Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced Friday that it has begun shipping its controversial 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon to dealerships.
Dodge is touting the limited-production muscle car as “the industry’s first and only purpose-built street-legal production drag car.”
The Demon’s supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 engine delivers 840 horsepower and 770 ft.-lbs of torque — allowing the car to go from 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds, and cover a quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph.
According to Popular Science, the Demon has a top speed of 168 mph.
USA Today reported that the National Hot Rod Association has certified the Demon as the world’s fastest quarter-mile production vehicle.
Fiat Chrysler North America’s head of passenger cars Tim Kuniskis revealed the extraordinary capabilities of the vehicle in a video released by Dodge in April.
“You can make this car as comfortable or as crazy as you want it to be,” Kuniskis said.
“The people who bought a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon are performance enthusiasts to the core, and having a custom car with accessories that improve overall performance is critical,” Kuniskis, who is responsible for the Chrysler, Dodge, SRT and Fiat brands, said in Fiat Chrysler’s media release for the vehicle.
Fiat Chrysler plans to produce 3,300 Demons at its Brampton, Ontario plant, 300 of which will be held for Canadian buyers.
— Bonham Chrysler (@BonhamChrysler2) November 12, 2017
Pricing begins at $84,995, which includes the $1,700 gas guzzler tax, but excludes a $1,095 destination charge and the cost of any additional accessories.
Despite its eye-popping performance capabilities which rival the speed and power of drag-racing cars, industry experts have been critical of the Demon’s release to the public.
In an April editorial, Automotive News, the auto industry’s leading trade publication, called to ban the Demon from street use.
According to the publication, the Demon “is so inherently dangerous to the common safety of motorists that its registration as a road-worthy automobile should be banned.”
Automotive New accused Fiat Chrysler of preferring corporate “bragging rights” to “public safety.”
“From its barely legal slick tires to its monstrous acceleration, the Challenger Demon introduced in New York this month is the result of a sequence of misguided corporate choices that places bragging rights ahead of public safety,” their editorial read.
Automotive News also noted that the Demon has been banned from regulated drag strips by the National Hot Rod Association, reportedly for being “too fast.”
“To borrow a phrase from Ralph Nader, the Demon remains unsafe at any speed,” the editorial concluded.