Someone at FCA was paying attention to a wave of complaints about the Challenger SRT Demon’s dragged-out, teased launch, because the newly released video, “No Pills”, is our best look yet at the monster Dodge. That means no semi-shadowed half-glimpses…we get the big Mopar sitting on the track with the Christmas tree coming down, and we get to see and hear at least part of a quarter-mile run. Why part? We’ll tag on that in a minute, but let’s look over what we get at the start.
First, we get another cryptic equation: 3.9+221+405. We probably won’t get the answer to that one until they “officially” pull the curtain back on the Demon next month, but if you understand engineer math, please share your findings. Then there is the exhaust note. No V8 Challenger sounds meek, so it’s no surprise that the Demon’s bark is especially menacing. What is surprising is what sounds like a rev limiter just before the launch, but that isn’t quite what’s going on. According to FCA:
“The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon’s unique exhaust note is the result of an advanced torque reserve launch system – the first ever designed for a drag race application on a production car.
What is torque reserve? In plain English, it lets more air flow through the engine before launch, allowing for increased supercharger rpm without torque overwhelming the brakes and spinning the rear tires.
In the Challenger SRT Demon, torque reserve kicks in when Launch Mode is active and engine rpm is greater than 1,000.
Torque reserve does two things:
- It closes the bypass valve on the supercharger, “prefilling” the supercharger
- It manages fuel flow to cylinders and changes spark timing. To balance engine rpm and torque, the Challenger SRT Demon’s powertrain controller will briefly cut fuel flow to selected cylinders. This creates the noticeable change in the exhaust tone. The controller also advances or retards the ignition timing to fine-tune the engine rpm/torque balance
With torque reserve managing the engine output, the supercharged HEMI® engine can build boost pressure before leaving the starting line and reach maximum boost pressure quicker, taking full advantage of the SRT Demon’s increased weight transfer and increased contact patch drag radials to reduce 60-foot times.”
Now, about the run featured. Here is all we are going to say about it: the Demon launches like a missile and sounds badass barking gears as it makes the run. But do yourself a favor and break out the stopwatch. Time from the moment the throttle goes wide-open until the moment the driver gets off of the gas. We know the numbers we got, and frankly, if the audio is accurate, we’re stunned. But like we said, take with a grain of salt until Dodge actually confirms them.