Last week, we brought you the first footage of a 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 making a soft pull on the open road and today, we bring you what we believe to be the first footage of privately owned 170s making quarter mile runs. There are likely to be others from this past weekend and more clips showing up online in the coming weeks, but these are the first two that I saw that offered a great look at what these cars are capable of, even in less-than-perfect conditions.
The first quarter mile track footage came from Timothy Mikoliczyk, who was took his 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 to Rockingham Dragway for Mopars at the Rock. His car had about 600 miles on the odometer when he got to the track, so it was just beyond the suggested break-in period, allowing him to use the TransBrake feature. He actually finished the break-in mileage on his way to the track.
He had initially filled the car with 93 octane gasoline, then he added 7.9 gallons of ethanol from a gas station pump, leading to a blend of 37% ethanol, but when he got to the track, and he added 5 gallons of Ignite E90 ethanol, leading to a fuel mixture of 61% ethanol. He knows those ethanol levels thanks to the ethanol content readout in the gauge cluster. Also, thanks to the power readout on the infotainment screen, we know that Mikoliczyk’s 61% ethanol blend yielded an output of 1,016 horsepower, so we was technically down on power a bit.
As for Mikoliczyk’s Demon 170, it has full interior, no sunroof and the alloy wheels, so it is on the heavier end of the spectrum. Also, his best pass at Rockingham was made at roughly +1,400 density altitude, but he still turned in a solid time of 9.508 at 144.79 miles per hour. The one change from stock was that Mikoliczyk switched the stock wheels and tires for a set of Billet Specialty wheels wrapped in Hoosier rubber because the stock tires were turning on the wheels on his first few hard launches. You can watch his 9.50 run in the video below.
The second quarter mile track footage was posted by Steven Ripa of Ripatuned, who took his Sublime Demon 170 to Island Dragway for some testing on Sunday.
When he got to the track, his car had just over 60 miles on the odometer (he left for the track with just 21 miles on the car), so he had not reached the break-in mileage and as a result, he could not use the TransBrake feature. That left him to launch just with the brake pedal and accelerator. Ripa’s Demon 170 was fueled by Ignite E90, leading to a readout of 88% ethanol content (and full output of 1,025 horsepower).
Ripa’s Demon 170 is a lightweight single-seat car with no interior or trunk trim, but he does have the alloy wheels (not the carbon fiber wheels), so this car is slightly heavier than the test car that Dodge used to run in the 8s. Ripa got his car on the scales and it weighed 4,157 pounds (without a driver). Like Mikoliczyk, Ripa also had issues with the stock tires spinning on the stock wheels a bit, but he stuck with them and his results were solid.
With a density altitude of +408 feet, Ripa ran a best time of 9.398 at 147.73 miles per hour in 100% stock form. You can watch that video below, and as you can see, he lifted the front wheels on launch with the stock tires.
“I am extremely impressed with how the car performed and I firmly believe with a better track and the drag features unlocked at 500 miles that I can tie or beat Dodge’s record with the car,” said Steven Ripa. “We plan on putting the car on the dyno this week as I also believe the 170 is underrated from the factory and makes more than the stated 1025hp We at Ripatuned plan on making staged packages for the 170, starting with a simple engine and trans calibration with lower temp thermostat, all the way up to full blown ripatuned twin turbo setups. I want to thank Dennis at Lester Glenn Dodge in Toms River New Jersey for providing me with an allocation to get the car and making sure it was built with my exact specs. I have purchased many dodge/ram vehicles from Dennis and the m experience has been nothing short of stellar.”
While most Mopar enthusiasts are excited by seeing these brand new cars running in the mid-to-low 9-second range on their first trip to the track, some critics don’t understand why they aren’t running in the 8s right out of the box. There are a few key variables at hand.
First, when the Dodge team got into the 8s, they had made literally hundreds of test passes, so test driver and engineer Jim Wilder had worlds of experience in terms of how to launch the car for the best elapsed times. As Ripa, Mikoliczyk and other Demon 170 owners get more experience, we will absolutely see their ETs drop.
Second, when Dodge set the record at 8.91, we know that the density altitude was around -308 feet at the time of their record run at South Georgia Motorsports Park. That accounts for a 700 foot difference in air quality during Steven Ripa’s 9.39 and a difference of 2,100 feet for Mikoliczyk’s 9.50. I have written about a great many quarter mile records over the years and literally all of them were set in negative density altitude, so when Demon 170 owners get into deep negative DA, we will see elapsed times drop down near or into the 8s.
Finally, the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 that the manufacturer used to set their 8.91 record was the lightest configuration possible, with no interior trim and carbon fiber wheels. The Ripa car has alloy wheels so it is a bit heavier than the Dodge test car while the Mikoliczyk’s full interior car is one of the heavier configurations available, with the exception of the sunroof cars.
In short, while Timothy Mikoliczyk and Steven Ripa both ran solid numbers on their first time to the track with their Demon 170s, they both had less ideal air conditions and more weight than the Dodge test car, in addition to having far less seat time than the driver behind the wheel of the 170 test car that set the 8.91 record. Click here for more on the official Dodge timeslip for the Demon 170.
All images provided by Timothy Mikoliczyk and Steven Ripa.