All hell breaks loose just ahead of the New York auto show as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Dodge division unveils its street-to-drag strip Challenger SRT Demon, a factory-built muscle car the automaker says is the world’s quickest production car.

Powered by an 840-hp supercharged 6.2L Hemi – the highest horsepower production V-8 ever, Dodge says – the Demon makes the run to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.3 seconds and clips the quarter-mile in a National Hot Rod Assoc.-certified 9.65 seconds at 140 mph (225 km/h).

Torque tops out at 770 lb.-ft. (1,044 Nm), routed to the rear axle via a special 8-speed automatic transmission fitted with a Demon-exclusive TransBrake that locks the gearbox output shaft until launch. Tires are street-legal 315/40R-18 Nitto drag radials with 40% more grip at launch than the rubber on a Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Combined with a Drag Mode suspension that transfers weight to the rear, Drag Mode Launch Assist that minimizes wheel hop and optional drag-strip-use-only narrow “front runner” tires, the Demon is in the Guinness record books for the world’s-longest wheelie from a standing start by a production car at 2.92 feet (0.89 m).

“This is the ultimate street-strip car,” says Tim Kuniskis, head of passenger cars-Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and Fiat, FCA North America. “It’s a perfect example of what a muscle car should have been back in the day.”

Kuniskis says the market for the essentially street-legal race car is limited to those who aren’t ready to give up their internal-combustion machines for electrically powered, autonomously driven vehicles of the future.

“We think there are a lot of people that are not going to go quietly into that new reality,” he says.

Two years in development, the Demon offers a litany of high-performance features such as the SRT Power Chiller that uses air-conditioning refrigerant to chill the supercharger’s air cooler and an After-Run Chiller that keeps the engine cooling fan and coolant pump operating after the engine is shut off.

Another drag strip enabler is an engine controller capable of recalibrating the engine from 91-octane unleaded for the street to high-octane racing fuel at the track, as well as adjusting for mixtures of the two fuels in the tank. Dodge says the Demon is fully street-legal but ironically is officially banned by the NHRA from production-car drag-strip competition as “too fast.”

To save weight, the Demon is stripped of passenger and rear seats, audio system, floor mats and insulation. Passenger and rear seats are optional at $1 each, and a 900-watt Harman Kardon audio system is available.

Buyers can add a track-ready, personalized Demon Crate tool and gear kit containing everything necessary to switch the car from street to strip use, including the narrow, front-runner drag wheels, a hydraulic floor jack, cordless impact wrench and performance powertrain control module.

All Demon owners also receive a full-day session at Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving in Chandler, AZ.

A single year of production begins late this summer at FCA’s Brampton, ON, plant in Canada, with 3,300 built for the U.S. and Canadian markets.

bgritzinger@wardsauto.com @bobgritzinger