The fourth-generation drag car is a factory-built dragster ready for NHRA and NMCA racing. Just listen to it.

CarAndDriver, By Austin Irwin

©  CarAndDriver | Mopar 2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Burns Rubber at SEMA.

This 2020 Mopar 
Dodge Challenger Drag Pak edition, currently appearing at the SEMAaftermarket show, isn't street legal but is NHRA certified for a 7.50-second ET on the strip.

Mopar will keep the tuning of this factory-built dragster open-source, with an unlocked fuel management controller and power control module.

A supercharged 354-cubic-inch V-8 is under the hood with a special supercharger that Mopar wouldn't let anyone see this far away from the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown racing season.

Building a fast car isn't as simple as measuring twice and cutting once. For many, the process requires measuring six times, busting a few knuckles, then just letting it rest until the humility wears off. Mopar simplifies the process with the fourth-generation Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. Its SEMA debut lacked details like horsepower and top speed, but Mopar promised their baseline tune will let customers hop in and launch the car with no assembly required.

Like most project cars that ever actually see the light of day, Mopar said, only a few of these will exist. They're limiting the run to 50 serialized units. For folks already behind the wheel of a Dodge Challenger, Mopar will also offer a variety of modular kits for those who want to go the home-brew approach.

The supercharged 354-cubic-inch V-8 is where all the mystery's at. Mopar was tight-lipped about details, so as not to give it is Blue Oval or bow-tie competitors any hints this far ahead of the start of the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown racing season where the Drag Pak will compete. For reference, the last-gen car had two options: the debut of the supercharged 354-cubic-inch V-8 and a naturally aspirated 426-cubic-inch V-8 capable of 8.0-second ETs out of the box, but Mopar said this car has been in development for about two years, meaning roughly since about when the Dodge Demon debuted. A Kwik-Shift manual shifter is bolted to the three-speed transmission to assist with lightning-fast reaction times and gearshifts.

NHRA rules prevent factory teams from wandering too far from production-car likeness, but the rear suspension is open for interpretation. The solid rear axle comes from the axle wizards at Strange Engineering, and the four-link wishbone suspension is all new. A Drag Pak–exclusive lightweight wheel package puts black Weld Racing wheels wrapped in 30-inch Mickey Thompson drag radials on the car.

Mopar was quick to point out that the welded roll cage inside the new Drag Pak was certified for a car capable of 7.50 ETs at the dragstrip. They were also pretty proud to point out that the Holley Dominator electronic fuel management controller will be left unlocked for customers who prefer to set their race car to global-warmer mode. The Drag Pak uses a Racepak Smart wire power control module (PCM), which Mopar says also comes unlocked and fully customizable. This will allow customers to diagnose electrical problems safely and quickly; also, the capabilities of an unlocked PCM let racers cut power to systems that can drain performance when they aren't being used.

The Drag Pak will compete in the 2020 NHRA Production Car Showdown, a competition Mopar won in 2018 with the last-gen Drag Pak, which ran a class-first 7.0-second ET. Mopar said production for the 2020 Challenger Drag Pak will start early next year.

This article was originally published in CarAndDriver.
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