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2019 SEMA Show [Recap]
From November 5-8, 2019, the Mopar® brand’s 15,000-square-foot display at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show featured 14 different customized vehicles, including a Moparized version of the SEMA award-winning Jeep® Wrangler, an overlanding-themed Ram 1500 Rebel OTG concept and a reimagined 1968 Dodge D200- series pickup. Also revealed, started, revved up and cheered was the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. Here’s a recap of the highlights…
2020 MOPAR® DODGE CHALLENGER DRAG PAK
Mopar® and Dodge//SRT® took the wraps off a new, fourth generation version of the factory-built, racetrack-only Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak car at the 2019 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show.
The 2020 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak is engineered for grassroots drag racers competing in sportsman classes in events sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and National Muscle Car Association (NMCA).
The new fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak offers racers the choice of buying a complete, turnkey package ready for the track or a variety of modular kits to install on their own Dodge Challenger drag car.
“Mopar and Dodge//SRT collaborated to make this factory production-based Challenger Drag Pak not only a force to be reckoned with at the strip but also an instant collectable for Mopar enthusiasts,” said Mark Bosanac, Head of Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care, FCA US LLC – North America. “Our legacy has been won at the track by the women and men who pour all they have into being the best. This new Challenger Drag Pak gives them the tools to stay in front of the competition.”
HERITAGE-INSPIRED GRAPHICS SIGNAL PERFORMANCE
The red, white and blue color scheme on the fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak displays a modern flavor, seasoned with nostalgia.
The graphics package is anchored by the blue Mopar logo and red “dragpak” badging on the quarter panels above the rear wheels. The red band wraps around the rear of the car, connecting the badges. “We want this to look so cool that when the customer buys a Challenger Drag Pak he or she wants to run these graphics because theyare so iconic and stand out,” says Mark Trostle, Head of Performance, Passenger Car and Utility Vehicle Design for FCA US LLC – North America. “Mopar people are proud of the heritage and the look and they want to show that off.”
FOUR GENERATIONS OF TRACK EXPERIENCE
Construction begins with a standard width Dodge Challenger Body-in-White unibody built at the FCA US LLC Brampton
Assembly Plant in Brampton, Ontario. An SFI-specification welded rollcage, rated for quarter-mile runs as fast as 7.50 seconds, is integrated into the body. New for the fourth-generation Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, the Strange rear axle assembly uses adjustable coilover shocks, four-link suspension with wishbone and an anti-roll bar. Wheelie bars and parachute mount are integrated into the chassis and are standard.
Up front, a unique engine cross member lowers the center of gravity and improves weight distribution. The front also includes specific Bilstein double-adjustable struts. The race-ready 2020 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, powered by the supercharged 354-cubic-inch HEMI® V8 engine, is fitted with a T400 three-speed transmission with a Kwik-Shift manual shifter, lightweight driveshaft, front and rear racing brakes, Racetech™ seats, Racepak Smartwire fully programmable power distribution center and a new, exclusive Drag Pak lightweight wheel and tire package.
Also new for 2020, the Drag Pak hood mimics the design of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, with intake and heat extractors. Front and rear fascias use the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat design.
MOPAR® AND DODGE//SRT® PACKAGE CAR HERITAGE
The Mopar® Dodge Challenger Drag Pak’s roots were firmly planted in the early 1960s with the factory production of Max Wedge package cars. In 1968, 426 HEMI® engine-powered Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda package cars
were unleashed on the strip. Those vehicles continue to compete in the Super Stock/A-HEMI engine (SS/AH) class of NHRA Sportsman racing and the annual fan favorite Mopar HEMI Challenge, held during the NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana, since 2001.
In 2008, Mopar announced the first drag race, factory-prepped package cars in 40 years – the first V8 Mopar
Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. The 2009 program saw a first-year sell out of all 100 factory-built vehicles.
The 2010 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak program offered racers an available 6.4-liter HEMI engine. Then in 2011, Mopar introduced a race-ready V10 package car, becoming the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to offer a 500-plus cubic-inch V10 drag package car.
The third-generation 2015 Challenger Drag Pak saw the introduction of the first supercharged 354 HEMI engine as well as a naturally aspirated 426 Gen-III HEMI engine and was capable of 8.0-second ETs out of the box.
