On November 5, 2019, during the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Mopar and Dodge/SRT took the wraps off their latest offering, a new, fourth-generation version of the factory-built, racetrack-only, Dodge Challenger known as the Drag Pak. The 2020 Drag Pak will be limited to a production run of just 50 serialized units. It is engineered for grassroots drag racers that compete in sportsman classes in events sanctioned by NHRA and NMCA. Its complete turnkey package and modular kits, make it ready for the track. It comes loaded with certified suspension and chassis upgrades, as well as a supercharged 354-inch Hemi engine. The 2020 Drag Pak is approved for competition in NHRA Stock and Super Stock as well as the SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown.
“Mopar and Dodge/SRT collaborated to make this factory production-based Challenger Drag Pak not only a forced to be reckoned with at the strip but also an instant collectable for Mopar enthusiasts,” said Mark Bosanac, Head of Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care, FCA-North America. “Our legacy has been won at the track by the women and men who pour all they have into being the best. This new Challenger Drag Pak gives them the tools to stay in front of the competition.”
The motivation for the SRT engineers was simple. They saw what happened this past year as the Cobra Jets and COPOs ran roughshod over the few Challenger Drag Paks competing in the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown and NMCA Factory Supercars classes. Forget the fact that back in 2018, Challenger Drag Paks were the first “Stockers” to break into the 7-second zone with drivers Leah Pritchett and Geoff Turk leading the charge. These two racers would also go on to claim the 2018 SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown World Championship (Pritchett) and the NMCA Holley EFI Factory Supercars crown (Turk). But all that did was make the Chevy and Ford camps work harder to submit new cars with killer engine packages to the NHRA for the 2019 season, and the latest Cobra Jets and COPOs had a distinct horsepower advantage while the Challenger Drag Pak had to run last year’s maxed-out engine combination. While, it is yet to be determined that the 2020 Drag Pak is quicker in the quarter mile (Note- A bone-stock Cobra Jet is supposed to hit the low 8s), all Dodge will say is that it has a new body-integrated SFI-specification welded roll cage certified for ETs “as low” as 7.50 seconds. Hot Rod Network claims the car possesses “well above 1,500 hp.,” backing up the idea that this is a “revenge” vehicle.
Building on lessons learned with the third-generation Drag Pak, the new fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak offers racers the choice of buying a complete, turnkey package ready for the track or a variety of modular kits to install on their own Challenger. Construction of the Challenger Drag Pak begins with a standard-width Dodge Challenger body-in-white (BIW) unibody, built at the Brampton Assembly Plant. A roll cage, rated for quarter-mile runs as quick as 7.50 seconds, is integrated into the body. Featured components include a Strange rear axle assembly with adjustable coil over shocks, a four-link suspension with wishbone and an anti-roll bar. Wheelie bars and a parachute mount are also integrated into the chassis and are standard. Up front, a unique engine cross member lowers the center of gravity and improves weight distribution. The front also includes specific Bilstein double-adjustable struts.
The race-ready 2020 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, powered by the supercharged all aluminum 354-cubic-inch Hemi, is fitted with a T400 three-speed transmission with a Kwik-Shift manual shifter, lightweight driveshaft, front and rear racing brakes, Racetech seats, Racepak Smartwire fully programmable power distribution center and a new, exclusive Drag Pak lightweight wheel and tire package.
Just as the modern Dodge Challenger turns heads with design cues that take you back to the original muscle car era of the 1970s, the red, white and blue color scheme on the fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak displays a modern flavor, seasoned with nostalgia.
The graphics package is anchored by the blue Mopar logo and red “Drag Pak” badging on the quarter panels above the rear wheels. The red band wraps around the rear of the car, connecting the badges. A wide blue stripe, with red tracers on each side, runs from the edge of the front fascia, over the roof and through to the rear edge of the deck lid. The graphic highlights the width of the Challenger Drag Pak and complements the variety of stripe packages Mopar offers for the Dodge Challenger. A blue band runs along the lower quarter of each side of the Challenger Drag Pak, accented by a red tracer line.
“We want this to look so cool that when the customer buys a Challenger Drag Pak he or she wants to run these graphics because they are so iconic and stand out,” says Mark Trostle, Head of Performance, Passenger Car and Utility Vehicle Design for FCA–North America. “Mopar people are proud of the heritage and the look and they want to show that off.”
Mopar and Dodge/SRT Heritage
The Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak’s roots were firmly planted in the early 1960s with the factory production of Max Wedge package cars. In 1968, 426 Hemi-powered Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda package cars were unleashed on the strip. Those vehicles continue to compete in the Super Stock/A-HEMI (SS/AH) class of NHRA Sportsman racing and the annual fan favorite Mopar Hemi Challenge, held during the NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana, since 2001.
In 2008, Mopar announced the first drag race, factory-prepped package cars in 40 years – the first V-8 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. The 2009 program saw a first-year sell out of all 100 factory-built vehicles.
The 2010 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak program offered racers an available 6.4-liter Hemi engine. Then in 2011, Mopar introduced a race-ready V-10 package car, becoming the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to offer a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag package car.
The third-generation 2015 Challenger Drag Pak saw the introduction of the first supercharged 354 Hemi, as well as a naturally aspirated 426 Gen-III Hemi, and was capable of 8.0-second ETs out of the box.
Leah Pritchett captured the 2018 NHRA Factory Stock Showdown World Championship, collected three wins and recorded the first official 7-second run in the class with the third-generation Challenger Drag Pak. Geoff Turk drove his Challenger Drag Pak to the 2018 NMCA Factory Super Cars World Championship and posted the first official 7-sec.run in the class.
Here is a link to a video, in which Dodge reps. take you on a tour of the Drag Pak:
Availability will be limited to just 50 serialized units- all with unique commemorative plaques. Mopar plans to sell a variety of modular kits if you want to see how close you can get to building your own. While Drag Pak pricing has yet to be announced, anything below $120,000 seems unlikely, since both the Cobra Jet Mustang and COPO Camaro cost more.
UPDATE (July 21, 2020)- Due to the pandemic, the release of this 7-second drag car will be delayed until 2021.