This Dodge Demon 170 Put The Tesla Model S Plaid In Its Place - SUV VEHICLE

This Dodge Demon 170 Put The Tesla Model S Plaid In Its Place


When Tesla introduced the tri-motor Model S Plaid in 2021, it became the fastest accelerating production vehicle in the world, until the Rimac Nevera edged it out a year later. The Nevera is an ultra-sleek, aerodynamic supercar, while the Model S is a five-door liftback sedan that wasn’t necessarily designed for racing, so it’s a bit more impressive. Regardless of which EV holds the title as quickest, the Model S Plaid’s terrifying power seemed to mark the death of internal combustion engine performance, ushering in the new age of all-electric dominance.

It turns out, however, that the rumors of ICE’s death were greatly exaggerated, because Dodge pulled one last trick out of their Mopar bag of tricks. As part of its “Last Call” vehicles, meant to send off gas-powered muscle cars with a bang, Dodge unleashed the Challenger SRT Demon 170 with a 1,0025-horsepower, supercharged, Hemi V-8. With quarter-mile runs that look like most performance cars’ 0-60 times, the Demon 170 not only put the Tesla Model S Paid in its place, it restored ICE as the true king of the track.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, including Dodge, Tesla, and Car and Driver.

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The Demon 170 Gets Bad With The Tesla Plaid

A few months ago, DragTimes posted a video asking the question of whether the Demon 170 really was a Tesla Plaid killer, and then proceeded to answer that it is not. They lined up an orange Demon 170 with a burgundy Model S Plaid for a “definitive” quarter-mile challenge and the Dodge got smoked (video embeded above). The Tesla Plaid was quicker off the line, and the Demon 170 could never come close to catching it. Something seemed a bit off about this race, and it may have just been a matter of an inexperienced driver behind the wheel of the Demon 170.

Herman Young from Demonology, the self-proclaimed, “#1 source for all things Dodge Demon from DRAG RACING to car tuning and modding” spotted some issues with the DragTimes race, and posted a response video, showing the Demon 170’s awesome capabilities. In a series of three runs, Young put his blue Demon 170 against a black Tesla Model S Plaid to determine once and for all if the EV has really killed off ICE. Unlike the DT race, Demonology’s quarter-mile was a good old-fashioned ass-whooping.

Demon 170 vs. Tesla Plaid

Tesla Model S Plaid vs. Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170

For the first run, Young launched with the Demon 170’s footbrake and got a great jump off the line. The front wheels came off the ground as the Demon 170 blew all five of the Tesla’s doors off. For the next two runs, Young stated he used the 170’s transbrake launch control to pull a little extra power and torque out. Race number two went just like the first with the Demon 170 blowing the Tesla Plaid off the line and hitting 1,320 feet in the blink of an eye. The third time is supposed to be the rubber match, but the Demon 170 won the first two so decisively that the last race was just an exclamation point on an utterly dominant performance from the gas-powered Dodge.

Race Receipts

Demon 170

Tesla Plaid



















Use the Demon 170 Only As Directed

So how is it possible that in the DragTime video, the Model S Paid beat the Demon 170, but in the Demonology match-up the Dodge was so much better than the Tesla? The answer is as simple as user error. To unlock the true potential of the Demon 170s power, E85 racing fuel must be used, and it helps to understand how to properly use the vehicle’s launch control system. Also, maybe the DT orange Demon 170 was running street tires, while the blue Demonology Dodge had the standard sticky Mickey Thompson slicks. In the video, Herman Young offered all Demon 170 owners a free lesson in getting everything out of this amazing ride as possible.

Tesla Model S Plaid vs Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170: Which One Should You Buy?

The Tesla Model S Plaid is a force to reckon with; a force that the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 is more than willing to take on!

In The Left Lane: Tesla Model S Plaid

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid

Introduced in 2012, the Tesla Model S is an all-wheel drive battery-electric executive car with a liftback body, which is a fancy way of saying it is a five-door hatchback sedan. Initially offered in a single or dual motor configuration, Tesla brought out the tri-motor Plaid version, codenamed “Palladium”, in 2021, which put all other performance vehicles, ICE or EV, on notice. With an unassuming profile and over 1,000 ponies of power, the Model S Plaid became the ultimate sleeper car, catching every sucker at a red light by surprise.

