NHRA BANS 9-SECOND PRODUCTION CAR
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.