The McLaren 720S is already a formidable opponent straight from the factory floor. Its twin-turbocharged V8 engine makes 710 horsepower (529 kilowatts) stock. Modifying it only makes it more potent. Is it enough to best a modified Dodge Challenger SRT Demon? It’s Dodge’s purpose-built drag car that’s been modified further to dominate at the track. The folks at DragTimes wanted to find out, so they pitted the two against each other in two quarter-mile drag races.
The 720S has a tune and full exhaust, producing 900 hp (671 kW) at the wheels on race gas from the 4.0-liter V8. Power routes to the rear wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox. The Demon has even more work done – tune, pulley, exhaust, supercharger porting, weight reduction, and new throttle body. With race gas, 977 hp (500 kW) hits the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Oh, and the Dodge is riding on drag tires while the McLaren wears street rubber.
The first race has the Demon’s front wheels briefly leaving the ground before the Dodge edges out a lead, though it’s not one it can keep. The McLaren’s launch is slower, but the potent turbocharged V8 helps make up for lost time, slowly passing the Dodge and taking the win. The McLaren crossed the finish line in 9.069 seconds at 155.08 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour). The Dodge was a smidge behind at 9.102 seconds at 149.86 mph (241 kph).
There’s a second race after the Dodge switches tunes, except this time the Dodge performed a bigger wheelie, letting the McLaren rocket away with a 9.104-second quarter-mile time at 154.60 mph (249 kph). The Dodge coasted across the finish line at 82 mph (132 kph).
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It’d be interesting to see a third race between the two, giving the Dodge a proper second chance. The McLaren was slower the second race – almost as slow as the Dodge during the first run. If the Demon could have switched its tune again, it could have bested the McLaren once and for all. We’ll have to wait for a rematch to find out.