Leah Pritchett captured the 2018 NHRA Factory Stock Showdown World Championship, collected three wins and recorded the first official 7-second run in the class with the third-generation Challenger Drag Pak. Geoff Turk drove his Challenger Drag Pak to the 2018 NMCA Factory Super Cars World Championship and also posted the first official 7-second run in the class.
RAM 1500 OFF THE GRID (OTG) CONCEPT
… in overlanding the journey is the final objective. The goal is to explore rather than conquer obstacles …
As the overlanding movement continues to grow across the globe, the Mopar® product design team, in conjunction with leading outdoor equipment suppliers, created a unique reality-based concept for the ultimate travel adventure: the Ram 1500 Rebel Off The Grid (OTG) concept.
“Unlike traditional ‘four-wheeling,’ in overlanding the journey is the final objective. The goal is to explore rather than conquer obstacles,” said Joe Dehner, Head of Ram Truck and Mopar Design. “This is why we developed
this concept, to allow vehicle-supported, self-reliant adventure travel, typically exploring remote locations
and interacting with other cultures. This is the vehicle that I’d like to have whenever I choose to go ‘off the grid.’”
The OTG concept uses as a canvas the new 2020 Ram 1500 equipped with the new 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel engine, which offers exceptional low-end torque and extended driving range, coupled with a 33-gallon tank that makes it the ideal truck for long-distance travel.
The vehicle draws upon the rugged capabilities of the production Ram 1500 Rebel, optimizing all-terrain
capability via Mopar’s concept two-inch lift kit, beadlock wheels and 35-inch Goodyear® tires.
The OTG concept also includes Mopar concept accessories, such as a front bumper with integrated winch, a larger grille with flow-through the RAM badging and a functional snorkel air intake to improve off-road capability
and performance. Front- and rear-wheel flares and step assist rock rails have been installed to protect the vehicle while traversing rough terrain. A concept rear bumper, adapted from the Ram 1500 Tradesman, improves the departure angle of the truck by relocating the exhaust. Helped by Ram truck’s unique multifunction tailgate with 60/40 split swing-away doors, the bed of the truck has been accessorized to offer versatile utility for extended adventures.
A bed rack system fits atop the truck bed, carrying a collapsible rooftop tent, which can be accessed via a stowable ladder. Enhancing the overlanding experience, inside the truck bed there is a retractable battery-powered cooler and kitchen unit with a gas-powered stove and sink with an on-board water system. An added rack structure is mounted larger grille with flow-through the RAM badging and a functional snorkel air intake to improve off-road capability and performance. Front- and rear-wheel flares and step assist rock rails have been installed to protect the vehicle while traversing rough terrain. A concept ear bumper, adapted from the Ram 1500 Tradesman, improves the departure angle of the truck by relocating the exhaust. Helped by Ram truck’s unique multifunction tailgate with 60/40 split above the cab to provide additional storage space for tools and equipment.
A solar panel set, which can be deployed at any moment to generate electricity, and a backup power supply eliminates the need for a gas-powered generator, freeing cargo capacity. A concept hideaway bed step in the rear makes loading and unloading easier. The concept truck is also equipped with an on-board air compressor in the bed cargo area.
For vehicle recovery and extraction, the OTG is equipped with an integrated front bumper winch, traction mats attached to the rack system and a high-lift jack for uneven ground mounted on the top of the cab. To make the dark campsite brighter while night camping, LED off-road driving lamps are mounted on the front bumper. Also, supplemental LED backup lamps have been incorporated into the rear bumper and task lighting has been attached to the rear rack system for nighttime campsite illumination. The overlanding purpose of the Ram 1500 Rebel OTG concept is reinforced by an outdoors theme that includes Mojave Sand exterior finish color, unique interior accents and showcases its roots with a Mopar Rebel hood graphic.
JEEP WRANGLER: 4X4/SUV OF THE YEAR
The Jeep® Wrangler continues an unprecedented and unbroken run of success in Las Vegas after being named “4×4/SUV of the Year” for the 10th straight year at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.
“Just as there are no limits when it comes to the capabilities of the Jeep Wrangler, the same could be said of the many options available to personalize the Jeep Wrangler,” said Mark Bosanac, Head of Mopar® Service, Parts and Customer Care, FCA US LLC – North America. “We are proud and honored to win ‘4×4/ SUV of the Year’ award for 10 years in a row, which is a testament not only to the staying power of the Jeep Wrangler, but also to the passion and creativity of the aftermarket community, which continues to select the Jeep Wrangler as a perfect canvas for customization.”
