2016 Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

2016 dodge mopar challenger drag pak – DOC635236

In 2014 Dodge unveiled the 2015 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Test Vehicle, a full-fledged factory dragster crafted by the folks over at Mopar. Now, after nearly a year of development, the brand has launched the actual production version that will take on the 2014 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet and the 2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro on drag strips across the U.S.

The updated Challenger Drag Pak joins the 2014 Dodge Dart Pro Stock car introduced in 2014 and the 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car launched in 2015 to round off Mopar’s efforts in the drag racing scene.

The production Drag Pak retains everything Dodge showcased on the Test Vehicle, but this time around it has given us access to more details. The big news here is the availability of a supercharged V-8 in addition to the all-motor Hemi we saw last year.

“We are extremely pleased with the results obtained during our testing,” said Dale Aldo, Mopar Motorsports Marketing Manager. “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.”

Exterior

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

Not surprisingly, the production Challenger Drag Pak looks identical to the prototype on the outside. Essentially a factory Challenger with drag-specific wheels and a massive scoop atop the engine hood, the Drag Pak stands out compared to the Test Vehicle by means of a new livery. Both are draped in white and feature black hoods, but while the prototype had “Mopar” lettering on the rear fenders, the production version sports iconic Mopar stripes on its sides.

Essentially a factory Challenger with drag-specific wheels and a massive scoop atop the engine hood, the Drag Pak stands out compared to the Test Vehicle by means of a new livery.

At least the presentation cars do. Customer vehicles will receive their own, customized racing apparel. And I say “presentation cars” because Dodge unveiled one design for each of the two engine options.

The naturally aspirated model comes with black stripes, while the supercharged variant has them finished in blue. Another detail setting them apart is the massive scoop sitting atop the all-motor car. Oddly, the Drag Pak using forced induction has a stock engine hood. Each version also carries a unique identification package featuring “354 Supercharged” and “426 HEMI” graphics.

Laying the power to the ground is a set of 15-inch wheels wrapped in 30-by-9-inch tires. Up front, the muscle car uses 15-inch skinnies and 28-by-4.5-inch rubber. These are identical to those seen on the Test Vehicle.

Overall, the Challenger Drag Pak looks rather mild compared to the Camaro COPO and Mustang Cobra Jet, but make no mistake, Mopar’s new drag racer is likely as fast as the competition.

Interior

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

The interior of the Drag Pak is based on the Challenger SRT’s, but spiced up with all the necessary gear needed at the drag strip. Race-spec features include racing front seats with five-point harnesses, a Hurst shifter, safety nets, and an NHRA-spec full roll cage. The muscle car also comes with additional switches and Mopar gauges on the dashboard. A weight box and a 12-volt battery are in the trunk.

Drivetrain

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

Unlike the Test Vehicle, which had a 426 Hemi stuffed under the hood, the production Drag Pak can be had with two engines. The 7.0-liter Hemi V-8 has been retained for production, featuring a Mopar aluminum block with pressed-in steel liners and aluminum cylinder heads. The powerplant uses a custom performance engine calibration, but Dodge makes no mention of its output. It should crank out close to 600 horsepower though.

The powerplant uses a custom performance engine calibration, but Dodge makes no mention of its output.

The second choice is a supercharged 354 Hemi V-8 with a cast-iron block, forged steel crankshaft, and a bespoke Mopar camshaft. The supercharger is a 2.9-liter, Whipple twin-screw unit. Again, there are no output figures to run by. Dodge says that the 354 nomenclature pays homage to the heritage of the early Gen 1 Hemi engines, which originally displaced 354 cubic inches (5.8 liters).

Both engines mate to a race-prepped automatic transmission upgraded from the previous-generation Drag Pak.

The Drag Pak rides on a front suspension specifically developed by Mopar. It features a custom K-Member and bespoke geometry, with double adjustable compression and rebound struts. At the rear of the car there’s a four-link suspension with Panhard bar, a 4-inch solid axle with 9-inch aluminum third member, 40-spline gun drilled axles, shocks with adjustable compression and rebound, and an anti-roll bar. The rear axle mounting has been strengthened from the previous Drag Pak model to help the muscle car launch faster and harder.

Drivetrain Specifications

Prices

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

The price for the new Challenger Drag Pak is $99,426, for which racers will get to take home the naturally aspirated 426 Hemi version. The supercharged model is priced at $109,354. Dodge didn’t say whether production of the Drag Pak is limited to a certain number of cars, which is what both Ford and Chevrolet did with their factory dragsters. Annual production of the COPO Camaro is limited to only 69 units, while the previous Mustang Cobra Jet was available in just 50 examples.

