Dodge’s factory-built dragster returns after five years!

The 2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak is the fourth-generation drag car based on FCA’s two-door muscle car. Based on the modern Challenger, like all its predecessors since 2008, it features drag-specific upgrades and its certified for NHRA and NMCA competitions. In short, it’s a turnkey package that turns the streetable Challenger into an ideal dragster for both amateur and professional racers. Let’s find out what’s new for the 2020 model year in the review below.

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Drivetrain and Performance

  • Supercharged V-8
  • N/A V-8 discontinued
  • Three-speed gearbox
  • More than 1,000 horsepower!
  • Seven-second quarter-mile runs
  • Revised suspension
  • Lightweight driveshaft
  • Race-spec brakes
2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak by Mopar and SRT Exterior
- image 870187
The Challenger Drag Pak comes with a supercharged, 5.8-liter Hemi V-8 engine under the hood

Mopar offered this mill on the previous Drag Pak in 2015 as well, but the engine was obviously upgraded for 2020. There’s no word as to how much oomph it generates, but we do know that the previous Drag Pak was capable of a whopping 1,200 horsepower. The naturally aspirated 7.0-liter Hemi V-8 was discontinued, though so we’re curious as to how well this 5.8-liter stacks up.

2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak by Mopar and SRT 2015 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak
Engine supercharged 354-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 engine naturally aspirated 7.0-liter Hemi V-8
Horsepower +1,000 HP 1,200 HP
Transmission T400 three-speed transmission with a Kwik-Shift manual shifter 3-speed automatic transmission

The supercharged V-8 mates to a T400 three-speed transmission with a Kwik-Shift manual shifter. It also includes a Racepak Smartwire fully programmable power distribution center, a lightweight driveshaft, and race-spec brakes at all four corners.

Dodge developed a new rear axle assembly that features adjustable coilover shocks, four-link suspension, and an anti-roll bar.

In the front, there’s a unique engine cross member that lowers the center of gravity and improves weight distribution, as well as double-adjustable Bilstein struts.

2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak by Mopar and SRT Exterior
- image 870178

Obviously the big question is how quick this thing can launch off the line. Dodge had nothing to say about that, but previous Challenger Drag Pak was notoriously fast. The 2018 NHRA Factory Stock Showdown saw the Drag Pak run the first seven-second run in the class with Leah Pritchett behind the wheel. Geoff Turk reached a similar benchmark in the 2018 NMCA Factory Super Cars class.

With a more powerful engine and upgraded chassis and internals, the 2020 Challenger Drag Pak should be able to run seven-second quarter-mile sprints on a more regular basis.

What About the Chevy COPO Camaro?

2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro Drivetrain
- image 740877
New 302 cubic-inch V-8 built for high revs

To add a little bit of contrast and to show you just how bonkers the Challenger Drag Pak really is, we need to look at its main competitor – the Chevy COPO Camaro. The Camaro is built for the dragstrip, no doubt, but it doesn’t hold up in terms of power at all. The COPO Camaro is offered with three different engines; a 302 cubic-inch naturally aspirated V-8, a 427 cubic-inch naturally aspirated V-8, and a supercharged 350 cubic-inch V-8. This sounds pretty good at first, but the power output available from the COPO Camaro ranges from just 360 horsepower with the 302 to 470 horsepower for the 427, and just 580 horsepower with the supercharged 350. In other words, you literally need two COPO Camaros to equal the same power you get in the Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the COPO can’t compete on the drag strip. According to Chevy, the COPO with the supercharged 350 can run the quarter-mile in the mid-8-second range at as much as 160 mph. Unfortunately, we don’t know how the new Challenger Drag Pak stacks up in terms of running down the line, but we expect seven-second quarter miles, so it’ll probably be quicker. After all, it does have more than 1,000 horsepower on tap.

Chevy COPO Camaro Specs
Engine 302ci NA V-8 427ci NA V-8 Supercharged 350ci V-8
Block LT1 LSX LSX
NHRA Horsepower 360 470 580
Max RPM 8000 8000 8000
Transmission TH400 3-Speed TH400 3-Speed TH400 3-Speed

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Exterior Design

  • Based on the Hellcat
  • Hellcat engine hood
  • Drag-specific wheels
  • Decklid spoiler
  • Parachute
  • Wheelie bars
  • Blue and red livery
  • Looks mean
left right
Just like its predecessor, the 2020 Challenger Drag Pak looks very similar to the road car.

