NHRA BANS 9-SEC­OND PRO­DUC­TION CAR

NZ Performance Car - - Inside Line -

You’ve heard the hype, the new Dodge De­mon cuts the quar­ter mile at a mind-blow­ing 9.65 sec­onds at 140mph straight off the fac­tory floor. How­ever you can’t con­duct such a run from this street-le­gal pro­duc­tion drag car, as the NHRA has of­fi­cially banned it — but only in its stock form. Dodge is push­ing that quar­ter-mile time as a sell­ing point, but the stan­dard car isn’t le­gal to race in the USA, as a com­pe­ti­tion li­cence and roll cage are manda­tory there, and are not of­fered by Dodge.

That said, any­one in New Zealand who gets their hands on one will be able to take it to the drag strip and make a pass — but the time that you set would de­cide whether it can run again. So in short, if you give it a half-ar­sed go and clock in at any­thing above 11 sec­onds you’ll be sweet: to legally run that 9.65s then you’ll need a roll cage and NZHRA li­cence.

The car is ca­pa­ble of such ex­plo­sive ac­cel­er­a­tion thanks to the fa­mil­iar 6.2-litre Hemi with its up­rated bot­tom end to deal with a whole lotta boost, pumped by a 2.7-litre su­per­charger pro­duc­ing enor­mous vol­umes of air at 14.5psi of boost pres­sure — this mad­ness is good for 626kW (840hp).

This is the only pro­duc­tion car to come fac­to­rye­quipped with a trans­brake. En­gaged on the drag strip start line, Dodge’s Trans­Brake sys­tem locks the eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion’s out­put shaft, al­low­ing an im­me­di­ate trans­fer of torque through to the tyres the mo­ment it is dis­en­gaged. The logic is that the pad­dle-op­er­ated Trans­Brake sys­tem is far more con­ducive to quick re­ac­tion times than a con­ven­tional two-footed ap­proach would be.

So yes, in the USA the car is banned from do­ing the one thing it was built to do re­ally well, at least it’s banned when it’s straight off the show­room floor. But if you’re se­ri­ous about drag rac­ing, es­pe­cially here, you’ll need to give the safety as­pects some at­ten­tion, and get a li­cence be­fore de­stroy­ing your lo­cal strip.

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