Apr 18, 2017 Photos by Dan Ilika. Embedded images by Dodge.
After enduring months of teasers the Dodge Demon was unleashed on the world during a meticulously planned event on the eve of the 2017 New York Auto Show.
And while it was quite the spectacle, with fiery explosions and celebrity appearances culminating in the cover coming off the most powerful production muscle car of all time, the event left many questions unanswered. Like what was with all those peculiar — not to mention poorly Photoshopped — license plates? That’s what your friends at AutoGuide.com are here for. After consulting with the good folks behind the project, here’s what we can tell you about some of those strange numbers Dodge dangled in front of us in the months leading up to the Demon’s unveil.
1. Only Two Wheels Required
As an early sign of what was the come over the subsequent months, the plate bearing ‘#2576@35’ stumped us all. Guesses on the Internet ranged from how much air the Demon’s engine displaced to how much torque was made at each wheel. As it turns out, it was far more complex. Apparently, the ‘2576’ portion refers to the amount of weight transfer in pounds — 2,576 of them — necessary to lift the Demon’s front end off the ground under acceleration. The ‘35’ represents the distance in inches the car can travel on its rear wheels alone, a world record for a production car.
2. The Date the Demon Made History
Despite the fact no one was, at least publicly, able to crack the code from the license plate teaser, the marketing folks involved in the Demon’s unveil campaign didn’t want to leave anything to chance. As such, they deployed a pair of decoys in a subsequent teaser to throw everyone off the scent. With a plate bearing the name of Tom Coddington, a drag racer from the 1960s, as well as the serial number ‘0757’ and the VIN ‘001121’, the Internet went into a frenzy once again. As it turns out, the first two weren’t deserving of the amount of sleuthing that was going on. Instead, it was the VIN that held the biggest secret, with ‘001121’ representing the date — Nov. 21, 2016 — on which the Demon set its aforementioned wheelie record, as well as its blistering quarter-mile time of 9.650 seconds.
According to Dan Reid, head of communications for the Challenger product line, Coddington’s name was included on the VIN plate as a subtle confirmation of the Demon’s drag-ready ways, as well as an example of the personalization offered on each Demon crate available with the car. Likewise, the number ‘0757’ was simply a vague way to confirm that the Demon would make more than the 707 horsepower made by the Hellcat. The speculation about what the number meant — which turned out to be nothing — helped add an extra layer of mystery. “It wasn’t really planned that way,” Reid said about the public fascination with the number. “But people kept speculating.”
3. Pulling Some Serious Gs
If the other teasers weren’t difficult enough to decipher, this one was downright impossible. What seemed simple enough — the ‘13.5=575@500’ appeared to be some sort of quarter-mile time or dyno result — was actually a complex equation that was so far off of anyone’s radar it’s not even fair. The ‘13.5’ represents the speed, in miles per hour, at which the Demon hits peak acceleration G force. That number would be 1.785 g, or 57.5 ft per second squared, just 0.500 seconds into launch, hence the ‘575@500’ portion. Like we said, impossible.
4. Launch Sequence Initialized
The Dodge Demon was fitted with a different license plate as the car sat on the strip in the ‘No Pills’ teaser, with the digits ‘3.9+221=405’ emblazoned on it. Bound to cause just as many headaches as the first fake plate, this time it was hinting at the car’s trick Torque Reserve system. Part of the launch control system fitted in the car, the Torque Reserve system allows the engine to build torque for optimal launches. In this case, the ‘3.9’ means the amount of boost, in psi, built in the supercharger at launch, resulting in a build-up of 221 lb-ft of torque for a total launch torque of 405 lb-ft of torque. If that seems just as confusing to you as it was when you didn’t know what the numbers meant, don’t worry; you’re not alone.
5. All Systems Set for Launch
Dodge continued its cruel game of mathematical wizardry in the following teaser with another license plate riddle. This time it upped the ante, with the plate reading ‘8.3+317=534’. It also made about as much sense as the previous one. The Torque Reserve system isn’t the Dodge Demon’s only unique launch-specific feature; it also boasts a factory-fitted transmission brake. Like a line-lock but far more sophisticated, the transmission brake engages both forward and reverse gears simultaneously to build power prior to launch. With both Torque Reserve and transmission brake systems engaged, the massive supercharger atop the Hemi engine builds even more power for launch. In this case, the ‘8.3’ means the amount of boost pressure, again in psi, the supercharger builds with both systems engaged. That results in incremental torque count of 317 lb-ft for total launch torque of 534 lb-ft.