Dodge made a complete mess of the reissue of the Dodge Charger. What people were wanting was a car that looked and sounded like the classic General Lee or at least the swoopy muscle car of the early 1970s. What they got was a four door family sedan, that people were disappointed in because was a four door family sedan. "But it has the name". "But that isn't what it is".
They reissued the Challenger, and it looks a LOT like its 1970s version. Like, there's very very slight differences between the two, but if you rebadged a 2000s version and painted it in 1970s livery you'd only notice the difference because of slight concessions to modern EPA standards. The car sold really well.
If you just liked the look you could get the sedate base model, or if you wanted to have some oompth you could go to the high compression, higher power R/T model. The S/RT model takes it up a notch with some improvements in the chassis and engine, and then for a while if you really wanted something to show off with, you bought the Hellcat, a model that there are quite a few of in the dealerships secondhand because some people didn't realize just how damnably powerful a car like that is, and returned it before they killed themselves in it.
And then came the Demon.
The Demon was the car that the NHRA tested at the track, looked at the numbers, and then simply banned from competition. Sorry, yes, this is a production street legal car, but no, it is just simply too much car to be considered for competition here. The NHRA consider it a race car, not a street car.
It is the highest horsepower production car in history.
A 6.2L V8 supercharged engine puts out 840hp with 770lb/ft of torque. It does 1.8G off the block, will get to 0-30 in one second, and 0-60 in 2.3 seconds. Quarter mile? 9.6 seconds. And at around $87,000 - not that bad for a car that powerful. Did I mention that it was street legal? That's what makes this car so absolutely amazing.
Chevrolet was not amused.
Their muscle car, the Camaro, has its own set of versions. Its highest production car is the ZL1 version of the Camaro, with some impressive specs of its own.
It does 0-to-60 in just 3.5 seconds, hits a quarter mile in 11.4 seconds and pulls 1.02G. Very nice, very impressive. $62,000 buys you a car like that. But the Hellcat, with very similar numbers (0-60 in 3.6 seconds, quarter mile in 11.7 seconds) is slightly less.
This is not to slam the Camaro in any way. It's a very impressive car and even though it's been squared up and looks nothing like the classic, is still a great car.
But they weren't going to be beat by the Demon, not by a long shot.
So they came up with The Exoricst.
How you get one is that you buy a ZL1. Then they roll it down to Hennesey performance - and they're only going to do 100 of these, so get your order in now. They will take apart the engine, port the heads, upgrade the lifters, valves, valve springs, heat exchangers, exhaust, supercharger, catalytic converters, in short literally everything about the engine from fuel intake to exhaust pipe. It will be hand tuned and dyno'd and the end price is over $110K for this car, when everything is said and done.
So what do you get, apart from a cool "The Exorcist" racing stripe, which I'm sure a few people will copy to put on baser model Camaros for posing purposes? Anywhere between 959 and 1000hp at the rear wheel, for starters.
So yes, you can beat a Demon. But it's gonna take $55K in upgrades on a ZL1 to do it.
In the meantime, someone asked the question as to why you can't take a Demon and do the same modifications and see what kind of power you get out of it. That has been done, the same crew that upgraded the Camaro to The Exorcist has quietly turned out a package to make the car NHRA legal, but also pull out 1500hp, and it even beats what Hennessey was able to do with the Lotus Venom, or the outgoing Dodge Viper.
It will come with a parachute, because it might very well need one.
This is an exciting time for people who like cars that, you know, have muscle, and torque, rumble, growl, and are obnoxiously and quintessentially American. The muscle car arms race is back on again. But what to call the Exorcist killer? The entity that killed off the Exorcist in the film was Pazuzu, but that doesn't roll off the tongue like "Exorcist". Archdemon? Lord of Hell? Who knows.