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Mopar readies Dodge Challenger for the strip

Mopar preps sporty pony car with race ready components for Sportsman competitors.

Published: June 26, 2015, 11:00 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 1:52 PM

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak 354 model

Dodge wants to challenge the drag strip and Mopar is stepping up with a new Drag Pak for the 2015 Challenger sport coupe. No, you can’t drive it on the street. Not legally, anyway.

A year in development, the package is designed for Sportsman drag racers in nationally sanctioned events (NHRA and IHRA), and can be bought with either a new supercharged 354cid (5.8 litres) Gen III HEMI V8 or the returning naturally aspirated 426cid (7.0-litre) Gen III HEMI V8.

“Our brand is committed to supporting Mopar drivers who compete at all levels,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO — Mopar Brand Service, Parts and Customer Care, FCA. “In 2014, we debuted a new Dodge Dart NHRA Pro Stock car that won right out of the gate. In 2015, our new Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car did the same. Now, Mopar is supercharging our Sportsman racers.”

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Supercharged Gen III Hemi V8

The supercharged 354 HEMI engine uses a cast-iron block, forged steel crankshaft, Mopar spec camshaft and a custom performance engine calibration. The naturally aspirated 426 HEMI engine is built off an aluminum block with pressed-in steel liners, aluminum cylinder heads and custom engine calibration. Both engines are matched to three-speed automatics for quick computerized shifts.

Although no performance numbers were reported, Dale Aldo, Mopar Motorsports Marketing Manager volunteered that “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.”

The front suspension is unique, with double adjustable compression and rebound struts, while the rear sports a four a four-link setup with Panhard bar, Strange Engineering four-inch solid axle with nine-inch aluminum third member, 40-spline gun drilled axles, shocks with adjustable compression and rebound, and an anti-roll bar. The mounting has been strengthened to help the car launch harder.

It rides on 15 inch lightweight wheels shod with Hoosier drag radials that are 114 mm (4.5 inches) wide in front and 229 mm (9 inches) wide in the rear. Total wheel and tire diameter in the front is 28 inches and in the rear it’s 30 inches.

Braking is entrusted to four wheel slotted discs with race specific callipers and master cylinder.

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak 426 model

To readily identify the engine difference, each model features unique exterior presentation with the supercharged model bearing a Mopar Blue stripe and a “354 Supercharged” graphic, while the naturally aspirated version gets a horizontal black side stripe with 426 HEMI graphic identifier.

Inside, there’s a race-ready roll cage and safety nets, lightweight racing seats with five point harness, and a Mopar gauge pack to relay information to the driver.

And because the car is not street legal, the Drag Pak includes integrated trailer tie-down loops front and rear. It goes on sale July 23 with a manufacturer’s suggested price starting at $99,426 US (426 version), with the supercharged model retailing for $109,354 US. Visit www.mopar.com/mopar-drag-pak for details.

“Once our customers get the car on the track, we feel it’s going to be a clear winner,” concluded Aldo.