2018 Dodge Challenger SRT DemonEnlarge Photo
A proper set of tires can be the difference between victory and loss, whether it's on a road course or at the dragstrip. Thankfully, the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon boasts some pretty wide drag radials—315/40/18s, thank you very much—from the factory. After all, they need to handle 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque when the fuel tank is filled with race gas.
Dodge has run into a bit of an issue during the production process due to those enormously wide tires, though. Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles confirmed the tires are too wide for the Challenger's production line, based in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. Without the drag radials, accolades such as the Demon's 9.65 second quarter-mile time and 2.92-foot wheelie capability are squashed. So, how has FCA gone about remedying the situation?
As the Dodge Challenger Demon waltzes down the production line, it rides on temporary blue-painted versions of the 20-inch forged SRT split 7-spoke wheels offered for the Hellcat and other SRT models, per photos posted to Reddit. We assume it also gets the Hellcat/SRT' models' 275/40 tires, which can clear the production line. The production Demon wheels and tires are then installed in Redford Township, Michigan, the final stop before Demons are ushered off to dealerships and customers.
Reddit users do bring up a potential issue with FCA's solution: Drag radials don't mix with cold temperatures. The rubber compound is so soft that the tires can crack and leave performance seriously compromised and unsafe. The Dodge Challenger Demon is built in Canada, so it is worth noting. The Demon launches in fall, so that could be an issue on models built in late fall and into winter. As a refresher, Dodge will only build 3,300 Demons, with 3,000 going to customers in the U.S. and 300 slated for Canada.
In any case, if we see anyone driving a Demon in the snow, we'll collectively eat our hats.