This time around though, Dodge went with features inspired by the more extreme Hellcat. Both the front grille and the bumper are very similar to the Hellcat’s, down to the splitter mounted at the bottom. The engine hood also mimics the design of the Hellcat thanks to its intake and heat extractors. Of course, the race-spec model also features quick-release pins, just like the race-ready Demon.

The profile is also similar to the road-going Hellcat, but the drag-specific wheels make it stand out. As usual, the front wheels are skinnier, while the rear wheels are much larger for extra grip.

Both the front and rear wheels are part of an exclusive Drag Pak lightweight package and all four are wrapped in high-performance, drag-spec tires.

The livery also helps the Challenger Drag Pak stand out. There’s a blue stripe with red tracers on the side skirt (which becomes wider on the lower rear fender), and a blue "Mopar" logo and red "Dragpak" lettering on the upper rear fender.

left right
The Drag Pak comes equipped with wheelie bars and a parachute

The rear end is basically a Hellcat with drag-specific features. The Drag Pak comes equipped with wheelie bars and a parachute. Both are integrated into the rear section of the chassis. Although the Drag Pak doesn’t feature rear-mounted exhaust pipes, the holes in the lower bumper are still there. Just like the rear fenders, the rear bumper features wide blue stripes and red tracers. The same stripe combination adorns the front hood and then runs over the roof and onto the trunk lid.

This three-color livery is quite modern, but it’s design reminds me of classic Mopar factory drag racers from the late 1960s and early 1970s. If you don’t fancy the Mopar livery, you don’t need to worry as this layout is unique to the presentation model. You can buy your racer with a simple paint job and in a different color as well.

Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Interior Design

  • Based on regular Challenger
  • Race-spec seats
  • Multi-point harnesses
  • No convenience features
  • Lightweight door panels
  • Rear-seat delete
2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak by Mopar and SRT Exterior
- image 870179

Dodge has yet to release photos of the car’s interior, but did mention that it’s equipped with Racetech seats. These are obviously approved for NHRA and NMCA racing and fitted with race-spec harnesses.

It's also safe to assume that most of the layout remains true to the road car, although Mopar probably stripped off unnecessary comfort features, the rear seats, and added lightweight door panels

. Since it’s not a road-legal car, it doesn’t need things like infotainment, navigation, or a production instrument cluster.

2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak Unveiling

Final Thoughts

2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak by Mopar and SRT Exterior
- image 870188
Limited to only 50 units, the 2020 Challenger Drag Pak is just as exclusive as its predecessor.

Given the tremendous performance and the success of the old model, it should sell out in no time, so hurry up if you want one. Despite the age and the old platform of the current-generation Challenger, the Drag Pak remains an impressive machine and proves that you don’t needs a brand-new design to win drag races. Of course, the same doesn’t apply for track use, but who cares? The Challenger Drag Pak is mean, powerful, and fast, just like it needs to be at the drag strip. One hell of a return after five years!

  • Leave it
    • Limited production
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
About the author

Introduction of the 2020 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak marks the fourth generation of the modern-day drag race package car
The 2020 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak delivers sportsman racers a new, turnkey package loaded with suspension and chassis upgrades and is certified for NHRA and NMCA competition
Body-integrated SFI-specification welded rollcage is certified for ETs as low as 7.50 seconds
The 2020 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak is powered by the supercharged 354-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 engine
Limited production of 50 serialized units
Fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak builds on lessons learned from current Drag Pak which claimed NHRA and NMCA world championships in 2018
Ordering and pricing details to be announced in the future
November 5, 2019 , Las Vegas, Nevada - Mopar and Dodge//SRT took the wraps off a new, fourth-generation version of the factory-built, racetrack-only Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak car today at the 2019 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.

The 2020 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak is engineered for grassroots drag racers that compete in sportsman classes in events sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and National Muscle Car Association (NMCA).

Building on lessons learned with the third-generation Drag Pak, the new fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak offers racers the choice of buying a complete, turnkey package ready for the track or a variety of modular kits to install on their own Dodge Challenger drag car.

“Mopar and Dodge//SRT collaborated to make this factory production-based Challenger Drag Pak not only a forced to be reckoned with at the strip but also an instant collectable for Mopar enthusiasts,” said Mark Bosanac, Head of Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care, FCA - North America. “Our legacy has been won at the track by the women and men who pour all they have into being the best. This new Challenger Drag Pak gives them the tools to stay in front of the competition.”