Model S Plaid Performance

“Plaid” is a pretty odd name to give to a ferocious performance trim, but it comes from Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s love of movies and his sense of humor. In the classic Star Wars parody Space Balls, the bad guys are trying to catch a spaceship that has hit lightspeed, so they crank up their hyperdrive and go so fast that everything turns plaid. Additionally from the movie, the speed level in going plaid is called “Ludicrous Speed,” which found its way into Tesla’s “ludicrous mode plus” launch control system.

2022 Tesla Model S Plaid Power and Performance


3 permanent-magnet synchronous AC




1,050 pound-feet of torque



0-60 Time

2.1 seconds


9.4 seconds

Top Speed

162 MPH

(Performance stats sourced from Car and Driver)

Model S Plaid Style

The Tesla Model S isn’t quite as weird looking as the Model Y and Model X, but it’s definitely not something that screams performance. Besides the CyberTruck, Telsas tend have a utilitarian styling in that they place function over form. The Model S is by no means ugly, but it’s also not anything that wows people either. It’s a generic sedan look that could be a dozen other makes and models, with only the slightest hint of individuality.

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In The Right Lane: Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170

Silver Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170

When Dodge announced that 2023 would be the last year for V-8 gas-powered muscle cars, they sent the Charger and Challenger off with a series of high-performance “Last Call” special editions. The last of these amazing rides was the Challenger SRT Demon 170, with a supercharged Hemi engine capable of making four digits of horsepower. Not only is the Demon 170 the fastest production muscle car ever built, it is also somehow street legal, which may be the most amazing thing about it.

Challenger SRT Demon 170 Performance

For the Demon 170, the Mopar Street Racing Team tweaked the mighty 6.2-liter Hemi Hellcat V-8 with some heavy-duty performance parts, including a much beefier supercharger. In doing so, they managed to pull almost 200 more horsepower out of the engine. The Demon 170s unveiling was delayed by several months because the engines kept blowing up during testing and that was obviously a quality control issue Dodge wanted to iron out.

2023 Challenger SRT Demon 170 Power and Performance


6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8




945 pound-feet


Eight-speed automatic


1.66 seconds


8.61 seconds

Top Speed

215 MPH

(Performance specs sourced from Dodge Garage)

Challenger SRT Demon 170 Style

When Dodge rebooted the Challenger in 2008, they found the perfect mix between the classic styling of the 1970s era car and a sleek updated look. By far the coolest looking modern muscle car, the Challenger got even more badass with the addition of the Wide Body style that gave it a stockier, super-aggressive stance. The recently announced 2024 Dodge Charger Daytona, the EV to replace the discontinued Dodge ICE muscle cars, has a sharp neo-retro look, but the thrid-gen Challenger still has a hotter design.

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The Demon 170 Is The Tesla Plaid Killer

The original DragTimes video in which the orange Demon 170 looses to the burgundy Model S Plaid was actually a dare. It also came with some passive-aggressive taunting as the host pointed out several times that his Model S Plaid only cost $89,000 while claiming the Demon 170 ran above $120,000. The truth of the matter is, the Model S Plaid has always been over $100,000 until the 2024 model year, which starts at $91,630, while the Demon 170 starts at $100,631. There is no price advantage, but little quips like that are what antagonized Demonology into proving which car really rules the straight track.

With three runs, Demonology proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Demon 170 kicks the Telsa Plaid right in its electrified butt. Driving skill is obviously a factor, but there is still one detail that hasn’t quite been accounted for. The Tesla Model S Plaid does generate slightly more horsepower and torque than the Demon 170, so why isn’t it quicker off the line? The answer to that is as easy as looking at how much each of these performance monsters weigh. The Tesla Plaid has a curbweight of 4,766 pounds, while the Demon 170 only tips the scales at 4,323 pounds. The battery pack that gives the Tesla so much power, also holds it back by weighing so damn much.


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