Even though stricter regulations or global fuel crises led to a drop in performance and the extinction of some legendary models, muscle cars soldiered on into the 21st century. It took nearly three decades to return to the performance levels of the late-1960s and early-1970s. Then, during the 2010s, output figures soared well above the 400-hp threshold.
For Mopar fans, this new era of high performance meant the rebirth of the mighty HEMI, which was taken to a ridiculous level of potency in 2015 with the introduction of the 6.2-liter Hellcat. However, with Elon Musk proving that electric vehicles are not just better for the environment but highly profitable for his company, the auto industry followed suit. Today, the Gen III HEMI and the muscle car as we know it are slowly but surely fading into oblivion.
Dodge has already showcased how the muscle car will look and sound in the near future with its Charger SRT Daytona EV concept and announced that 2023 would be the last year for the modern Challenger. Still, as I mentioned before, the carmaker is trying to make the transition easier to bear by developing the limited-edition Challenger SRT Demon 170.
The quickest, most powerful production muscle car
The show started with several burnouts, then a launch down the strip with its front wheels slightly leaving the ground. You can watch the run in the YouTube video below by DPCcars.
Though the quarter-time of this run is not revealed in the video, Dodge claims that on a well-prepared strip, the Demon 170 can run the quarter in an NHRA-certified 8.91 seconds while also accelerating from 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 1.66 seconds. These incredible figures that shame many electric hypercars make it the fastest series-production, road-legal muscle car by a large margin.
The outrageous powerplant at the heart of this beast
Although a bit exaggerated, this claim is technically valid. The epic powerplant features a yellow-painted cast-iron block that was re-machined to accommodate new billet main caps and bolts. Furthermore, to cope with the vast combustion pressure, the upgraded cylinder heads now connect to the block via aerospace-grad studs instead of conventional bolts, which required further modifications of the block's original architecture.
Compared to the Redeye and Demon engines, the crank, conrods, and pistons have been strengthened, while the main and rod bearings are now made out of a copper-lead alloy for increased durability. Other upgrades include nitride-coated intake valves, upgraded guide, and seat materials that enable the engine to gobble up ethanol, high-flow fuel injectors that deliver 164 gallons (621 liters) of fuel per hour, and a new throttle body large enough to suck in a capybara that sends 33% more airflow into the combustion chambers than the one on the HEMIs mentioned above.
Speaking of airflow, the supercharger also differs. Manufactured by IHI, it's a modified version of the blower found on the Direct Connection Hellephant C170 crate engine revealed at the 2022 SEMA Show. It displaces 3.0-liters (more than any automotive four-cylinder engine currently in production) and spits out a whopping 21.3 psi of boost - 6 psi more than the unit equipped on the Redeye. It also comes with a new 3.02-inch (7.6 cm) pulley with a 2.68 drive ratio.
The most powerful V8 fitted into a factory-built muscle car
Equally impressive, it maintains both titles even when running on premium unleaded. While performance drops to 900 hp (912 ps) and 810 lb-ft (1,098 Nm) of torque, it's still more powerful than the Redeye or Demon and makes twice the ponies of the classic 426 street HEMI.
With this fantastic engine under its hood, the Challenger SRT Demon 170 waves goodbye to muscle car enthusiasts with a middle finger pointed toward EVs. Dodge says it will sell 3,000 units in the US and an additional 300 in Canada, so if you love muscle cars and have over $100,000 to spare, buying one should be a no-brainer. Apart from owning the most insane muscle car ever built, you'll have a car that's undoubtedly going to be worth much more in the future when EVs rule the street.