Deep Inhale: Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Revealed, Supercharged 354 Hemi Debuts

Deep Inhale: Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Revealed, Supercharged 354 Hemi Debuts

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Although it starts life with the body of a production Dodge Challenger, the latest Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak is not a street-legal vehicle. What it is, however, is a factory-prepped car specifically geared for drag racing. It is also the vessel for the brand-new supercharged 354 Hemi V-8—not the V-10 of the Drag Pak intro’d in 2010—the latest high-performance lump to wear the iconic badge.

The 354 nomenclature tips its hat to the Gen 1 Hemi engines that tore it up back in the day with a similar 354-cubic-inch displacement, before the legendary 426 Hemi arrived on the scene and stole its thunder. (For reference, the current Hellcat engine displaces 6.2 liters, or approximately 378 cubic inches.) Featuring a supercharger, cast-iron block, forged-steel crankshaft, Mopar-spec camshaft, and bespoke engine calibration, it packs a pedigree, but Mopar hasn’t yet revealed output figures.

If forced induction isn’t your bag, you can still get in on the Drag Pak action—and hop on the nostalgia train—with the naturally aspirated 426 Hemi. An aluminum block with pressed-in steel cylinder liners supports aluminum heads, and custom engine calibration ensures that the engine makes the most of its air and fuel mixture. As with the 354, horsepower and torque figures have not yet been revealed. Regardless of which engine you choose, a race-prepped automatic with three, count ’em, three forward ratios is the only way to funnel thrust to the ground. The crew at Mopar Motorsports says its early runs have been “consistently in the eights” but didn’t specify which engine put down those numbers.

Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Paks

Hoosier drag radials measuring 28-by-4.5 inches in the front and 30-by-9.0 in the rear wrap a set of lightweight Mopar racing wheels. To help keep the skinny front tires pointed toward the finish line, the Drag Pak employs a lightweight tubular-steel front cradle, unique suspension geometry, and a Mopar K-member; double adjustable—for compression and rebound—front struts allow further fine-tuning. The hardware out back has also been addressed, the Drag Pak bringing a nine-inch aluminum third member, a Strange Engineering four-inch solid axle with 40-spline gun-drilled axles, and shocks with adjustable compression and rebound. That pricey hardware stays in place—hopefully—under the stress created by repeated hard launches thanks to rear-axle mounting that has been strengthened from the previous-generation Drag Pak. Frame connectors also work to keep the chassis on the straight and narrow quarter-mile path. A race-specific master cylinder and brake calipers team with slotted front and rear brake rotors as a token nod to deceleration.

You can’t run if you don’t pass tech inspection, so Mopar fits an NHRA-approved roll cage and shaves weight with racing seats and a composite hood. The basic form of the Challenger’s instrument panel is retained but butched-up considerably by the presence of a massive, dash-mounted Mopar tach; additional industrial-looking Mopar instrumentation; and a row of beefy switches where the infotainment screen previously resided. If you’re still not convinced of the Drag Pak’s single-minded mission, take a gander at the military-grade shifter, designed to grab each of the Challenger’s three gears with precision and consistency. Should your competitors put you there, securing the Challenger to the trailer is made easy by the inclusion of integrated vehicle tie-downs.

Orders for the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak can be submitted starting July 23, and while today’s news didn’t include any production numbers, we’d advise those interested to set up camp in advance at their local Dodge dealer. Oh, and take a deep breath, as the MSRP for the naturally aspirated 426 version is $99,426; the supercharged 354 will set you back a cool $109,354. Should you get the urge to sneak your Drag Pak Challenger out of the garage for a few late-night runs down the local boulevard, we won’t tell a soul.

Deep Inhale: Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Revealed, Supercharged 354 Hemi Debuts

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