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Everything You Need To Know About The 2021 Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak

Author: Bradley Iger | 01/06/2021 < Back to Motor Life Home

While the 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock may be considered the most powerful Hemi-powered muscle car that you can buy today, and the limited-production 2018 Challenger SRT Demon before it sits at the top of the totem pole as the most potent version for the drag strip, neither has anything on the 2021 Challenger Drag Pak when it comes to the quarter mile.


Although the Super Stock and Demon pack some serious performance hardware, both are ultimately designed to be street-legal, daily-driven machines. And that’s where the distinction comes in here – the Drag Pak is purpose-built race car designed to run in sportsman-class drag events that are sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association and the National Muscle Car Association.


As such, there are quite a few changes lurking beneath the Drag Pak’s familiar bodywork that distinguish it from a road-going Challenger. Let’s take a closer look at how Mopar’s latest creation differs from its street-legal counterparts.


Powertrain


2021 Challenger Drag Pak engine

Let's get right to the heart of the matter: a 354-cubic-inch Gen III Hemi with a 3.0-liter Whipple supercharger. While it has an NHRA-rated horsepower figure of 630, in reality this engine likely makes north of 1300hp.


Under the hood is a 354 cubic-inch Gen 3 Hemi V8 based on the power plant that won the 2018 NHRA Factory Stock Showdown and NMCA Factory Supercar championships. A new front accessory drive is on hand, along with upgraded forged internals to handle the boost generated by the all-new, 3.0L, twin-screw Whipple supercharger that sits atop the engine. A new fabricated aluminum ice tank that’s designed to cool the supercharger intercooler is part of the deal as well.


The combination is good for 630 horsepower, officially, but keep in mind that we’re talking about an NHRA horsepower rating here for classification purposes rather than traditional engine dyno figures. For comparison, the 2015 Challenger SRT Drag Pak made about 1200 horsepower in the real world with an earlier iteration of this engine, so it’s safe to assume that the latest mill actually generates a fair bit more than that.


Power is sent to the rear wheels through a three-speed TH400 automatic transmission with a manual shifter from Precision Performance Products, which in turn routes the twist through a lightweight aluminum driveshaft and a solid rear axle from Strange Engineering.


Suspension And Chassis


2021 Challenger Drag Pak underside

Mopar ditched the Challenger’s independent rear suspension for Drag Pak duty, replacing it with a four-link setup with custom Bilstein coilovers and a solid axle from Strange Engineering.


Like the powertrain, the Drag Pak’s suspension system is a major departure from the stuff you’ll find underpinning a standard SRT Challenger. At the rear, the road car’s independent setup with adaptive dampers is long gone, replaced by an all-new four-link design with new geometry and longer control arms that improve anti-squat control and enhance stability in comparison to the 2015 Challenger Drag Pak.


The four-link also incorporates a larger-diameter anti-roll bar that’s 250 percent stiffer than before, along with a wishbone link that replaces the Panhard bar used previously. At the front of the car, the new Drag Pak boasts a unique Mopar K-member with integrated solid engine mounts and a cutout that makes it easier to remove the oil pan.


Double-adjustable Bilstein coilovers are outfitted at all four corners. The units are uniquely tuned for the 2021 Challenger Mopar Drag Pak and are designed to maximize weight transfer rearward at launch while maintaining stability over any bumps and undulations that racers might encounter during a pass down the strip. The shocks offer ten different settings for compression and rebound, and color-coded adjustment knobs to allow for quick and easy tweaks to dial the suspension in for the varied conditions of different race tracks.


Strange Engineering Pro Series II racing brakes provide the stopping power while minimizing any potential performance loss due to brake drag as the car heads down the track.


On the chassis front, the new Drag Pak gets an all-new roll cage fabricated to SFI Specification 25.5C (NHRA-certified 7.50-second ET), which not only meets competition safety requirements, but also improves the car’s performance.


