Fiat Chrysler’s bosses are looking into a drag strip event where four Demons destroyed their differentials.
Folks who slap down a good chunk of money on a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon likely plan to take their mega horsepower machine to the drag strip. In fact, the video below shows two demons doing just that. However, not all goes well, as a slow-motion shot shows. During an event in Texas last month, one of these Dodge Demons destroyed its rear differential.
According to The Drive, it’s not the only one either. In fact, five Dodge Demons suffered catastrophic rear differential failures, including four stock models and one modified example. All in all, 47 Dodge Demons took part in the event (38 stock models and 5 modified ones).
So what happened? The Legions of Demons car club put on the event, and a drag strip surface prep called Mass Traction. Mass Traction also supervised the track maintenance for Fiat Chrysler as they developed the Challenger SRT Demon. Company owner Brandon Mass assured The Drive that he prepped the surface at Houston Raceway to the highest standards for this event. He contends the failures came about from cars that ran full-strength runs on lower-traction surfaces failing when they come back to a sticky surface like the drag strip.
When high horsepower cars like these Dodge Demons launch on a low-traction surface, the shuddering through the tires, wheels and drivetrain as the car struggles for grip can create microscopic stress fractures in the rear differential. When you’re on a sticky surface where wheel hop doesn’t happen and all the power is routed through the weakened differential, then they’re more likely to fail, Mass says. Sounds plausible, but FCA has yet to comment on the failures at this point. We do know they’re looking into the matter.
It is worth pointing out that forty-three cars took part, and Mass said that failures are inevitable in these kinds of events. While a great deal of development went into these Dodge Demons, you can’t account for every outcome. Right now, the investigation is ongoing. It’s not immediately clear whether this is a manufacturer defect, but we’ll keep an eye on this story for more updates.