The Dodge Challenger isn't sold in this part of the world but when US tuning icon Mopar unveils its first-ever factory-prepped supercharged package specifically designed for drag racers, we can't help but take notice.
Based on the not-so-humble Dodge Challenger, the Mopar 'Dodge Challenger Drag Pak' is offered with your choice of a naturally aspirated 7.0-litre (426-cubic-inch) Gen III HEMI V8 or, for the first time, a big daddy supercharged 5.8-litre (354-cubic-inch) Gen III HEMI V8.
According to Mopar, the new 'Pak' is "designed for passionate Sportsman racers who compete in nationally sanctioned drag racing series, such as the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA)".
The N/A V8 is built off of an aluminium Mopar block with pressed-in steel liners and aluminium cylinder heads, the blown 354 comprised of a cast-iron block, forged steel crankshaft and a Mopar-spec camshaft. Both include a custom engine calibration and feature a race-prepped automatic transmission.
Vital for quick launches and high-speed stability, front suspension has been upgraded with a unique Mopar K-Member and suspension geometry as well as double adjustable compression and rebound struts. At the rear, there’s a four-link suspension setup with Panhard bar, Strange Engineering 4-inch solid axle with 9-inch aluminium third member, 40-spline gun drilled axles, adjustable shocks (compression and rebound) and an anti-roll bar.
The rear axle mounting has also been strengthened. Further drag-spec additions include slotted brake rotors, racing calipers and 15-inch lightweight wheels shod with Hoosier drag radials measuring 28x4.5 inches up front and 30x9 inches out back.
Tying the package together is a Mopar gauge pack, lightweight racing seats, five-point harness, safety net and a full roll cage fabricated to NHRA specifications. Coin? Not cheap. The ‘baby’ 426 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak retails for US$99,426 ($129,890), the supercharged 354 US$109,354 ($142,862). In the past, Mopar has impressed rev-heads with its 2014 Dodge Dart NHRA Pro Stock car and 2015 Dodge Charger R/T NHRA Funny Car.