Dodge introduced the seventh and final “Last Call” variant of its Challenger and Charger muscle cars with the most powerful of the brand. The 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 picks up where the first Challenger SRT Demon left off in 2018.
The latest generation of Dodge’s iconic gas-guzzling muscle car has turned out to have the latest version of the automaker’s legendary 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8. It’s a direct descendant of Direct Connection’s (Dodge’s factory-backed performance parts maker) Hellephant C170 crate engine that debuted at the 2022 SEMA Show.
“To celebrate the end of the Hemi muscle car era, we’re pulling out all the throttles to reach a new level, a new benchmark of ‘factory crazy’ production car performance,” said Tim Kuniskis, CEO of the brand. Dodge in Stellantis.
Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 Engine
Under the hood is a high-output, fire-breathing 6.2-liter Hemi V8 with tons of upgrades. First, it has a new 3.0-liter supercharger based on the Hellephant C170 crate engine, which produces 30 percent more airflow and 40 percent more boost pressure at 21.3 psi. The supercharger combines a 3.02-inch pulley with an updated 2.68 gear ratio to deliver 14 percent more overdrive.
Other notable upgrades include higher-strength connecting rods with improved pin bushing support, a viscous damper that helps reduce torsional vibration, and, for aluminum cylinder heads, aerospace-spec steel bolts with steel inserts for a 38 increase. percent on the clamping load.
Next, the engine received higher-flow fuel injectors (capable of pumping 164 gallons of gasoline per hour), a 105mm throttle body (33 percent more airflow volume), aluminum-coated intake valves, nitride, lead-copper rod and center bearings, heat- and ethanol-optimized spark plugs, and an upgraded TorqueFlite 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission.
Running on a steady diet of E85 ethanol blend gas, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 produces 1,025 horsepower and 945 lb-ft. of torque, more than the first SRT Demon unleashed in 2018. However, the insanity deviates to 900 horsepower and 810 lb-ft. of torque if the engine detects E10 gas. Those numbers make the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 the most powerful muscle car in the automaker’s long and cherished history.
How fast is the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170?
Dodge claims zero to 60 mph in an incredible 1.6 seconds while delivering the highest G-forces (2,004 gs) while doing so. It is also the first production car in automotive history to go a quarter mile in eight seconds. The Challenger SRT Demon 170 destroyed the quarter mile in an NHRA-certified 8.1 seconds at 151.17 mph, enough to earn a violation letter for running under nine seconds without a parachute or roll cage.
Powertrain control module with ethanol detection
The supercharged Hemi V8 in the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 can detect ethanol in the fuel tank. As a result, the Hemi V8 can adjust the horsepower rating automatically based on the percentage of ethanol in the gasoline in the tank. A recalibrated powertrain control module (PCM) governs the V8’s fuel flow and spark timing and displays the fuel’s ethanol rating in the instrument cluster.
If the system detects 20 percent ethanol, the fuel pump icon in the cluster will illuminate white. But if the system detects up to 65 percent ethanol, the icon will glow blue, meaning the engine could unleash all 1,025 horsepower to the ground.
Underneath is a 30-percent stronger rear driveshaft, larger CV joints, and a 53-percent stronger rear axle housing with an integrated Direct Connect logo for some street cred. It all connects to a beefed-up 240mm rear axle and 43-spline rear axle shafts to make the 1025 horsepower. Helping the cause are custom 18 x 8-inch front and 17 x 11-inch rear wheels wrapped in custom-built Mickey Thompson ET Street R drag radials.
Plus, the Challenger SRT Demon 170 has the drag-ready software and hardware needed to turn ordinary drivers into heroes on the racetrack. It features the next-generation TransBrake 2.0, initially introduced on the first Demon, which allows drivers to set or select launch torque profiles for specific track conditions. The system works with launch control and a torque reserve function to improve engine response at any rpm and maximize acceleration.
Standard for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 are features from the previous Demon, such as Line Lock (allows stationary depletions with the push of a button) and launch assist. It also has the SRT electric cooler feature that diverts conditioned air to the supercharger to reduce intake temperatures while also cooling the engine after heavy operation.
Bilstein adaptive dampers
Helping the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 shift all that weight and torque are adaptive Bilstein dampers on all four legs that react to the car’s drive mode settings. For example, in Drag mode, the Bilstein front shocks are set for firm compression and soft rebound, while the rear shocks are set for firm compression and firm rebound damping.
Plus, Bilstein shocks allow for a 10mm higher ride height in the rear and restricted 17mm of rebound travel to gobble up those huge Mickey Thompson drag tires. Accompanying those tricky dampers are softer springs (35 percent front and 28 percent rear) and softer sway bars (75 percent front and 44 percent rear).
Don’t mistake the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 for a fast but practical car. It lacks a front passenger seat, rear seats, sound insulation, trunk carpeting, and trunk lights, all in an effort to reduce weight. It only has a two-speaker audio system. In exchange, you get a yellow and red Demon badge on the instrument cluster (detailing the vehicle’s four-digit VIN), Alcantara performance handlebars, and genuine carbon fiber trim.
However, a premium leather interior option flourishes the otherwise sterile cabin with Alcantara and Laguna leather, a heated and ventilated driver’s seat, a heated steering wheel, and an 18-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, to name a few. . Other changes include an SRT badging on the front grille, custom Demon badging (with a 170 neck tattoo and yellow demon eye), and “Last Call” commemorative plates.
Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 Availability
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is available to order through May 15, 2023, with base prices starting around $97,000 before destination fees. Dodge will limit production to 3,300 units, with 3,000 destined for the United States and 300 for Canada. The MSRP includes a Demon Decanter Set, Goodwool Breathable Mesh Cover, and premium car care products from Jay Leno’s Garage.
The 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 will be available in all 14 Challenger exterior colors, including B5 Blue, Plum Crazy (purple), Sublime (green), and Destroyer Grey. All colors will also be available with an optional exclusive Satin Black hood or a Satin Black painted hood, roof and decklid.
Like the original Demon, owners must sign a waiver acknowledging the Demon 170’s unique characteristics as a purpose-built, street-legal production drag car. The purchase of a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 allows owners to participate in a one-day SRT Experience class at Radford Racing School.
We salute Dodge for going all-in on its latest “Last Call” muscle car. But before you grab a Kleenex, know that Dodge and the muscle car era will live on with the Charger Daytona SRT Concept, the electric muscle car. Of course, from an enthusiast’s point of view, nothing replaces the sheer animosity, rumble, and sound of a tuned American V8, but we’re open to other alternatives.
Alvin Reyes is a columnist for Automoblog and an expert on sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics and accounting in his youth and is still very much in love with his old Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.
Photos and source: Dodge.