Until its 707-horsepower Hellcat version showed up, the Dodge Challenger had been playing back-up singer among the muscle car trio, standing in the shadows and swinging its ample hips while the Mustang and Camaro ruled the stage. Now all eyes are on Dodge. And the 2018 Challenger SRT Demon, which I put through its drag-racing paces this week at Lucas Oil Speedway in Indianapolis, reminds us that insane horsepower and straight-line stomp—and not the road-racing skills of the modern Ford and Chevy—remains the true measure of greatness for many muscleheads. After months of hype worthy of the upcoming Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight, the Demon knocked me on my heels with its supercharged, 840-horsepower V-8 might. However, with apologies to the Demon’s legion of fans, I can’t reveal exactly how that uppercut felt until next week, when Dodge’s embargo on driving impressions lifts—or at least until a blogger from Kazakhstan jumps the gun. Until then, here are my first impressions on the Demon. (Cue the scary music, or some vintage hardcore.)
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