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Dodge Demon is the world's new quarter-mile king

Motoring

New York - Lock the doors and hide the women and children. After a drawn-out teaser campaign Dodge has finally unveiled its Challenger SRT Demon – a fire-breathing, wheelie-popping muscle car with astonishing performance figures.

With 626kW and 1044Nm of fire and brimstone, this is the most powerful street-legal muscle car yet produced, and the American coupé leaves bulls and prancing horses (Lamborghinis and Ferraris, in case you hadn't clicked) in its dust.

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The car, which is being unveiled to the world at this week's New York International Automotive show, is a big bag of superlatives.

The heart of the beast is a 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi V8 with 14.5 psi boost pressure and a 6 500 rev limit, with an Air-Grabber induction system comprising the largest functional hood scoop of any production car. All hell breaks loose when all that power's fired to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic 'box.

Assisted by a TransBrake (a form of launch control that allows the engine revs to build up before a standing start) and super-wide 315/40R18 Nitto street-legal drag radial tyres, the Demon is the world’s fastest 0-60mph (0-96km/h) production car with a time of 2.3 seconds, which means it should hit the 100km/h mark in around 2.5 seconds.

At 9.65 seconds it's also the world's quickest production car over a quarter-mile. The Bilstein Adaptive Damping shocks have been tuned for drag racing, shifting as much weight as possible on the rear tyres at launch for maximum traction. The weight transfer improves rear tyre grip by 11 percent.

Registering the highest g-force (1.8g) ever recorded at launch in a showroom-spec car, the rear-wheel drive Dodge is so quick off the line that it slightly lifts the front wheels, and Guinness World Records has certified it's wheelied over an 89cm distance.

The Challenger SRT Demon is also the first factory-production car that can run on 100+ unleaded high-octane fuel – although it can run on regular 91-octane as well.

Similar to the less powerful (520kW) Challenger SRT Hellcat introduced in 2014, the SRT Demon comes with two key fobs: a black one that limits engine output to 373kW and a red one that unleashes all 626kW of fury.

"With Demon, our goal was to build a car that would tattoo the Dodge logo into the subconscious of the general market, beyond even our loyal enthusiasts," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

“To do so, we had to set records that have never been set before, do more than has ever been done before, go beyond even the legendary Hellcat".

And no, you can't buy one in South Africa, we're afraid. The limited-edition Challenger SRT Demon is being built in left-hand-drive only for the USA and Canadian markets.

Follow Denis Droppa on Twitter @DenisDroppa

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