In 2005, Ford unveiled an all-new, retro-looking Mustang that piqued the interest of its domestic rivals. Three years later, Dodge introduced the Challenger that took the Mustang’s retro-design ethos to a new level – it looked downright identical to a 1970 Challenger. Designers did borrow heavily from the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T.

Since then, little has changed. Dodge has improved the interior and updated exterior bits such as the front and rear fascias. The biggest thing Dodge has done to keep the new Challenger relevant has to do with performance, and right now, that pinnacle is the SRT Demon. It’s an 840-horsepower street car designed to crush the competition at the drag strip.

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While the Challenger has retro styling, the technology underneath is undoubtedly modern, which makes the drag race in the video above against a 1972 Challenger so fascinating. More than 45 years separate the two, and when they’re next to each other on the track, the two are different in design. We also don’t know what modifications there are to the ‘72 Dodge. Considering the fast quarter-mile time, it’s not stock. And there seems to be a roll cage installed, too.

The two appear evenly matched. When the tree turns green, the 1972 model gets an early lead, but it’s no match for the Demon’s supercharged 6.2 liters of furry, passing the Challenger and beating it to the finish line. The Demon beat the 1972 Dodge by 1.6 seconds, running a 10.06 at 135.37 miles per hour. The ‘72 Challenger earned an 11.66 quarter mile time at a significantly slower 115.22 mph.

If you hit up your local Thursday night classic cruise, you’ll see a swath of die-hard enthusiasts who’ll die before admitting today’s performance cars are better than their predecessors. But this video shows how you can have great styling, an unreasonable amount of performance, and modern-day luxuries like power steering and ice-cold air conditioning and still compete at the track.

Source: Wheels via YouTube

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