Lighter, Faster, Better: SpeedKore's "Big Machine" Dodge Challenger Demon
Whether or not you consider yourself a fan of drag racing or even muscle cars in general, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a car worthy of respect from anyone who likes cool automobiles. It’s brash, loud and primitive in a way that most of today’s cars aren’t, and that’s what makes it so special.
There’s also something especially great about a production car that’s so focused on one thing, like the Demon is on drag racing. With its uniquely calibrated suspension, factory-equipped drag radial tires and front “skinny” setup, few production cars have ever been as specialized.
However, if you are the kind of enthusiast who enjoys taking a factory-spec car and upgrading it via the aftermarket, the Demon is a tough act to improve upon—but as you are about to see, it’s not impossible.
Made for the Road and the 'Strip
In fact, there are some builders out there who take great in pleasure in trying improve something that’s already great, or in this case, taking a muscle car that was known for its straight line performance and making it equally impressive in a road course setting.
The 2018 Dodge Demon you see here is was built by SpeedKore Performance Group for Scott Borchetta, the CEO of the Nashville-based Big Machine Label Company. In other words, it’s what you get when the music and muscle car worlds collide.
SpeedKore is a brand that’s made quite a name for itself in recent years with their bespoke pro touring muscle car builds, as well as their high end carbon fiber body parts for both modern and vintage American muscle cars.
Carbon Fiber Everywhere
It’s with those carbon fiber body panels that the Big Machine sets itself apart from the factory-issue Demon. Because for as powerful and dialed-in as the Demon is from the factory, there’s no getting around the extra weight that the modern Challenger carries around.
Among the panels replaced with lighter weight carbon versions are the front bumper and splitter, hood, front fenders, rear quarter panels, roof, trunklid and even the Demon’s signature fender flares.
Even More Horsepower
While trimming weight from the Demon is one of the simplest ways to make it go faster and handle better, the SpeedKore crew didn’t stop there. The Demon’s blown Hemi also saw some performance tweaking at the hands Gearhead Fabrications.
Among the upgrades to the 6.2L Hemi are a new Whipple supercharger, larger injectors and a DiabloSport E85 tune, which helps the car put down 980hp to the wheels, some 200 more horsepower than even the highest stock Demon figures.
Wheels and Tires
While the Demon’s factory-equipped 18-inch wheels and drag radial tires are great for the drag strip, to improve the car’s all around performance they were replaced with a set of 20x11 HRE Series C105 forged wheels with wide and sticky 305/30/20 Nitto NT05 tires on each corner.
Practical Upgrades, Throwback Style
The interior isn’t dramatically different from stock, but SpeedKore did fabricate and install a custom 14-point roll cage setup along with a set of carbon fiber door panels for a cool look and an extra bit of weight savings.
Last but not least, the whole car was coated with a layer of PPG “Big Machine Red” paint and affixed with a carbon fiber graphics design that looks like it came straight out of 1971.
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a car that’s sure to go down in history as one of the most focused and extreme American performance cars ever built, but as SpeedKore and Big Machine have shown with this project, there’s always room to make a great thing even better.
Images by Drew Phillips
Looking for more widebody Mopar Muscle? Check out the new 2020 Dodge Charger Scat Pack and Charger Hellcat.