by Tony West
Mopar is making a limited number of its new Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, with the option of the brand’s first-ever offering of a supercharged 354-cubic-inch Gen III HEMI® engine or a naturally aspirated 426-cubic-inch Gen III HEMI engine.
The Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, a factory-prepped package car specifically geared for drag racing, combines the latest in sportsman racing technology, a host of upgrades and improvements from the previous generation Drag Pak and unique heritage design cues. Under a factory hood is the supercharged 354 HEMI engine, with a cast-iron block, forged steel crankshaft, Mopar spec camshaft and a custom performance engine calibration.
The naturally aspirated 426 Race HEMI engine is built off a Mopar aluminum block with pressed-in steel liners and aluminum cylinder heads. Like the supercharged engine, the 426 HEMI also includes a custom engine calibration.
The new Drag Pak features a race-prepped automatic transmission, upgraded from the previous generation vehicle, for both the 354 and 426 engine options. Each engine version carries a unique graphic identification package.
The vehicle’s front suspension sports a unique Mopar K-Member and suspension geometry, with double adjustable compression and rebound struts. At the back of the car is a four-link suspension with Panhard bar, Strange Engineering housing and 40-spline gun drilled axles with a 9-inch aluminum third member, a 4-inch diameter driveshaft, shocks with adjustable compression and rebound and an anti-roll bar. The rear axle mounting has been strengthened from the previous generation Drag Pak to help the car launch faster and harder.
The new Drag Pak includes the Dodge Challenger front and rear fascia trim and a redesigned full roll cage fabricated to NHRA specifications. The cockpit reflects the Dodge Challenger interior, but with the addition of a Mopar gauge pack, driver and passenger lightweight racing seats, along with a safety net and a five-point harness.
The Mopar Drag Pak is equipped with 15-inch front and rear lightweight wheels displaying the unique Mopar logo, Hoosier drag radials with front tires that measure 28 inches in diameter by 4.5 inches wide, and rear tires that are 30 inches in diameter by9 inches wide.
The vehicle also includes a more user-friendly hood, hinged at the rear to make between-rounds under-hood maintenance an easier task. Another small but essential detail that racers will appreciate is the addition of integrated trailer tie-down loops on the front and rear of the new Drag Pak.
Only 60 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak vehicles are slated for production, with 35 built of the supercharged Gen III HEMI® engine and 25 of the naturally aspirated engine.
Pricing will be cubic-inch appropriate, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $99,426 for the naturally aspirated 426 version and $109,354 for the 354 supercharged race car.