We all know the lofty claims. The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the fastest production car in the quarter mile with a time of 9.65 seconds and in the 0-60 mph sprint at just 2.3 seconds. However, those numbers require 100+ octane racing fuel and the optional Direct Connection engine controller. Those goodies give it the full 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque.

What happens if you just run it like it comes out of the box without the fancy extras? How quick is it on pump gas, and what happens if you put it in Eco mode and take it down the quarter mile that way?

Turns out, it still flies.

All the work Dodge put into making the Demon a dragstrip star helps it run well in reduced power modes. As it comes from the factory, the Demon has 808 horsepower and 717 lb-ft of torque. Put it in Eco mode, and the horsepower falls to 500, though Dodge isn't giving a torque number.

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Run the Demon showroom stock, and it will still fly down the quarter mile. Why? You can still use the trans brake that locks the transmission's output shaft to hold the car in place before launch. It still has a torque reserve function that lets the supercharger build 8 psi of boost without allowing the engine to build so many revs that the car spins the tires at launch. It still has those sticky 315 millimeter wide Nitto drag radials that are barely legal for the street. And it still has the Drag mode for the adjustable dampers that softens the front and stiffens the rear to help the car transfer 2,576 pounds of its 4,280-pound curb weight from the front wheels to the rear wheels.

The result of all that drag engineering? The Demon conquers the quarter mile in 9.96 seconds at 136 mph on pump gas.

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In Eco mode, it does an 11.59 quarter mile, and that's with a second-gear start.

By comparison, the 3,822-pound Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, which produces 505 horsepower, covers the quarter in 12.1 seconds. Even the all-wheel-drive 2010 Audi R8 V10, with 525 horsepower and a relatively slight 3,650-pound curb weight, could only do the deed in 11.8 seconds. And that car hooked up with all four tires!

There is certainly something to be said for Dodge's drag-focused engineering.