Production of the new Challenger Drag Pak will be limited to 50 serialized units. Ordering and pricing details will be announced in the future.

Heritage-inspired Graphics Signal Performance
Just as the modern Dodge Challenger turns heads with design cues that harken back to the original muscle car era of the 1970s, the red, white and blue color scheme on the fourth-generation Challenger Drag Pak displays a modern flavor, seasoned with nostalgia.

The graphics package is anchored by the blue Mopar logo and red “dragpak” badging on the quarter panels above the rear wheels. The red band wraps around the rear of the car, connecting the badges.

A wide blue stripe, with red tracers on each side, runs from the edge of the front fascia, over the roof and through to the rear edge of the decklid. The graphic highlights the width of the Challenger Drag Pak and complements the variety of stripe packages Mopar offers for the Dodge Challenger. A blue band runs along the lower quarter of each side of the Challenger Drag Pak, accented by a red tracer line.

“We want this to look so cool that when the customer buys a Challenger Drag Pak he or she wants to run these graphics because they are so iconic and stand out,” says Mark Trostle, Head of Performance, Passenger Car and Utility Vehicle Design for FCA – North America. “Mopar people are proud of the heritage and the look and they want to show that off.”

Four Generations of Track Experience
Construction of the Challenger Drag Pak begins with a standard-width Dodge Challenger Body-in-White (BIW) unibody built at the FCA Brampton Assembly Plant in Brampton, Ontario. An SFI-specification welded rollcage, rated for quarter-mile runs as fast as 7.50 seconds, is integrated into the body.

New for the fourth-generation Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, the Strange rear axle assembly uses adjustable coilover shocks, four-link suspension with wishbone and an anti-roll bar. Wheelie bars and a parachute mount are integrated into the chassis and are standard.

Up front, a unique engine cross member lowers the center of gravity and improves weight distribution. The front also includes specific Bilstein double-adjustable struts.

The race-ready 2020 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, powered by the supercharged 354-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 engine, is fitted with a T400 three-speed transmission with a Kwik-Shift manual shifter, lightweight driveshaft, front and rear racing brakes, Racetech seats, Racepak Smartwire fully programmable power distribution center and a new, exclusive Drag Pak lightweight wheel and tire package.

Also new for 2020, the Drag Pak hood mimics the design of the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, with intake and heat extractors. Front and rear fascias use the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat design.

Mopar and Dodge//SRT Package Car Heritage
The Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak’s roots were firmly planted in the early 1960s with the factory production of Max Wedge package cars. In 1968, 426 HEMI-powered Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda package cars were unleashed on the strip. Those vehicles continue to compete in the Super Stock/A-HEMI (SS/AH) class of NHRA Sportsman racing and the annual fan favorite Mopar HEMI Challenge, held during the NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana, since 2001.

In 2008, Mopar announced the first drag race, factory-prepped package cars in 40 years – the first V-8 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak. The 2009 program saw a first-year sell out of all 100 factory-built vehicles.

The 2010 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak program offered racers an available 6.4-liter HEMI engine. Then in 2011, Mopar introduced a race-ready V-10 package car, becoming the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to offer a 500-plus cubic-inch V-10 drag package car.

The third-generation 2015 Challenger Drag Pak saw the introduction of the first supercharged 354 HEMI as well as a naturally aspirated 426 Gen-III HEMI and was capable of 8.0-second ETs out of the box.

Leah Pritchett captured the 2018 NHRA Factory Stock Showdown World Championship, collected three wins and recorded the first official 7-second run in the class with the third-generation Challenger Drag Pak. Geoff Turk drove his Challenger Drag Pak to the 2018 NMCA Factory Super Cars World Championship and also posted the first official 7-second run in the class.

About Dodge//SRT
For more than 100 years, the Dodge brand has carried on the spirit of brothers John and Horace Dodge. Their influence continues today as Dodge proudly offers a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out in their own segments. For 2020, Dodge literally expands its high-performance Charger model lineup, adding a Widebody exterior to America’s only four-door muscle car. The 2020 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat maintains its reign as the most powerful and fastest mass-produced sedan in the world.

The 2020 Dodge lineup also features the 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, the Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody and the 2020 Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320. The 2020 Dodge Durango SRT, the fastest, most powerful and most capable American three-row SUV, completes the brand’s performance lineup. These visceral performance models join a 2020 brand lineup that includes the Durango, Grand Caravan, Journey, Charger and Challenger. Dodge is part of the portfolio of brands offered by global automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. For more information regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit www.fcagroup.com

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