Constructed from 4130 chromoly tubing and fully TIG-welded, the new cage is integrated with the factory unibody through attachment points at the front and rear shock towers, B-pillars, floor and rocker panels. The design works in conjunction with the rear suspension to transfer energy from the control arms and coilovers directly into the roll cage, rather than the body of the car, while the increased stiffness provided by the new cage makes the car more responsive to tuning changes that can help lower ETs.


A trunk-mounted SFI-certified three-gallon fuel cell replaces the standard car’s 18.5-gallon tank and is paired up with a brushless racing fuel pump with dual inline filters to keep up with the consumption demands of the boosted Hemi.


When it comes to wheels and tires, Drag Pak buyers have two options. The first pairing is a set of non-beadlock Bogart D-10 wheels (15 x 10-inch rear, 17 x 4.5-inch front) wrapped in 30.0 x 9.0 R15 Mickey Thompson ET Drag Pro drag radials in the rear and 27.5 x 4.0-17 Mickey Thompson ETs at the front.


For those looking to go a step further with the wheel/tire combination, Mopar is also offering Weld Racing wheels – double beadlock Alpha-1s with Drag Pak-engraved lock rings out back and V-Series with Drag Pak engraving at the front. These Weld wheels are the same respective sizes as their Bogart D-10 counterparts and are wrapped in the same Mickey Thompson rubber.


Features And Tech


2021 Challenger Drag Pak interior

The cabin is incredibly civilized for a 7-second car. A Holley EFI Digital Dash replaces the Uconnect infotainment system normally found in an SRT Challenger and looks right at home here.

2021 Challenger Drag Pak number plate

Each 2021 Challenger Mopar Drag Pak comes with a serialized tag under the hood and a badge on the passenger side of the dash that lists its place in the 50-car production run.


The interior of the Drag Pak is all business, as you’d expect. A lightweight steering column with quick-release steering wheel replaces the adjustable column and flat-bottomed wheel from the standard SRT Challenger, while a carbon fiber instrument panel bezel frames analog gauges for the tachometer, oil pressure, and brake pressure, along with a Holley EFI Digital Dash. Holley’s 7-inch, low-glare touchscreen unit replaces the Challenger’s standard infotainment system to provide the driver with access to engine management tools and performance data.


The system complements the motorsport-focused Holley Dominator EFI engine-management system equipped here as well as the programmable Racepak Smartwire Power Distribution Module. The Racepak module controls all electrical components using solid-state electronics, thereby eliminating the need for fuses and relays.


Racetech composite buckets and HANS-ready cam-lock racing harnesses also replace the standard seats and belts. A Head Restraint Seat Package is available as well, which swaps the standard driver’s seat with a winged version. Either way, both the driver and passenger seats feature the Drag Pak logo embroidered on the seat back. Custom-cut lightweight carpeting, carbon fiber tube protectors and roll bar padding help keep the mass down while maintaining SFI compliance and a sense of civility.


The 2021 Challenger Mopar Drag Pak comes standard in White Knuckle paint, but five high impact colors are available as well – Hellraisin, Pitch Black, Smoke Show, TorRed and Frostbite, along with several graphics packages. A wide center stripe runs from the front fascia to the trunk lid, and a graphic band also runs around the body, ending at the outside edges of the lower air intakes.


Just fifty of these monsters will be built in total, and each commands a $143,485 price tag to join the highest ranks in the “Brotherhood of Muscle.”


Axle-mounted wheelie bars come standard on the Drag Pak, along with a 10-foot parachute that’s mounted to the frame rails by way of a unique tubular mount.

2021 Challenger Drag Pak side profile

The Drag Pak is outfitted with Mickey Thompson rubber as-standard, and buyers will have their choice between Bogart or Weld Racing wheels.

2021 Challenger Drag Pak launch

The 2021 Dodge Challenger Mopar Drag Pak is a purpose-built race car rather than a performance-tuned road car like a Demon or Scat Pack 1320. Although it isn’t road-legal, the Drag Pak is capable of rocketing the mid-7s in the quarter mile passes right out of the box, and has all of the hardware necessary to support that level of performance throughout a season of racing in the NHRA or NMCA.


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