Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak Runs 7.5 s From Factory

Nothing screams ‘Murica like a supercharged Hemi V8 factory Dodge drag car. 

While everyone else in the auto industry is switching towards electrification and zero-emissions, it seems that this development has yet to reach Dodge as the American company has just released the Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak. 

Yes, it is spelt correctly as Drag Pak and yes, this American muscle car has been specifically built by Dodge to just compete in drag racing. Much like the purpose-built Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 drag car launched by Ford, this Challenger was outfitted with the intent that it only set the fastest time down a quarter-mile of straight road. 

To achieve this goal, under the hood of the Drag Pak Challenger is of course Chrysler’s famous Hemi V8. American car officianados will know this powertrain to be the 354 Gen III Hemi V8, however to us metric folk it translates to a 5.8 litre displacement. 

That’s not all however as on top of the 5.8 litres worth of engine is a 3.0 litre Whipple twin-screw supercharger with tweaked internal. Thus allowing this Challenger to output somewhere around the region of 1600 hp through the rear wheels, and achieving that National Hot Rod Assosiation (NHRA) certified 7.5 second time down the quarter mile. 

New to the 2021 Drag Pak is a revised suspension setup, to cater to the immense forces during the launch of this Challenger down the strip. Double adjustable Bilstein coilovers up front and an all-new four-link rear suspension at the rear are among the modifications done to ensure this drag car stays planted throughout the run. 

Braking performance has also been similarly upgraded with new Strange Engineering Pro Series II racing brakes all-round, not to mention the 10-foot parachute mounted out back to bring this Challenger to a dead stop in the shortest possible distance. 

Stepping inside the Drag Pak, few of the factory Challenger bits remain. The instrument cluster has been replaced with three primary gauges that reads rpm, brake pressure and oil pressure set within a carbon fibre bezel, and the central infotainment system has been swapped out for a 7.0 inch Holley EFI digital dash to control the ‘programmable Holley Dominator Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) vehicle-management system’. A fully TIG-welded NHRA certified roll cage, a quick-release steering wheel and a trunk mounted 3-gallon fuel cell completes the race prep on the interior. 

There are some touches around the Drag Pak to signify that this is a factory built drag car. Under the hood there is a special red and chrome radiator support “fender tag”, while on the inside the race seats have the Drag Pak emblem embroidered onto the head rests. A custom red and chrome Drag Pak serialized badge can also be found below the passenger side air vent to denote that only 50 of these drag racing beasts will be made. 

Supposedly costing over $140,000 (RM 580,000), it may seem like a lot for a car that is only built for the drag strip and can never be registered on the road. However if you think about it, this is probably the cheapest hp per dollar in any new car around. 

More information can be found in the press release below: 

Improved performance from upgraded supercharged HEMI V-8

At the heart of the new Drag Pak is the latest evolution of the supercharged 354-cubic-inch Gen-III HEMI V-8 engine, based on the same power plant that won the 2018 NHRA Factory Stock Showdown (FSS) and NMCA Factory Supercar championships.

Numerous enhancements include an all-new 3.0-liter Whipple twin-screw supercharger, upgraded forged internals, new front accessory drive and a new fabricated aluminum ice tank with a clear lid that cools the supercharger intercooler. The engine combination has been fully validated by Mopar engineers on the dyno, as well as the drag strip, and is approved for the NHRA FSS and NMCA classes.

A unique, serialized, red and chrome Drag Pak badge sits atop the machined aluminum supercharger cover. Also under the aluminum hood, enthusiasts will see a nod to past 1970-1974 ‘Cuda and Challenger heritage models, with a special red and chrome radiator support “fender tag” adorned with the silhouette of the Challenger, stating the series number, the vehicle code, axle ratio and engine designation – all unique to the Drag Pak.


Newly designed suspension provides a leg up on the competition

The all-new, four-link rear suspension is engineered to launch hard, quickly decimate the 60-foot elapsed times and stay planted all the way down the quarter-mile. A new geometry setup with longer control arms increases the length of the rear swing arm, allowing better anti-squat control and increasing stability. It also incorporates a wishbone link for lateral control (replacing a Panhard bar in prior models) and a larger-diameter anti-roll bar (250 percent stiffer than prior models).

Up front, a unique Mopar K-member underpins the front suspension, featuring integrated solid engine mounts and a cutout for easy oil pan removal. New for 2021 are exclusive double-adjustable Drag Pak-specific tuned Bilstein coilover shock absorbers supporting all four corners of the car. The new shocks improve weight transfer and body attitude for hard launches, as well as soak up track bumps and undulations at high speeds down the track. The shocks feature 10 settings (front and rear) for easy tuning of compression and rebound damping, allowing racers to adjust for diverse track conditions by simply turning the color-coded knobs.

