the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 reserved for the Hellcat and Demon. It’s good for 707 hp and 650 lb-ft in the Hellcat and a staggering 840 hp and 770 lb-ft in the Demon. Transmissions include 6-speed manual and 8-speed automatic units.
Despite its age, the Challenger remains as popular as ever. Year to date sales in the U.S. are 56,169 units, which is up on the 55,268 units for the same period a year ago. That’s a good thing because it doesn’t look like a new Challenger will be arriving for a number of years still.
Below is the full 2018 Dodge Challenger lineup:
For more on the Dodge Challenger, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.