It’s Always Cool in the 2018 Dodge Demon’s World

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When the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon arrives later this year, it will be the first-ever production road car to use the interior AC system to lower intake air temperature.

The latest bit of information on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was released this morning and this week, we learn about one of the most unique features on the new Mopar monster. Unlike any production car in the world, the new Demon will come with a standard liquid-to-air charge air cooler chiller system, which uses the vehicle’s interior air conditioning system to chill the Hemi’s dedicated intercooler cooling loop.

The biggest enemy of an high performance engine is heat, but with a supercharged machine like the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, heat can play a big role in reducing power and increasing elapsed times at the track. Like the Challenger Hellcat and most other factory forced induction vehicles sold in the world, the new Demon will have a traditional water-to-air intercooler system with a dedicated cooling loop. This dedicated supercharger cooling circuit allows the Hellcat Hemi to run cooler than a supercharge engine without a dedicated cooling loop, but the Demon takes those cooling efforts a step further – using the interior AC system to cool the intercooler temps (IC) and the engine intake air temperature (IAT)

These lowered IC and IAT figures allow the Demon’s supercharged Hemi to produce better power, especially on hot days, but this system will also allow the newest Challenger to make big power more consistently. The liquid-to-air charge air cooler chiller system works in conjunction with Drag Mode, and when that track-ready setup is selected, the freezing cold air from the interior AC system is rerouted to the intercooler system, effectively lowering intake air temperatures by as much as 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

For example, say that a new Demon is making a run against a 2016 Hellcat Challenger on a 100 degree day. The Hellcat Challenger’s dedicated intercooler coolant loop will help to lower intake air temps, but when the air working to cool the intercooler is up around 100 degrees – the impact of the intercooler system can be vastly reduced. For the Hellcat car, the air entering the engine after it has been compressed will likely be in the area of 130-140 degrees, but with the Demon, the air cooling the intercooler system is much cooler, having been provided by the air conditioning system. As a result, the Demon would see IAT figures up to 45 degrees lower than the Hellcat Challenger, so when the Hellcat is making power with intake air at 140 degrees, the Demon is breathing air at or under 100 degrees. With cooler intake air temperatures, the engine can safely produce more power.

Basically, this system guarantees that the 2018 Challenger Demon is running in cool air regardless of the ambient air temperatures — giving it a big advantage over other cars at the track.

In addition to the information on the first-ever production road car with a liquid-to-air charge air cooler chiller system which utilizes the interior AC system, Dodge released a new teaser video titled “No Ice”. Many racers will pack bags of ice on top of the engine to try to reduce component temperatures between runs, but Dodge Demon drivers won’t have to worry about that, as cooler components and lower intake air temperatures are always available with the push of the Drag Mode button.

Longtime auto journalist Patrick Rall contributes to Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Rennlist, Club Lexus, F-150 Online, and YotaTech.

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