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What The Hell Is A Trans Brake & Why Does The Dodge Demon Need One?

Unless you’ve been living under a bridge with crappy wi-fi service, you’ve heard about Dodge’s new insane-mobile they call the Demon. The Demon is going to be a beast of a machine designed to decimate the drag strip while also being able to go to the shops. It is completely unnecessary vehicle in the best way possible. No feature demonstrates this better then the Demon’s trans brake.

A trans brake is about as useful on the street as a one-legged man is in an ass kicking contest. But why is that? What is a trans brake and why is it awesome in a drag race but completely useless in the real world? In drag racing it is all about launching at the perfect RPM. Your launch RPM determines the power you put down to the ground, too little and the car bogs off the line, too much and you smoke the tires. So it is imperative that a driver be able to build the RPMs while stationary prior to launch. This can be achieved by utilizing the foot brake however a trans brake does the job more efficiently.

A trans brake works by simultaneously engaging first and reverse gears in an automatic transmission. This holds the car on the line and in conjunction with tuning allows the driver to get to their optimal launch RPM. In addition this allows the torque converter to build up pressure ensuring it grabs hard and fast with minimal slip at launch. The trans brake is disengaged usually by a switch in the cockpit usually on the shifter.

Depending on the type of car and engine means the trans brake is utilized in slightly different ways. For starters big turbo cars utilize a trans brake interrupt for staging. This is a button that allows a temporary interruption of the trans brake so the driver can stage the car. Trans brakes are imperative in turbo cars because they need time to build boost to get down the track quickly.

Dodge say the Demon’s trans brake system improves reaction times by 30%. Which is handy if you’re tired of that pesky Tesla whooping you up and down the track. Dodge has taken a path with the Demon that nobody else has. People have made track focused vehicles, see Mustang GT350R, Alfa Romeo 4C and so on. Those cars were designed for the twisty bits, the Demon is designed for the drag strip. This is unique to the Demon and is distinctly American. You can take your fancy road courses with crazy things like corners and shove it. The Demon is for the 12-year-old kid in us who dreamed of racing stop light to stop light. It may be unnecessary but it is completely awesome.

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Written by Chad Kennedy

Chad burst from the womb wearing a racing suit and a helmet. Chad's passion for cars is in his very DNA. His father was a gear head and passed on the tradition through owning such classics as a '66 Mustang and a '59 Corvette all while taking him to various race tracks in the area. Chad likes to wrench on his rides whenever possible, forgoing the stealership. Chad is an avid motorsports fan with particular interest in endurance/sports car racing. When not online writing for Shifting Lanes, you can find him working at the local golf course teaching people how to swing or hooning a golf cart at impossible speeds.

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