Watch a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon take on a classic 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS in a drag race.
Sometimes it's helpful to have two cars stack up to each other that have no business racing just to see how far automotive technology has improved over the years. The Dodge Challenger Demon has a very similar look to those classic ‘60s and ‘70s muscle cars, but has far more power than any of them could ever have dreamed.
Let’s first examine the competition: a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. Most of these came equipped with a Big-Block Chevy V8 that produced between 350 and 375 horsepower. That was a lot for the era, but nowadays that kind of power is standard on most luxury sedans, and even a few power-conscious mid-tier cars.
A 4-speed manual is the usual choice for the Chevelle drag racer, which is a far cry from the Demon’s 8-speed automatic. The Chevelle does have a serious weight advantage at around 3,500 lbs, but the Demon has over twice the power thanks to a 6.2-L supercharged HEMI V8.
Rated at 840 horses and 770 lb-ft of torque, the Demon is advertised as going from zero to sixty in just 2.3 seconds. Real world performance isn’t nearly so rosy, but it’s still a world away from a 1971 Chevelle.
The Chevelle driver must know that they’re horrifically outmatched. Maybe the Chevelle has some surprises under the hood, like a brand new supercharged crate engine or a bottle of NOS that’ll make the Demon do a double take.
Or maybe it’s just a well-maintained stock vehicle.
After the light turns green, it seems pretty clear that whatever work was done to keep the Chevelle moving over 45 years since rolling off the assembly line, it was not enough to even hope to keep up with a Demon. It just shoots off down the track as the Chevelle putters along far behind it.
The Demon finished in 10.18 seconds at 128.6 mph, while the Chevelle managed a 12.64 at 105.36 mph. That’s quite a leap forward in nearly 5 decades.