Click above for high-res gallery of the new Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger
Using the slogan, "if you can dream it, you can build it with Mopar," the Dodge boys introduced Sam Hübinette's 2009 Mopar Dodge Drift Challenger. Team owner Shaun Carlson and driver Samuel Hübinette introduced the car and pointed out some of the unique features, like the 850-hp Hemi underhood. While that should definitely help Sam in his quest to retake the title for Mopar, one additional fun touch should help the team cut their repair bills. The driver's side rear fender has a built-in line of roller blade wheels to keep him skimming along the walls rather than tearing the quarter panels away on contact. We doubt it will hold up to anything harder than a five-mph brush, but it was interesting nonetheless. The car they showed us was actually a cutaway as you'll see from the gallery and hit the jump to read all of the specs.
Photos copyright ©2008 Frank Filipponio|Brad Wood/Weblogs
Mopar Unveils Challenger Drift Car @ SEMA 2008
Mopar® Unveils 2009 Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger at SEMA
Reveal illustrates "if you can dream it, you can build it with Mopar®"
Shaun Carlson and Samuel Hübinette on the 2009 Mopar Drift Challenger
Las Vegas, Nov 4, 2008 - Mopar®, Chrysler LLC's global service and parts division, is bringing the all-new Dodge Challenger to the next generation of motorsports enthusiasts. Mopar will unveil the much-anticipated 2009 Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger today at the 2008 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.
Team Mopar driver and two-time Formula Drift (FD) champion Samuel Hübinette, who will steer the Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger during the 2009 season, participated in the reveal. Hübinette's team owner Shaun Carlson, owner of NuFormz Racing, was also in attendance. Carlson spearheaded the build of the Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger at his NuFormz Racing shop in Ontario, Calif.
The unveiling of the Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger at SEMA continues Mopar's long commitment to the rising motorsport of drifting. Mopar and Hübinette teamed up to capture the inaugural FD championship in 2004, with Hübinette also taking the 2006 FD title. Hübinette has claimed nine career FD victories, a series high, spreading the word about Mopar power to the younger demographic of race fans that follow drifting.
"The debut of the Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger solidifies the Mopar theme - if you can dream it, you can build it with Mopar," said Steve Shugg, Director of Sales and Marketing – Mopar, Chrysler LLC. "Mopar is reaching out to today's car enthusiast by combining its storied racing heritage with a variety of performance and accessory products that allow customers to make a personal statement with their vehicle."
Shaun Carlson and Samuel Hübinette on the 2009 Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger
The creation of the Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger was no easy task for Carlson and his NuFormz Racing crew.
"We learned a lot from building the Mopar Drift Dodge Charger, which Sam drove during the 2007 season, and transferred that knowledge to the Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger," said Carlson. "When we decided to bring out a new competition drift car, what better platform than the new Dodge Challenger. It has cool styling, great aerodynamics and it's a car that we feel is going to create a lot of buzz among fans of the FD Series."
The Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger underwent modifications, including a variety of safety components such as a full roll-cage and a five-point harness. A front carbon-fiber splitter and rear carbon-fiber wing were added for improved aero dynamics, and weight was trimmed off the Dodge Challenger SRT8 chassis by utilizing a custom carbon-fiber body by NuFormz Racing.
"One of the biggest modifications was making the car light," Carlson remarked. "Much of the body is now carbon-fiber, which cut quite a bit of weight. We've been able to put a lot of time, effort and hard work into this car. It's going to be strong."
The powerplant of the Mopar Drift Dodge Challenger features a Mopar A8 aluminum engine built by Gary Stanton Racing Engines, with Mopar W9 raised port heads, pumping out an estimated 850 hp and 849 lb-ft of torque to BFGoodrich tires. Additional Mopar components include Mopar front and rear sway bars on the suspension.
"This is going to be an exciting time, bringing out another car and another platform," said Hübinette, who in 2009 will mark his sixth year as a member of Team Mopar. "All that we learned from building the Dodge Charger drift car is transformed into this car and really makes it competitive. The Dodge Challenger is definitely the hot vehicle right now - everybody's talking about it. Having the vehicle built as a competition drift car is just going to add even more excitement. We're pumped up about launching this car, doing some testing over the winter and getting it ready to rock, and then taking home some victories next year."
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 and accessories 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.