2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 Debuts as the Most Powerful, Quickest Muscle Car Ever

You wouldn't expect Dodge to send out the Challenger quietly, would you?

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170
(Images: Dodge)
  • It’s the last of the ‘Last Call’ special editions, and the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 definitely isn’t going out quietly.
  • Instead, this model is the most monstrous yet, with its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 putting out up to 1,025 horsepower and 945 lb-ft of torque.
  • 0-60 and quarter-mile times are equally berserk, at 1.66 seconds and 8.91 seconds respectively.
  • As with any of Dodge’s special editions, the 2023 Challenger SRT Demon 170 gets plenty of special touches beyond the power to set it apart.
  • Pricing starts at $96,666 (before destination), and will be open to order on March 27.
    • Dodge is targeting 3,000 units for the U.S. and 300 for Canada, but it only has until December 31, 2023 to produce as many as it can.
    • You can use the DodgeGarage.com website (Horsepower Locator) to find the allocation nearest you when orders open up next week.

The SRT Demon 170 has emerged, and it’s not screwing around.

Back when Dodge’s engineers developed the original SRT Hellcat, folks were taken aback at a muscle car that produced 707 horsepower from the factory. A few years later, in 2018, we had a similar reaction when Dodge launched the SRT Demon — an absolute factory monster that threw down 840 horsepower straight from the Brampton, Ontario plant. And now, as Stellantis winds down the current-generation Charger and Challenger with its ‘Last Call’ special editions, we get the most insane Challenger of all: the SRT Demon 170.

Why “170”? That’s down to 170 proof, a vital clue to what you can expect from the craziest “stock” Challenger yet — more power on ethanol (E-85) fuel. At its core, Dodge stresses this special Demon is a thoroughly different beast than what we saw hit the streets five years ago. Thanks to a host of engine upgrades and the ability to run on E-85 right off the bat, you can get up to 1,025 horsepower and 945 lb-ft of torque.

You can still run this car on premium E10 pump gas. Do so, and the engine will derate to 900 horsepower and 810 lb-ft of torque. One other cool touch is that the car will actually detect the blend of ethanol to gasoline that’s in the tank and adjust the tuning accordingly to make the most power with a particular blend (though again, you’ll want to run high-ethanol to unlock full power).

Despite an option for carbon fiber wheels that shave 12 pounds off the total curb weight, the Demon 170 is still a heavy brute, weighing in at 4,280 pounds. 58% of that weight is over the front axle, while the remaining 42% is over the rear.

There’s still a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 under the hood, but Dodge changed virtually everything from past versions. You get a larger, modified 3.0-liter supercharger, rather than a 2.7-liter unit on the SRT Hellcat Redeye, the OG Demon or the Super Stock. There’s a 105-millimeter throttle body, 3.02-inch supercharger pulley and a whopping 21.3 psi of boost (up 30% from the 15.3 psi in the Redeye).

High-flow fuel injectors that pump out up to 164 gallons per hour, an upgraded valvetrain, cylinder head, main bearing caps, main and rod bearings, connecting rods, block machining, crank damper…even the spark plugs are different than what we got with the SRT Demon. Engineers made all these changes to cope with the immense cylinder pressure, which measures up to 2,500 psi when running on E-85 (32% higher than the Hellcat Redeye Widebody).

Naturally, you don’t change nearly every primary engine component without strengthening the rest of the drivetrain, and Dodge has done just that with the SRT Demon 170 — more on that in a moment.

So many other headline figures

But how quick and fast is it? According to the figures Dodge announced Monday, the 2023 Challenger SRT Demon 170 can run from 0-60 (with the proper launch conditions) in 1.66 seconds. Along the way, it will subject the driver to just over 2 g’s of acceleration force, which is the highest of any current production car.

Quarter-miles are what this car is built for, and it’s absolutely no surprise it can dominate on the drag strip. NHRA-certified figures put that figure at 8.91 seconds, making this nearly three-quarters of a second faster than the original Demon. Even with the NHRA recently changing the rules for street legal class cars from 9.9 seconds to 9.0 seconds (yes, the Demon 170 is street legal), it is still too quick to run without a safety cage and parachute.

So…Dodge will sell you both, thanks to their “Direct Connection” program. In addition to selling a street wheel and tire package (you obviously don’t want to daily it on the standard drag radials), you can pick up carbon fiber rear seat delete inserts and a freaking parachute system to make this car NHRA-compliant without leaving Dodge’s parts ecosystem.

More on the wheels and tires

Any proper drag car needs the right wheels and tires, and the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 gets a massive set of rear drag radials to put all that power down. The 17-by-11-inch wheels carry a bespoke pair of 315/50-R17 Mickey Thompson ET Street Rs designed especially for this car. MTs are already popular with Hellcat and Demon drag racers, and the softer R2 compound, nylon body in the sidewall and the increased sidewall height allows the “wrinkle effect” that lets these tires hook up and transfer the volcanic power down to the ground as quickly as possible, with as little slip as possible.

At the front, the Demon 170 gets 18-by-8-inch wheels with 245/55-R18 Mickey Thompson ET Street tires. You can’t necessarily call them “runners” since you can still drive this car on the street and they’re basically the same width as what you got on the original SRT Hellcat. But…I mean, they still look tiny compared to the drag radials.

