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New York International Auto Show Highlights Performance

By John Stewart

Earlier this week, the New York International Auto Show housed displays from automakers around the world, debuting new vehicles and concept cars. Among them were new production vehicles that should be of interest to aftermarket manufacturers and performance enthusiasts.

Challenger SRT Demon
According to Dodge, the Demon is equipped with the world’s most powerful factory-production V8 engine, capable of powering the car to 0–60 in 2.3 seconds.

’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Dodge launched the ’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, a street-legal dragstrip performer that surpasses the ’14 Hellcat SRT Charger and Challenger in engine power. Powered by a 840hp, supercharged 6.2L Hemi Demon V8, the limited-production Challenger SRT Demon is said to be capable of an NHRA-certified 9.65 seconds at 140-mph quarter-mile, which makes the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon the fastest quarter-mile production car in the world. According to Dodge, the Demon is also the world’s most powerful factory-production V8 engine, capable of driving the car from 0–60 in 2.3 seconds. 

Dodge also characterizes the Challenger SRT Demon as the world’s first production car to lift the front wheels at launch and says it set the world record for longest wheelie from a standing start by a production car at 2.92 ft., certified by Guinness World Records. Another performance highlight: The Challenger SRT Demon also registers the highest claimed g-force (1.8 g) ever recorded at launch in a production car.

The heart of the ’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the supercharged 6.2L Hemi Demon V8, rated at 840 hp and 770 lb.-ft. of torque. The red-painted Demon engine has been certified to the SAE J1349 industry standard for its horsepower and torque ratings. The engine also meets all applicable legal emissions regulations.

While the Demon V8 shares its architecture with the 707hp 6.2L supercharged Hemi Hellcat V8, it is not simply a Hellcat engine with more boost. The Demon V8 engine has 25 major component upgrades from the Hellcat engine, including a supercharger, pistons, rods, a valvetrain and a fuel-injection system.

Among the changes, compared with the Hellcat V8, the Demon’s supercharged V8 features:

  • A larger supercharger: 2.7L versus 2.4L.
  • Increased boost pressure: 14.5 psi versus 11.6 psi.
  • Higher rpm limit: 6,500 rpm versus 6,200 rpm.
  • Fuel: Two dual-stage fuel pumps versus one.
  • A larger induction air box with three sources of intake air: Air-Grabber hood, driver-side Air-Catcher headlamp and an inlet near the wheel liner.

In addition, the Hemi Demon V8 includes a high-speed valvetrain, strengthened connecting rods and pistons and an improved lubrication system. The upgrades enable the engine to sustain higher output and pressures while meeting the manufacturer’s durability requirements.

One key to the Challenger SRT Demon’s best-ever power output is air—the SRT Demon’s Air-Grabber hood includes the largest functional hood scoop (45.2 sq. in.) of any production car.

The Challenger SRT Demon is the first-ever, street-legal factory-production car designed to run on 100+ unleaded high-octane fuel. That fuel is available at select gas stations, specialty shops and drag strips. The SRT Demon leaves the factory with a powertrain control module configured for 91-octane premium unleaded pump gasoline, which delivers top-level performance.

Similar to the Challenger SRT Hellcat, the SRT Demon comes with two key fobs. The black fob limits engine output to 500 hp. The red key fob unlocks the engine’s full output of 808 hp and 717 lb.-ft. of torque. With either key fob, the driver can activate Eco and Valet Modes. Eco Mode revises the transmission shift schedule to include second-gear starts. Valet Mode limits the engine to 4,000 rpm and reduces torque output.

The high-octane unleaded fuel capability with the optional Direct Connection powertrain controller boosts engine output to 840 hp and 770 lb.-ft. of torque. 

The ’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the widest Challenger ever, and first-ever factory-production musclecar with wide-body fender flares. The fender flares, which cover the lightweight 18x11-in. wheels with exclusive, specifically designed Demon-branded 315/40R18 Nitto NT05R drag radial tires front and rear, add 3.5 in. to the Challenger SRT Demon’s overall width. The front side marker lights are styled to flow with the shape of the fender flares.

Production of the limited-edition single-model-year Challenger SRT Demon begins later this summer, with 3,000 vehicles for the United States and 300 vehicles for Canada. Deliveries to Dodge/SRT dealers will begin this fall.

All customers who buy the new ’18 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon receive one full-day session at Bob Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving. The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in Chandler, Arizona, is the Official High Performance Driving School of Dodge/SRT. For more information, visit

Jeep Trackhawk
The ultra-high-performance Jeep Trackhawk is designed for straight-line acceleration.

’18 Jeep Trackhawk: “Quickest SUV Ever”

Also introduced this week at the New York Auto Show was the ’18 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, said to be capable of 0–60 acceleration in 3.5 seconds, an 11.6-second quarter-mile, and top speed of 180 mph.

Powering the ’18 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine delivering 707hp and 645 lb.-ft. of torque. Its cast-iron block features water jackets between the cylinders for optimal cooling. A forged-steel crankshaft with induction-hardened bearing surfaces is so strong it can withstand firing pressures of nearly 1,600 psi (110 bar)—the equivalent of five family sedans standing on each piston, every two revolutions. The unique, specially-tuned crankshaft damper has been burst tested to 13,000 rpm.

High-strength, forged-alloy pistons—developed using advanced telemetry measurement—are coupled to powder-forged connecting rods with high-load-capacity bushings and carbon-coated piston pins.

Premium-grade, heat-treated aluminum-alloy cylinder heads are optimized for superior thermal conductivity. Sodium-cooled exhaust valves feature hollow-stem construction and special steel-alloy heads that stand up to temperatures as high as 1,652 degrees Fahrenheit (900 degrees Celsius).

The 2,380cc per revolution supercharger includes integral charge-air coolers and an integrated electronic bypass valve to regulate boost pressure to a maximum of 11.6 psi (80 kPa). The advanced supercharger features rotors coated with a proprietary formula of resins and solid lubricants that enable tighter clearance between the rotors, delivering higher efficiencies. Air sources for the supercharger include a cold-air scoop in the lower front fascia, which replaces the driver’s-side fog lamp and helps to feed the 92mm throttle body.

The standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission has software that takes into account variables such as engine torque gradients, kick-down events, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, grade changes, friction detection and downshift detection to determine the appropriate shift map.

Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is equipped with the Jeep Quadra-Trac on-demand four-wheel-drive system, which includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential and a single-speed active transfer case. The new, full-time active transfer case uses forged-steel chain sprockets and a wider chain for added strength and durability.

A strengthened rear drive shaft connects to a new, stronger rear axle. The differential features a revised housing design, revised ring-and-pinion tooth geometry and new four-point axle mounting scheme for better load distribution, additional torque capacity and overall durability. Torque is delivered to the rear wheels via new ultra-high-strength 300M low-alloy vacuum melted steel half-shafts with upgraded eight-ball outboard constant velocity joints.

Standard Launch Control optimizes the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk’s performance by coordinating the engine, transmission, driveline and suspension for a textbook launch and consistent straight-line acceleration. New Brembo brakes bring the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk to a stop from 60 mph in 114 ft. For added safety, the anti-lock braking, electronic stability control and traction systems are uniquely tuned.

Built in Detroit at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant, the ’18 Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will arrive in Jeep showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2017.