The SEMA Awards, launched in 2010, are the Show’s definitive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) honors, shining a light on the hottest vehicles that showcase and launch aftermarket parts.
“It’s no surprise that SEMA Show exhibitors voted the Jeep Wrangler the ‘4×4/SUV of the Year’,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO. “With so many options available, the Wrangler continues to be a favorite for personalization. Its versatility is limitless, appealing to daily drivers as well as off-roaders.”
MOPAR® LOWLINER CONCEPT
Customization of classic trucks continues to be a hot trend in the aftermarket world, so Mopar® designers rescued a 1968 Dodge D200-series heavy-duty pickup truck to transform it into the Candied Delmonico Red and Dairy Cream Mopar Lowliner Concept for this year’s SEMA Show.
Designers fully boxed the original C-channel frame of the rear-wheel-drive truck, substantially lowered the ride height and lengthened the wheelbase for a more dramatic stance. They also made a custom, power-tilt front end to showcase the legendary 5.9-liter Cummins diesel engine, which is mated to a six-speed manual transmission with a floor-mounted shifter.
The front axle of the Lowliner is moved three inches forward on the frame, pushing the front wheels closer to the front corners of the truck to achieve better proportions. A custom air suspension is added to the front and rear axle with three modes: low, driving height and driving height plus.
Custom designed wheels with a “smoothie” look mimic stamped steel wheels of the late ‘60s. In the front, the Lowliner wheels are 22 inches by 9.5 inches and ride on 285/35-22 tires. The rear wheels measure 22 inches by 11 inches with 325/35-22 tires for a more muscular appearance.
To package the air suspension components and relocated fuel cell, the floor of the truck bed is raised six inches by welding in a replacement floor from a current Ram 1500 pickup. The wheel wells in the concept truck were widened five inches per side to house the rear tires. Designers streamlined the exterior to reinforce a smooth body appearance, simplifying graphics and eliminating elements, such as door handles, badging, fuel-filler cap and radio antenna.
The original headlamps have been replaced by seven-inch LED headlamps. The back of the Lowliner features custom taillights with integrated backup lights, reinforcing the modern take on a classic truck. The Mopar Omega M logo has been ghosted onto the front fenders and a vintage Dodge graphic is ghosted onto the truck’s tailgate.
Inside the Lowliner, the original bench seat is covered in an orange-amber Blazing Saddle Tan leather with a distressed look. The headliner is also leather with a Mopar Omega M logo stitched into it. Custom-tailored tan carpet adorns the floor. The original 1968 steering wheel has been retained with the original Dodge fratzog emblem on the horn ring cap. Instrumentation is reworked with seven custom Mopar gauges mounted to a unique “engine turned” aluminum panel. The floor-mounted shifter is topped by translucent metal-flake shift ball with the Cummins logo, reinforcing the retro appearance of the truck.
Mopar® featured other vehicles at SEMA, including the Jeep® Scrambler Concept, the Mopar Ram 2500, the Jeep J6 Concept, the Jeep Five Quarter Concept, and the Jeep Gravity Concept.
MOPAR ’19: DODGE CHALLENGER R/T SCAT PAK
Making an appearance at the SEMA Show was the Mopar® ‘19 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pak, the 10th in a series of limited edition Mopar vehicles. Crafted and customized at the Brampton Assembly Plant in Brampton, Ont., and the Mopar Custom Shop in Windsor, Ont., the Mopar ‘19 has these specifications:
- Mopar Shakedown graphics with asymmetrical Mopar Blue stripes
- Mopar Shaker Hood package with Shaker badges
- Black hood pins
- Rear decklid spoiler with unique Mopar Design badge
- 20-inch forged aluminum wheels
- Mopar-branded center caps and valve stem caps
- Mopar wheel locks
- Mopar cold air intake
- Mopar strut tower braces and caps
- Four-wheel disc performance brakes with red calipers
- Performance front cloth seats with embroidered
- Mopar logo
- Mopar ’19 instrument panel badge
- Premium floor mats
- Polished door-sill guards with Challenger logo