It’s a purpose-built, “race-ready” machine, a true descendant of the famed Mopar® package cars of the 1960s. It was created for passionate, grassroots Sportsman racers who invest their time and money to compete at drag strips across the country. And for the first time ever, it’s supercharged. It’s the new, next generation Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. And it’s coming to a drag strip near you.
SPECIAL DELIVERY The Mopar® brand has a decades-long tradition of delivering race cars for Sportsman class competitors. So, you could imagine how those drivers rejoiced when, after 40 years, Mopar revived its package car program in 2008, introducing the first-generation Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. The evolution included more than 150 V8 Challenger Drag Paks, an additional 50 V10 versions, as well as 426 Race HEMI® engine upgrade kits. Meanwhile, Drag Pak racers hauled in a number of high-profile NHRA event wins.
But soon, racers hungered for more. The Mopar ranks began inquiring about a supercharged option to go faster and keep pace with the competition. The brand answered the call. In designing the new Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, Mopar built on the success of previous generation Drag Paks while adding a host of upgrades — including an available supercharged option.
“This new car is a refinement of the previous generation Drag Paks,” said Dale Aldo, Mopar Motorsports Marketing Manager. “We’ve taken everything we’ve learned and what our Mopar Drag Pak competitors have learned, plus we’ve asked what we can do better and how can we make it a better car. We’re also adding a supercharger — something we’ve never offered the racers before.”
YOUR CHOICE: SUPERCHARGED OR NATU RALLY ASPIRATED
The new Mopar® Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, built on the Dodge Challenger platform, will offer racers two options under the hood: the brand’s first ever offering of a supercharged 354 cubic inch Gen III HEMI® engine or a naturally aspirated (N/A) 426 cubic inch Gen III Race HEMI engine.
The supercharged 354 HEMI engine features a Mopar cast iron block with steel main caps, steel crankshaft, custom grind camshaft and a custom performance engine calibration. The N/A 426 Race HEMI engine uses a Mopar aluminum block, pressed-in steel liners and custom engine calibration. Both engine options put power to the quarter mile via a race-prepped, upgraded automatic transmission, with a race-style stick shifter with integral line and an aluminum driveshaft.
“The 354 harks back to the heritage of the early HEMI engines,” said Aldo of the supercharged powerplant. “The Gen I HEMI engines were 354s, so we chose that as a historic designation for the supercharged engine.
“The 426 is a Gen III race HEMI engine, but it’s a second version of it. Both new HEMI engine options for the Drag Pak are built off the Gen III platform. Both use an aluminum Gen III based head.”
Both options have also been thoroughly track-tested, far more than their predecessors. The development of the new Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak has spanned nearly a year, with a prototype first revealed in 2014 at the 60th NHRA U.S. Nationals.
“We’ve spent 10 times the amount of actual on-track testing with this car than we did with the previous Drag Pak,” explained Aldo.
COMPLETE UPGRADE In redesigning its modern day package, Mopar® didn’t just stop with what’s under the hood. The latest in Sportsman racing technology and unique heritage cues are combined throughout the vehicle to create a drag strip version of Mopar and Dodge high-performance street creations.
“We’ve basically upgraded everything from the previous generation Drag Pak,” said Aldo.
The rear axle mounting has been strengthened to allow the Drag Pak to launch faster and harder. The vehicle’s front suspension will sport the Mopar K-Member and suspension geometry, with double adjustable compression and rebound struts. At the back of the car, racers will find a four-link rear suspension with Panhard bar, a solid rear axle with nine-inch aluminum third member, shocks with adjustable compression and rebound, and an anti-roll bar.
A new, user-friendly hinged hood makes it easier for betweenround maintenance. 15-inch front and rear Mopar lightweight wheels carry Hoosier drag radials with front tires that measure 28 inches in diameter by 4.5 inches wide, and rears at 30-inch diameter by nine inches wide.
Each engine option gets its own unique graphic identification package. The supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak will sport a horizontal blue stripe along its side with a 354 graphic identification, while the N/A hotrod is differentiated with a Mopar black stripe and 426 graphic insignia.
“We are extremely pleased with the results obtained during our testing,” said Aldo. “In the first runs the new Drag Pak ran consistently in the eights (eight second range) while improving times at the 60-ft. mark and also performing very well in the quarter mile. Once our customers get the car on the track, we feel it’s going to be a clear winner.”
For more information contact your local dealer or visit www.mopar.com.
*Mopar® Dodge Challenger Drag Pak vehicles are not street legal.