The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is extremely quick. It can hit 60 mph from a dead stop in less time than it takes to read this sentence thanks to its supercharged 6.2-liter V8. That engine makes up to 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque, depending on what octane is running through the fuel lines. That's a ton of power going solely to the rear wheels. So much so that Dodge developed a number of features and a new set of tires specifically for the car. In our time with the Demon, the car took abuse run after run on a drag strip without skipping a beat, but it seems some actual owners aren't quite so lucky. Just take a look at what happened to a few of these cars.
You can see the whole car shake and jitter right as the whole rear explodes in front of the tree. It seems the initial shock from the launch — the most taxing bit of any drag run — is what kills the differentials. Catastrophic failure is rarely pretty, but it is neat to see the whole thing occur in slow motion. Three more cars — four stock and one modified in total — suffered similar fates. Not a great look for Dodge or SRT.
According to The Drive, a private drag event in Texas drew a number of Demon owners all trying to beat NHRA NHRA Top Fuel racer Leah Pritchett's time in her personal Dodge Demon — 42 stock Demons attended along with five modified cars. While no one managed to match her 9.65-second quarter-mile run, a few owners did dip below 10 seconds.
Now, there are a few of caveats we must address. First, with any modified car, you run the risk of breaking something, even with a car that's set up from stock specifically for drag strips. Even a set of tires like the Mickey Thompsons shown in the video above can have an effect on driveline components. Horsepower may be king, but it's torque that's the rear killer. All that torque sends a shock through the car. Adding even more with aftermarket parts increases the risk of something failing. The modified car was apparently pushing out about 1,000 horsepower.
That said, four of the five vehicles were stock, so any extra power or torque should theoretically be a non-factor. The drag strip's surface was maintained by a company called Mass Traction. FCA used Mass Traction during the Demon's development, so that too should be a non-factor in the part's failure.
It's unclear what exactly caused the failures, though The Drive reports that FCA officials are investigating the matter.