It didn’t take long after the latest Dodge Demon teaser was released for the rumor mill to start swirling at a breakneck pace.
The (Hell)cat was out of the bag, with Dodge releasing an image confirming that the Challenger SRT Demon will indeed sport a wide body hiding massive 12.4-inch wide tires at all four corners. But it was that very image that spawned a whole new round of speculation centered on a poorly Photoshopped rear license plate.
With the characters “#2576@35” to work with, amateur sleuths everywhere — including some right here in the AutoGuide.com office — set out to crack the code. Here are some of the, um, alternative facts currently floating around the ether and all the theories behind Dodge’s cryptic message.
It’s Going to Have All-Wheel Drive
The earliest — and probably most obvious — rumor was that the license plate had to do with how many driven wheels the Demon would possess. Car and Driver was pretty convinced that the SRT-tuned Challenger will put power to all four wheels, and it used sound logic in reaching that conclusion. If the current Hellcat makes 4,010 lb-ft of torque at each of its two driven wheels, C&D speculates, then it’s reasonable to assume the all-wheel-drive Demon will make less — much less, for a very specific 2,576 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm — at each of its four wheels receiving power. The car will also use the same tire widths on all four corners, but dragsters typically use wider tires in the rear because those are usually the only wheels driven. Case closed.
It’s Not Going to Have All-Wheel Drive
Except it wasn’t long after that the inquisitive minds over at The Truth About Cars used some sound logic of their own to replace that theory with one that makes just as much sense. Because if the Demon is meant to top the Hellcat, it’s going to need more power to do so, and the easiest way to do just that is with more airflow from the supercharger. The supercharger strapped to the top of the Hellcat’s 6.2-liter V8 displaces 2,380 cc, a number that could easily be increased — to, say, 2,576 cc — to move more air into the engine. As for the ‘35’ bit, TTAC says it has to do with the rotor combination of the twin-screw supercharger, with three lobes on the male rotor and five valleys on the female rotor. It’s not exactly a simple theory, but it’s no more outlandish than the all-wheel drive argument.
Nope, Definitely Not All-Wheel Drive
The folks over at Road & Track finally threw enough water to extinguish the fiery all-wheel drive rumors — and they did so by deduction. Because the last time Dodge teased us with Demon news, it said the car would be 200 lb lighter than the Hellcat, a nearly impossible task if a heavy all-wheel drive system was added. The coffin was all but sealed on the all-wheel drive debate when R&T pointed out that animated teasers show the Dodge Demon laying down smoky two-wheel burnouts.
It Won’t be Good For the Environment Either
It goes without saying that anything with a combined 8.6 liters of displacement — or more — isn’t going to be an environmental angel. But the wildest rumor of all — and one we haven’t been able to verify — is that the Demon’s ecological footprint is only going to get bigger. A forum user pointed out an alleged environmental rule, dubbed “2576,” that allows a vehicle to be non-emissions compliant yet remain street legal. It’s a stretch to be sure, but an interesting one to say the least. And if anything, it will only help keep the rumor mill swirling as we get closer to the car’s debut at the New York auto show in April.