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Challenger Drag Pak


Dodge is going drag racing, and it's doing it with an all-new version of the Challenger for NHRA's Sportsman class. FCA's Mopar parts and performance arm announced the newChallenger Drag Pak Friday, showing off a version with a 354-cubic-inch (that's a 5.8-liter, by the way), supercharged V8 and a 426-ci (7.0-liter), naturally aspirated V8 - both Hemis, of course - that can get the big coupes through the quarter-mile in "the eight-second range."

While the two engines deliver similar performance, at their base, they're quite a bit different. The supercharged model uses a cast-iron block, while the 426 has aluminum for both the block and head. That said, both models get customized engine calibrations, and are mated to unique, race-spec automatic transmissions.

But drag racing is about far more than just outright power. Mopar significantly updated the four-link rearsuspension, adding a four-inch rear axle from Strange Engineering, along with an aluminum, nine-inch third member, while the rear-axle housing has been strengthened in general. Both the rear shocks and front struts can be adjusted for rebound and compression, too. Lightweight 15-inch wheels, meanwhile, are shod in super-sticky Hoosier drag radials, with nine inches of tread in back and 4.5 inches in front.

The new Challenger Drag Pak should run the quarter-mile in "the eight-second range."

In the cabin, there's an NHRA-spec roll cage, a Racepak gauge cluster, and a handsome pair of Sparco racing seats. Outside, supercharged models get blue decals, while naturally aspirated varieties get black stickers, although there's more to the new Challenger dragster's exterior than just its decals. Mopar tweaked the big-scoop hood, promising it's easier to get up to check on the engine, and the designers also added trailer tie-down straps in both the front and rear.

While the dragster was the big news today, Mopar officials also announced the two enhanced Scat Pack kits for both the Dodge Charger and Challenger R/T. The 5.7-liter Hemi models gain an extra 56 horsepower and 30 pound-feet of torque in the Scat Pack 2 thanks to a new cam, valve springs, pushrods, and gaskets. The Scat Pack 3, meanwhile, adds 75 hp and 44 lb-ft, on top of the gains from the lower packages. That should be perfect for drivers who wish to snort in the face of their SRT 392-driving friends. The third stage adds a ported cylinder heads, as well as high-flow manifolds and catalysts. And of course, both performance packages come complete with a factory-backed warranty.

The Scat Pack 2 carries a sticker of just $1,895, while the 3 is $4,495, although it should be noted that each package is dependent on the one below it. That means adding the Scat Pack 3 will require the first and second packages, so the final tally might be a bit more than the MSRPs would indicate. As for the drag model, prices for the 426-ci version start at $99,426, while the 354-ci supercharged Challenger rings up at $109,354. Orders for everything we've discussed here are currently open. While you ponder your purchase, though, scroll down and check out the official press releases from Mopar.