This is it, folks. The seventh and last ‘Final Call’ Dodge Challenger has landed, marking the end of the firm’s combustion-powered muscle car and, with it, the death of the Hemi V8. An unfortunate victim of the company’s electric push, Dodge is at least sending off its legendary block in style with ‘the most powerful muscle car in the world’ – the Challenger SRT Demon 170.
That claim is hard to argue with when you see the numbers: 1,025hp and 945lb ft of torque on an E85 ethanol mix, or 900hp and 810lb ft on more readily available E10. That’s a fair chunk more than the previous Final Call model, the Black Ghost, and it’s all made possible by some ‘extensive’ upgrades under the hood. Dodge says ‘the only significant part’ left untouched is the camshaft, while tweaks to the supercharger include a larger snout and Dodge’s new ‘SRT Power Chiller’, which uses the air conditioning to cool down the supercharger.
Just as much effort has been put into making it a complete, er, Demon on the drag strip. The 170 is said to be the first production car to be fitted with Mickey Thompson ET Street R drag tyres – the sort of rubber that’ll pull wheelies when the lights go green – and the suspension has been tweaked to maximise the rear contact patch. It’s also been on a diet, shedding up to 71kg over the Redeye Widebody. We say ‘up to’, as a slice of that saving comes from optional two-piece carbon fibre wheels and carbon inserts for the deleted rear seats. There’s launch control, of course, but the line lock burnout mode will likely get more action out of 170 owners.
Back to some mind-blowing numbers. It’ll hit 60mph from a standstill in 1.66 seconds (try beating that, Tesla) and devour a quarter mile in 8.91 seconds at 151.17mph. It is so fast, in fact, that it’d receive a violation letter from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) if it ever stepped foot onto a drag strip, as it doesn’t feature the necessary safety features to legally run a sub-nine-second run.
Here's the thing: Dodge wants to get a violation letter. It’s the crux of the 'Final Call' line, which harks back to the company’s older models and the legends surrounding them. The 170 serves as a nod to the original SRT Demon, a car so brutally fast and devoid of sufficient safety gear it was banned from competition by the NHRA. Thankfully, you can spec your 170 with the necessary gear to take it onto the drag strip, including a harness bar and parachute mounting system. Even if you never intend to take this racing, ticking the parachute option is an absolute must.
Unlike most run-out models, Dodge isn’t limiting the 170 to a handful of loyalists. The company is planning a production run of 3,300 models, each priced at $96,666 (obligatory devil reference there), or just under £79,000 in UK money. That’s before fees and dealer markup, but how many cars can you think of with over 1,000hp for less than six figures? Not many, if any. Let’s hope we get the same bang-for-buck performance when the electric muscle car revolution kicks in. Shame the Hemi V8 noise will be gone for good.
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