Strange Engineering Pro Series II racing brakes on the front and rear provide ample stopping power after the finish line, with minimal losses due to brake drag on the way there.

Two wheel and tire combinations are available for the Drag Pak:

  • Bogart wheels with Mickey Thompson tires:
    • Rear: Bogart D-10 15-by-10-inch (non-beadlock) wheels riding on Mickey Thompson ET Drag® Pro Drag Radial 30.0 x 9.0 R15 tires
    • Front: Bogart D-10 17-by-4.5-inch wheels riding on Mickey Thompson 27.5 x 4.0-17 ET Front™ tires
  • Weld Racing wheels with Mickey Thompson tires:
    • Rear: Weld Racing Alpha-1 15-by-10-inch (double beadlock with Drag Pak engraved lock rings) wheels riding on Mickey Thompson ET Drag Pro Drag Radial 30.0 x 9.0 R15 tires
    • Front: Weld Racing V-Series 17-by-4.5-inch (with Drag Pak engraving) wheels riding on Mickey Thompson 27.5 x 4.0-17 ET Front tires

Improved performance and safety with certified roll cage

The new Drag Pak features an all-new roll cage fabricated to SFI Specification 25.5C (NHRA-certified 7.50-second ET) to not only handle the rigorous safety requirements of factory stock racing, but also improve performance.

The NHRA-certified roll cage is constructed from 4130 chromoly tubing and is fully TIG-welded, ensuring greater safety and integrity. The cage is fully integrated with the factory unibody through attachment points at the front and rear shock towers, B-pillars, vehicle floor and rocker panels. This integrated chassis approach is a result of Mopar’s involvement in different classes of drag racing over the years, as well as the stringent approach to safety mandated by the NHRA. The chassis is designed to work in combination with the rear suspension, channeling the forces from the control arms and coilover shocks directly into the roll cage, versus the body panels. The increased stiffness allows the new Drag Pak to be more responsive to tuning changes, enabling racers to extract more performance in the quarter-mile.

Out back, a trunk-mounted, SFI-certified three-gallon drag race fuel cell feeds a brushless racing fuel pump with dual inline filters. Axle-mounted wheelie bars are standard, as is a 10-foot parachute mounted rigidly to the frame rails via a unique tubular mount.

Improved interior features advanced, race-ready technology

The interior balances race car function with factory comfort and technology. The instrument panel features a carbon-fiber bezel with three primary gauges – rpm, brake pressure and oil pressure. The driver bezel also features a Holley EFI Digital Dash with a 7-inch, low-glare, full-color touchscreen display so drivers can tune and manage vehicle performance.

On the passenger side, a custom red and chrome Drag Pak serialized badge signifies the one-of-50 build sequence numbers. Driver comfort is achieved with the adjustable mounts that are included for the seats and racing pedals. Driver control is delivered through a mechanical floor shifter and lightweight steering column with quick-release steering wheel.

An all-new motorsport electrical architecture setup includes the “brains” of the supercharged HEMI powertrain in the programmable Holley Dominator Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) vehicle-management system. In addition, a programmable Racepak Smartwire Power Distribution Module controls all electrical components using solid-state electronics, which eliminates the need for fuses and relays. These electronic modules are conveniently mounted to the body using bespoke mounts that allow for easy service with factory fit-and-finish.

A choice of lightweight Racetech composite seats and Racetech HANS-ready cam-lock harnesses are FIA- and SFI-compliant. Both driver and passenger seats feature the Drag Pak logo embroidered on the seat back, while the optional Head Restraint Seat Package features a winged driver seat.

Rounding out the Factory Stock racing class feel on the interior are custom-cut lightweight carpeting, carbon fiber tube protectors and SFI-compliant roll bar padding.

High-impact exterior colors and heritage-inspired graphics choices signal performance

The new Drag Pak comes standard in White Knuckle and is available in five optional high-impact exterior colors: Hellraisin, Pitch Black, Smoke Show, TorRed and Frostbite. Full-color or monochromatic graphics packages are anchored by the Mopar logo and additional “drag pak” or “direct connection” billboard graphics on the quarter panels above the rear wheels. The graphic band wraps around the rear of the car, visually connecting both sides of the vehicle.

A wide center stripe, with tracers on each side, runs from the edge of the front fascia, over the roof and through to the rear edge of the decklid. The graphics highlight the width of the Drag Pak and complements the variety of stripe packages that Mopar offers for the Dodge Challenger. The graphic band runs along the lower quarter of each side of the Drag Pak, accented by a tracer line.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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