• Jul 7, 2008


2006 Dodge Challenger Super Stock concept

With a name like Challenger, Dodge's new muscle car had better put down some serious quarter-mile times or else be able to propel itself into outer space. Fortunately, Chrysler's performance parts division Mopar is preparing to do one (if not the other) when it unveils its new Drag Race Package for the Challenger at the annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals at the Bandimere Speedway in Denver next week.

While specific details on the package – which we previewed in our exclusive video last week – remain scarce before the official debut, the Challenger Drag Race Package marks the 70th anniversary of Mopar and forty years since the company's last factory-built drag-race package. Based on the Challenger SRT8, the Drag Race Package features a composite "Body-in-White" direct from the factory and a host of lightweight components, to say nothing of all the parts being deleted for drag-strip use. The engine has been repositioned and the wheelbase actually shortened to optimize weight distribution and driveline angle. Designed in cooperation with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and previewed back in 2006 by the 392 HEMI Dodge Challenger Super Stock concept at SEMA (pictured above), Mopar will build 100 examples of the race-prepped Challenger with three different engine packages available.

Stay tuned for more information on July 13, but don't blink or you just might miss it. Press release after the jump.

[Source: Mopar]

PRESS RELEASE

Mopar(R) Will Unveil Its Dodge Challenger Drag Race Package Car at the 29th Annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver on July 13


  • Bandimere Speedway will host the debut of the Dodge Challenger Drag Race Package Car at the 29th Annual Mopar(R) Mile-High Nationals on Sunday, July 13
  • The Drag Race Package Car by Mopar(R), race-prepped and based on the Challenger SRT8(R), is designed to thrill a new generation of drag-racing enthusiasts
  • This is the first drag-race-only, factory-built package car built in 40 years

CENTER LINE, Mich., July 7 -- This year marks the 40th anniversary of the factory-built drag race package cars from Dodge and Plymouth. To commemorate those HEMI(R)-powered drag cars, Mopar(R) announced it will unveil its new Dodge Challenger Drag Race Package Car at the 29th Annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo. on Sunday, July 13.

Featuring separate paint schemes, the first two Challenger Drag Race Package Cars built by Mopar will be revealed at approximately 2 p.m. MDT, following Sunday's Mile-High race eliminations and before the final rounds. Mopar, Chrysler LLC's original equipment parts manufacturer and distributor, announced its Challenger Drag Race Package Car at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Oct. 2007.

The first drag-race-only, factory-prepped package car built in 40 years, the new Challenger Drag Race Package Car by Mopar builds on the heritage of the 1968 HEMI(R)-powered Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas. The limited-edition '68 package cars represented a significant point in Mopar's history -- solidifying the brand as a quarter-mile force. A watershed moment in drag racing history, they were also a major milestone in the evolution of the second-generation HEMI powerplant (426 HEMI engine). Some of drag racing's biggest names drove the crowd-favorite '68 package cars -- like Ronnie Sox, "Dandy" Dick Landy and Jack Werst, just to name a few. Mopar's popular HEMI Challenge racing series, operated in conjunction with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), features these '68 package cars in quarter-mile competition all over the country today.

Based on the Challenger SRT8(R), Mopar's modern, factory-prepped Challenger Drag Race Package Car will begin with a special Body-in-White (BIW) from Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario, Canada assembly plant. It has been updated for modern racing conditions. Special weight-reduction modifications were made by eliminating unnecessary components and systems. To accentuate the weight savings, it will also feature added composite, polycarbonate and lightweight components designed for drag racing. The engine was repositioned and the wheelbase was shortened to improve the driveline angle/clearance and weight distribution.

"Mopar worked with the NHRA -- the world's largest and loudest auto racing organization -- to approve our race-prepped Challenger for drag race competition," said Sunil Lahoti, Senior Manager -- Mopar Marketing and Brand Strategy, Chrysler LLC. "Engineered to race, our Package Car has what an NHRA drag racer needs to thunder down the strip in competition. It's made for straight-line, drag-strip acceleration -- and is prepped to score victories off the Tree."

Drag racers will have a choice of three engines to power the Challenger Drag Race Package Car for race competition. Mopar will build a minimum of 100 Package Cars to meet NHRA requirements. Each will carry an identification plate with sequential serial number.

Mopar built the first two Challenger Drag Race Package Cars for development and testing. Each Package Car ran successfully in June as proof-of-concept and for NHRA certification.

At the Mile-High reveal, Mopar will announce details including vehicle modifications, engine options, NHRA/IHRA categories and class eligibility, pricing, availability and distribution. A build book/owner's manual will be available as well as a collector's "coffee table" book.

70 Years of Mopar

When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.

Originally used in the 1920s, Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It was also widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s -- the muscle car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth "package cars" equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of "Special Parts" for super stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.

Today, Chrysler LLC's Global Service & Parts division is responsible for the manufacturing and distribution of nearly 250,000 authentic Mopar replacement parts, components, restoration parts, accessories and performance parts for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles sold around the world. To assure quality, reliability and durability, all Mopar parts and accessories are designed in strict adherence to Chrysler engineering standards.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      "With a name like Challenger, Dodge's new muscle car had better ... be able to propel itself into outer space."

      You know, I think that's just bad taste.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If you don't appreciate "older classics", why are you commenting? My guess is... just to be negative. My guess is that you are 20 years old and drive a Civic. I could be wrong, but you and Joce03 should drift off a cliff together if you don't like the Challenger.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This rules. I don't care who you are, that's Super-Bad.

      I'm not a drag racer, but I can appreciate any serious, purpose-built race car. I also like the vibe of the '70 Challenger bodywork and the '71-ish paint scheme.

      It's almost like the Chrysler engineers have re-opened the Rod Shop team of the late '60s and early '70s. This car may not save Chryslerberus. But for a swan song, it bellows ...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, some really interesting and out there posts regarding this car.

      1. This car is not street legal - it is being sold specifically for NHRA Stock, Super Stock and Competition class racing. (The cars are sold only with a serial number, no VIN)

      2. The first two cars ran 10.40 1/4 times in "out of the box" trim, this with a "bone stock" crate motor which are mild compared to what modifications will be done staying within class rules of NHRA.

      3. The New Challenger represents a rebirth of one of the most popular and valued cars ever built by Dodge or Plymouth - the 1970&1971 E-Bodies. Dodge did a great job making a modern retro of those cars.

      PS - The Superbird Wing comment is dumb,,, the Superbird and Daytona Charger were developed in the wind tunnel and dominated NASCAR leaving Ford and GM in the dust. That Wing is tunable and created huge downforce when running 200 mph on a super speedway. NASCAR ended up putting restrictions on them engine wise and then outlawed them all together.


      • 6 Years Ago
      Bring back the Grand Torino!!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bringing back the Challenger is unfortunate. Would be better to bring back this:

      http://www.plan59.com/images/JPGs/stu53red.jpg
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow this thing is becoming to autoblog what the iPhone is for engadget.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Fuel crisis be damned. God bless Mopar :D
        • 6 Years Ago
        *can*

        Another failure of a post by me. haha
        • 6 Years Ago
        This car can't actually make you money! :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, that's nice !!
      • 6 Years Ago
      That bird-catcher is ridiculous...it better serve an unbelievably important purpose. All it needs now is the superbird spoiler.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am definitely not someone who appreciates older "classics" and so that may have biased my opinion of that paint job leaning me somewhere between "ugly" and "what the heck were they thinking when they decided to waste money on that paint scheme"
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'll second that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would prefer it take me to outer space. Except maybe not. No where did it say it would take me to outer space safely......
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