On sweltering asphalt on the edge of Arizona's Sonoran Desert, a relationship is blossoming.
This is the Bondurant Racing School, a classroom/playground where Demons and Hellcats can be unleashed in all of their intimidating glory, and students become captivated by their course materials.
At the beginning of Dodge's high-octane alignment with Bondurant in January 2016, the school doled out thrills in the Challenger and Charger Hellcats alongside the Viper at its 100-acre complex in Chandler, Ariz.
The discontinued Viper has since been phased out, but the track has expanded its roster with other vehicles plucked from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles fleet: the energetic Fiat 500 Abarth and 124 Spider Abarth.
Plus, the school is rolling out the new Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody and the 840-hp Challenger SRT Demon, with both vehicles testing the mettle of drivers in a new one-day drag racing class that began in March. The drag course, which also features the standard Challenger Hellcat and the 485-hp Dodge Challenger SRT 392, is already sold out for the next two years. Demon owners get in for free.
The muscle car movement lives on at Bondurant through the sounds and smells of screeching rubber and revving engines. It's a place where driving enthusiasts who want to sharpen their skills, exotic car owners who've added Demons and Hellcats to their collections and even Hollywood fixtures come to get their performance fixes.
An actor who could afford any vehicle he wants went through Bondurant training recently and said he was buying a Hellcat when he got home, recalled Pat Bondurant, CEO of the school and wife of its founder, former race car driver Bob Bondurant.
When the school had the Viper, she told Automotive News that Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche owners would come to get a feel for it.