Since 2022, Dodge has slowly but steadily released a number of limited “Last Call” vehicles celebrating the sunsetting of the legendary HEMI V8 powered engines as the industry moves towards mass electrification. The automaker has finally taken the wraps off the seventh and final commemorative edition model: the 2023 Challenger SRT Demon 170.
“What are you going to do right now to celebrate the end of this era? What are you going to do right now to really honour the car that took you from completely non-existent and ignored to the number one muscle car in North America the last two years running? You can’t let that go quietly. You’ve got to celebrate that,” said CEO Tim Kuniskis during a virtual press backgrounder held in early March prior to the official reveal.
Officially billed as the “quickest, fastest and most powerful muscle car in the world,” the 1,025-horsepower, 945 pound-feet of torque 170 is a nod to the 170-proof E85 ethanol fuel required to allow maximum performance (using E10 drops the numbers down to 900 and 810, respectively). But just how did the company stretch the already whacky standard Demon so much further? By taking off the kid gloves.
No governors are present to restrict output, and extensive upgrades results in a nearly fresh engine. Here are some of the highlights:
- Improved supercharger: a modified 3.0-litre supercharger with a larger snout, 105-millimetre throttle body and 3.02-inch pulley increases boost pressure 40 per cent over the Hellcat Redeye Widebody
- Fueling horsepower: sensors determine horsepower levels according to amount of ethanol fuel content — high ethanol blends unlock the 170’s full potential
- Driveline upgrades: all-new driveline with 240-millimetre ring gear, 53 per cent stronger differential housing and 30 per cent stronger rear prop shaft
- Massive drag radials: the 315/5017 Mickey Thompson ET Street R drag radials have never previously been outfitted on a production car
- TransBrake 2.0: Drivers can dial in launch and shift torque settings easier than before and increase throttle up to 2,350 rpm
- Unique Drag Mode suspension: specially-tuned valves in the adaptive-damping Bilstein shocks provide maximum weight transfer
In fact, the only main power component of the 6.2-litre HEMI untouched is the camshaft. It shares the same DNA as the Direct Connection (Dodge factory-backed aftermarket parts line) family of Hellephant crate engines debuting at last year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The official 0-to-60 MPH time is a staggering 1.66 seconds.
So how does it look? For fans of the iconic model, the good news is not too much has changed on the exterior. All 14 exterior Challenger paint colours are offered, including favourites like Destroyer Grey, Plum Crazy purple and Sublime green, as well as an available Satin Black hood, roof and decklid. The Demon fender emblem gains a yellow eye and “170” neck tattoo, and there’s a “Last Call” plaque found under the hood.
Moving into the cabin, houndstooth cloth, rather than heavier leather, upholstery covers the seats — or should I seat, as all but the driver’s side has been deleted in the interest of keeping things light. Even the trunk carpet and LED, sound insulation and billet pedal covers are removed for the same purpose. For those preferring a little extra comfort, these items and more may be optioned in. A yellow and red badge mounted on the instrument cluster shows the four-digital VIN.
An interesting bonus thrown in is the decanter set, serialized to the specific owner and vehicle, bundling the engraved decanter, glasses, coasters, whiskey cubes and more.
The 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is limited to just 3,000 units for the U.S. and 300 for Canada. Orders start on March 27 at an MSRP of $96,666 USD and production begins in the summer.