Toughening up the rest of the drivetrain

Apart from talking about the 1,000-plus horsepower itself (not to mention the journey it took to get there), Dodge went to some considerable lengths to ensure the rest of the drivetrain didn’t explode under the pressure either.

The 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 uses the same TorqueFlite 8HP90 8-speed automatic as its predecessors. Although, this time it gets a different output flange to accommodate a thicker, stronger drive shaft. According to Dodge’s announcement, both the prop shaft and 43-spline rear half-shafts are 30% stronger than before, while the rear differential housing is 53% stronger. Demons have been known to grenade their rear diffs, so hopefully that won’t happen here. To that end, the automaker also mentions a larger 240mm (9.5-inch) ring and pinion gear with Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) processed housings to eliminate porosity.

The TL;DR version: Pretty much everything in the drivetrain is bigger, thicker, tougher and adapted to handle 1,025 horsepower on the drag strip or the street without detonating into a cloud of smoke and metal shards.

Demon tech makes a comeback (and gets better)

Naturally, this being the most demonic of all Demons, you get a host of technology to put the power down however you’d like. You get Line Lock for satisfying burnouts, Launch Control, and a new generation TransBrake.

This time around, the “TransBrake 2.0” gets an update to allow the driver to configure and select the best launch and shift torque delivery that suits the available grip on whatever track you’re running. In addition to the selectable drive modes (Auto, Sport and Drag) and the SRT Performance Pages, there’s a button on the center console to take you directly to the TransBrake settings.

Per Dodge’s figures, the TransBrake allows the engine throttle to be increased up to 2,350 rpm and generates up to 15% more torque at the rear tires during launch.

As before, that will still work with Torque Reserve, which automatically enables when using Launch Control and the TransBrake or when using foot torque braking. Torque Reserve prepositions to supercharger bypass valve, bringing in excess air, and changes spark events and timing to deliver better torque response and acceleration off the line. Finally, the SRT Demon 170 still gets Launch Assist as well, which helps tamp down wheel-hop to prevent losing any valuable torque (and time) on the launch.

The SRT Demon 170’s special touches

Of course, with the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 being a special edition, ‘Last Call’ model, you’d expect plenty of unique aesthetic touches. And you get them, first of which is the unique Demon badge. It’s certainly familiar to the original, but features a “170” neck tattoo and yellow eyes, both a nod to its ethanol-juiced power output.

We’ve also gotten used to the idea of “red keys” and “black keys” with the top-dog SRT models…but that is not happening here. The Demon 170 is red key only, with the black “valet” key being “banned” from this special version. In practice, you can limit the power (a bit) by just running it on pump gas. That said…we’re still talking about 900 horsepower, so let other folks drive it at your own risk.

Speaking of which, just like the normal Demon, Dodge will make buyers sign a waiver to acknowledge this is a street-legal drag vehicle. Its stock tires will technically work on the road, but you really shouldn’t use them regularly anywhere but the drag strip. Fortunately, Dodge will also sell a street-biased wheel and tire package for those who actually want to daily their 1,025-horsepower rigs. Godspeed, you mad, mad bastards.

The Demon 170 can be ordered in a single-seat, houndtooth cloth interior setup (that is what it’s built for, after all). However, you can spec out a pair of cloth seats, or get a full set including the rear bench in black Alcantara and Laguna leather seats with the Demon 170 logo. You can even get the Demonic Red seats, and all interior options, regardless of material, get the rear seat delete option.

Going for the premium interior option also adds in the 18-speaker Harmon Kardon sudio system with the trunk-mounted sub. You know, if you can’t stomach the thought of dropping nearly six figures on a car that’s almost entirely bereft of creature comforts. Honestly, I couldn’t, so this is a nice move.

Enjoy some devilish refreshment after the track, why don’t you?

In addition to all the special touches you get with the car itself, including the optional parachute mounting system, everyone who spends the $96,666 to buy a 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 (excluding destination, taxes and fees) gets a commemorative decanter set, serialized to match the specific owner and vehicle.

As this is a ‘Last Call’ model, each of the 3,000 examples intended for U.S. customers (and 300 for Canada) will get the special underhood plaque. Sticking under the hood, you’ll also get a Demon 170 badge cover atop the massive 3.0-liter supercharger. As with other Challenger models, this final ‘Last Call’ will be available with 14 exterior color options, including Plum Crazy, Sublime Green and Destroyer Grey.

Lastly, a few other special notes for current Demon owners. If you do want to snap up an allocation for this model — you’ll use Dodge’s Horsepower Locator at DodgeGarage.com as of March 27 — you will be able to match the same VIN as your original Demon.

It seems Dodge is aware of dealers salivating at the opportunity to mark these up, as they also mentioned dealer orders at MSRP will receive priority scheduling. Will that actually make a difference? I have no idea, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking to beat to rush without getting screwed.

2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170

That 3,300 production figure is a target

Dodge will kick off production of the Challenger SRT Demon 170 around July. From there, it will build as many as it can get through before December 31, 2023. At that point, though, production at the Brampton plant stops, no matter what.

As ever with special edition models, there’s some pressure should you want to get in now, as you may not even get one on the tail end of the production run, if Dodge can’t build all 3,300 in time.

We’ll have more on the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 coming up, so stay tuned and check out what we’ve published below to see more!