Sportsman racers got a sneak peek at the 2015 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak test vehicle at National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals held over Labor Day weekend in Indianapolis.
When looking to build a better, more competitive race car for the quarter-mile drag strip, who better to ask for feedback than the Sportsman drivers and the drag racing legends who have helped Chrysler Group’s Mopar brand build the reputation and heritage it has in motorsports?
The best place for that to happen of course was at the prestigious 60th annual National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals event where the largest contingent of Sportsman and professional racers gathered to compete at the Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis Aug. 27- Sept. 1.
Sportsman racers were invited to meet many of the Mopar legends in the sport of drag racing including Don Garlits, Roland Leong, Ted Spehar, Herb McCandless, as well as members of the original Ramchargers — Tom Coddington, Al Adams and John Wehrly — at Mopar’s racers reception Thursday, Aug. 28 at Lucas Oil Raceway. All then got the chance to preview the first 2015 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak test vehicle and to talk with Mopar Performance Parts and SRT Motorsports engineers about the proposed next generation drag pak.
[infobox color=light grey]See: Mopar celebrates the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Gen II 426 Race HEMI [/infobox]
Continuing its commitment to Sportsman racing with the development of the next generation Mopar Drag Pak, the 2015 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak test vehicle is the next step in the evolution of the modern day package car whose earlier incarnations include more than 150 V8 Challenger Drag Paks, an additional fifty V10 versions, as well as 426 Race HEMI upgrade kits. The Mopar Challenger Drag Pak is the only modern era package car to win the Stock Eliminator title at the U.S. Nationals and has also won Factory Shootout races.
The test vehicle is built on the 2015 Dodge Challenger platform and sports a white body, a vintage stripe package, and 426 HEMI identification. The drag pak test vehicle also includes the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT front and rear fascia trim, rear spoiler and a full roll cage fabricated to NHRA specifications.
All specifications on the 2015 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak test vehicle are still preliminary and being evaluated, as they are pending NHRA approval as well as feedback from the Sportsman themselves. The vehicle was shown at the Mopar display in the manufacturer’s midway during the NHRA U.S. Nationals event weekend for racers and fans to view. Also on display was an original 1968 HEMI Dodge Dart package car.
Under the hood, Sportsman racers saw a 426 cubic-inch Race HEMI engine with an aluminum block, steel liners and custom engine calibration. The car boasts a Chrysler-based 727 automatic transmission, a race-style stick shifter with integral line lock, and an aluminum driveshaft. The vehicle also is equipped with a weigh box in the trunk and a trunk-mounted 12 volt battery.
The interior is currently based on the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT interior with the addition of Mopar gauges, driver and passenger lightweight racing seats, along with safety nets and five-point harnesses. The Mopar drag pak test car also is equipped with 15-inch front and rear wheels, 28-inch diameter drag style front tires (4.5 inches wide) and 30-inch diameter rear tires (9-inches wide). It currently features precision performance front and rear brake rotors, calipers and master cylinder.
The test vehicle’s front suspension currently sports the 2015 Mopar K-Member and strut suspension geometry, front struts with adjustable compression and rebound. At the back of the car, racers will find a four-link rear suspension with Panhard bar, rear solid axle with 9-inch aluminum third member, rear shocks with adjustable compression and rebound, and an anti-sway bar.