Switch between pump and race fuel at the push of a button. Sort of.
We’ve made it – three months of weekly tidbits designed to whet everyone’s appetite for what Dodge believes will be the most amazing factory drag racer of all time. The last thing you need to know about the soon-to-be-revealed Challenger SRT Demon is that it can run on 100-octane race fuel. In fact, the manufacturer says it’s the first ever factory-production car designed to handle both race fuel and pump gas on-demand. But there’s a catch, and if we’re honest, it’s a fairly big one. Remember the Demon Crate we talked about a few weeks ago, chock full of tools and parts that will come with every car?
SRT Demon owners wanting to run 100-octane race fuel will need to delve into that crate for a new powertrain control module (PCM) and install it, along with a new switch bank for the centre stack that features a neat gas button. Once hooked up, pressing the button will allow the car to operate on pump gas (91 octane minimum) or race gas. Mixing the fuels isn't a problem, as the Demon's PCM will monitor sensors and make adjustments as needed, including reverting to the standard pump gas programming if necessary.
We assume Dodge made this functionality separate to keep the Demon a street-legal vehicle sold through dealerships. We also assume that various engine and emission components are manufactured to handle the demands of higher octane fuels, but there’s no mention of specifics on this. Either way, the Demon leaves the factory with a PCM tuned specifically for 91-octane pump gas, which in our book takes a bit of wind out of the whole first-ever thing, since technically it’s not a function available from the factory. We’re splitting hairs here for sure, but then again, so is Dodge. Naturally there isn’t a mention of potential power gains from running race fuel. Dodge simply says owners will see “big changes” at the drag strip when running the high-octane fuel.
By this time next week all our questions should finally be answered. By all questions, we mean just how much horsepower this car actually makes. 757 has been teased, but with all the pomp and circumstance – and especially with Hennessey’s new 1,000-horsepower Exorcist Camaro clearly aimed at the Demon’s horns – such a number would be terrifically anti-climactic.
Did we just say 757 horsepower in a muscle car would be anti-climactic? Well, these are good times we live in, aren't they?