Dodge Challenger Drag Pak embraces straight-line pace

Brutal American muscle car given even more pace with drag strip-dedicated package

Muscle cars have a reputation for being straight-line monsters rather than corner-carvers.

With the Dodge Challenger Drag Pak from Mopar, the American brand is embracing this attitude by turning the regular Challenger into a vehicle specially designed for the strip.

Actually, Mopar has turned the Challenger into two drag strip-ready vehicles – one with a supercharged 354 cubic inch HEMI V8 (that's 5.8 litres), the other with a larger (but naturally aspirated) 426 cubic inch HEMI (7 litres).

The former uses a cast-iron block with a forged steel crankshaft, MOPAR camshaft and custom engine calibration, while the 426ci car uses an aluminium block with steel liners and aluminium cylinder heads. It too uses custom engine calibration, while each uses a race-developed automatic transmission – the gearbox of choice for serious drag racers.

Far more than just an engine package, each Drag Pak car also features several special modifications to prepare it for the strip.

At the front, the cars use new Mopar-designed suspension with adjustable front struts. The back end is even more serious, with four-link suspension, a Panhard bar, beefy axles and a four-inch diameter driveshaft. Adjustable dampers feature here too, as does an anti-roll bar. Wheels are 15-inch diameter front and rear, but those at the rear wear tyres 30 inches in diameter and 9in wide.

A roll cage dominates the interior, though dashboard design remains the same as the production car. A set of Mopar gauges, lightweight seats for both driver and passenger, and a five-point harness all feature.

Other changes are harder to spot, but useful for racers – such as a rear-hinged bonnet rather than the car’s usual front-hinged item, and trailer tie-down loops so drivers can easily secure their car for trips to the strip.

Just 60 will be made – 35 using the supercharged engine for $109,354, and 25 of the naturally-aspirated car at $99,426. Corners? You’d better look elsewhere…

Recommended

AC Cobra 378 Superblower MkIV 2021 review – another V8 Cobra, but with a GM heart this time
AC Cobra 378 Superblower MkIV - front tracking
AC Cobra

AC Cobra 378 Superblower MkIV 2021 review – another V8 Cobra, but with a GM heart this time

With nearly 600bhp from its supercharged V8, this is the most powerful production Cobra ever. Hold on to your hat!
3 Jul 2021
Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Bullitt Edition 2021 review – a 720bhp tribute act
Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Bullitt Edition – slide
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Bullitt Edition 2021 review – a 720bhp tribute act

Immense performance from about the coolest modern muscle car out there. It’s expensive, but there’s nothing else quite like it
12 Jun 2021
Audi RS7 Sportback review
Audi RS7 red - low tracking
Audi RS7

Audi RS7 Sportback review

More agile and involving than before, and more affordable than its rivals, the RS7 is quite the usurper
17 Dec 2020

Most Popular

2022 BMW M3 Touring teased ahead of reveal
2022 BMW M3 Touring
BMW M3

2022 BMW M3 Touring teased ahead of reveal

BMW has released new images of its upcoming M3 Touring before it reaches customers next year
24 Sep 2021
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS 2022 review – middle child 992 shapes up
Porsche 911 GTS review (992) – front cornering
Porsche 911 Carrera

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS 2022 review – middle child 992 shapes up

Two and a half years after the launch of the 992, the GTS treatment both adds and subtracts but does the result gel on the road?
21 Sep 2021
Lotus Emira First Edition priced from £75,995 – production to commence in 2022
Lotus Emira
Lotus

Lotus Emira First Edition priced from £75,995 – production to commence in 2022

First examples of the new Lotus Emira will roll off the production line early next year, with the entry-level four-cylinder to follow
20 Sep 2021