Competition

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet

Ford Mustang Cobra Jet

The 2014 Mustang Cobra Jet based on the fifth-gen car may no longer be available for purchase, but it remains a force to be reckoned with at the drag strip. Motivated by a 5.0-liter, Coyote V-8 with a 2.9-liter supercharger strapped to it, the Cobra Jet is good for nearly 600 horsepower. Limited to only 50 units in 2014, the Cobra Jet retailed for $97,990. All 50 units were sold in a matter of months.

There’s no official word on a new Cobra Jet based on the sixth-gen Mustang, but Ford Racing is likely to build one sooner than later, despite withdrawing from the scene. Of course, the Blue Oval would have to ditch the new independent suspension for a solid rear axle.

Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Revived in 2012, the COPO Camaro has received yet another update for 2015, marking the launch of the last factory dragster based on the fifth-generation muscle car. A lot more menacing than the Challenger Drag Pak, particularly because of its massive hood bulge, the COPO Camaro also sports flared fenders, modified side skirts, and a rear spoiler.

Unlike both the Cobra Jet and the Drag Pak, the COPO Camaro was offered with no fewer than four V-8 engine options. A 350-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) unit cranks out 350 horsepower, while a 396-cubic-inch powerplant (6.5-liter) sends 390 horses to the rear wheels. The largest V-8 on offer is a 427 (7.0-liter) rated at 430 horsepower. However, the 427 isn’t the most powerful option. That privilege goes to the Supercharged 350, a 5.7-liter V-8 with a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger on top. The combo delivers 530 horses. The naturally aspirated units mate to either an ATI Racing TH400 automatic or a four-speed, G-Force manual transmission, while the supercharged engine uses a modified TH400 autobox to spin the rear wheels.

Only 69 COPO Camaros were made for the 2015 model year and sold for nearly $100,000 each.

Conclusion

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

It’s not at all surprising that last year’s Drag Pak Test Vehicle evolved into a production car, and it’s great to see Dodge return to the drag strip with an updated muscle car. With both Ford and Chevrolet out of the game as far building new factory dragsters goes (until further notice), the Drag Pak is essentially the only choice on the market right now. However, the COPO Camaros and the Mustang Cobra Jets are still out there racing, which means the Challenger won’t have it easy in NHRA’s Stock and Super Stock classes.

LOVE IT

  • Looks like a sleeper
  • “Heritage” engines
  • Ready to race

LEAVE IT

  • The most expensive factory-built Challenger
  • Tough competition from Chevy and Ford

Press Release

Remaining true to its performance roots, the Mopar brand unveiled the next-generation Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, a factory-prepped package car specifically geared for drag racing. The vehicle, revealed today at the FCA US LLC Chelsea Proving Grounds, is built on the Dodge Challenger platform and will come with the option of either 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.

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

The new Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak is designed for passionate Sportsman racers who compete in nationally sanctioned drag racing series, such as the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). The new generation Drag Pak combines the latest in Sportsman racing technology, a host of upgrades and improvements from the previous generation Drag Pak and unique heritage design cues.

“Today, we write the next page in our performance playbook with the reveal of the production Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, a vehicle that offers, for the first time, a supercharged engine that provides our racers more options,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO — Mopar Brand Service, Parts and Customer Care, FCA. “Our brand is committed to supporting Mopar drivers who compete at all levels. 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 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

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 354 nomenclature pays homage to the heritage of the early Gen 1 HEMI engines, which originally displaced 354 cubic inches.

The naturally aspirated 426 Race HEMI engine is built off of 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.

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 4-inch solid axle with 9-inch aluminum third member, 40-spline gun drilled axles, 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.

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

Each engine version carries a unique graphic identification package. The supercharged hot rod displays a Mopar Blue stripe and a “354 Supercharged” graphic insignia, while the naturally aspirated (N/A) Drag Pak sports a horizontal black stripe along its side with a 426 HEMI engine graphic identification.

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. Mounted on those wheels will be 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 by 9 inches wide. The car will also feature slotted front and rear brake rotors, with race-specific calipers and master cylinder.

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.

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

Development of the new Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak has spanned nearly a year. A prototype was first revealed in 2014 at the 60th NHRA U.S. Nationals to elicit feedback from NHRA Sportsman racers on potential upgrades to make the Drag Pak even more competitive at the drag strip.

The resulting new vehicle is the next step in the evolution of Mopar’s modern-day package car, whose earlier incarnations include more than 150 V-8 Challenger Drag Paks, an additional 50 V-10 versions and plenty of 426 Race HEMI upgrade kits.

“We are extremely pleased with the results obtained during our testing,” said Dale Aldo, Mopar Motorsports Marketing Manager. “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.”

Dodge Mopar Challenger Drag Pak

The Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak will be open for ordering through authorized Dodge dealerships, beginning July 23 as the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals kickoff with the Mopar Block Party in downtown Golden, Colorado. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the naturally aspirated 426 version of the Mopar Challenger Drag Pak is a “cubic inch appropriate” $99,426, with the 354 supercharged race car available for $109,354 MSRP.

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