Dodge flaunts Drag Pak roller, $8K body-in-white, supercharger kits ahead of SEMA 2022
It’s not only open-air devotees and hi-po SUV buyers who have the ear of the Mopar gods. In anticipation of November’s SEMA show in Las Vegas, Dodge is whetting the appetites of its rubber-roasting motorsport faithful.
We’ll skip straight to the main course: A $89,999 Challenger Drag Pak rolling chassis built from 4130 chromoly tubing and complete with a TIG-welded rollcage, NHRA-certified for 7.50-second ETs and also eligible for NMCA competition. Engine, transmission, and the computer management thereof are up to the buyer. Dodge provides suspension—a four-link rear complemented by Bilstein coilovers tuned specifically for the Drag Pak—plus a 9-inch rear end, Strange Pro Series II racing brakes, and lightweight beadlock wheels from Weld clad in Micky Thompson rubber.
Served alongside it is an à la carte $7995 body-in-white, delivered without a roll cage and aimed at grassroots racers. Time will tell whether NHRA will approve the shell for its factory stock series, much like it did for the Drag Pak in 2021. Even if these Challenger bodies don’t make it that far up the ladder, count on them to infiltrate local dragways across the country, ensuring the endurance of the Challenger’s silhouette long after the Brampton, Ontario, factory runneth dry of Hemi muscle cars.
Let’s say you already have a chassis and engine but are frustrated by the limited choices of automatic transmissions in the aftermarket. The Scat Pack’s 8HP70 TorqueFlite is joining the Direct Connection catalog. Rated for 516 lb-ft of torque, the eight-speed automatic is a perfect match for either venerable 392 ($9600) or the trusty 345 ($7495). For those who need a beefier transmission, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis promises that the 8HP90 is on its way, rated for 663 lb-ft. We’ll know more details on pricing and availability come November in Las Vegas.
Supercharger kits in the catalog are the icing on the cake: 2.7- and 3.0-liter packages, based off the blowers found on the Redeye and Hellephant engines, respectively.
Dodge got on a roll after collaborating with SpeedKore for carbon-fiber aero bits (rear spoiler, front splitter, rocker panels and rear diffuser) and with Finale Speed for a trio of woven vintage bodies (1970 Charger, plus Barracuda and Road Runner of as-yet unknown vintages). Direct Connection also licensed a set of long-tube headers ($2017) from American Racing Headers made (in the U.S.A.) of 304 stainless steel with either 1 and 7/8- or 2-inch primaries and a 3-inch x-pipe. There’s also a short-tube set for $1096 from the same company designed to bolt to the factory catalytic converter.
It’s not often that we get such full-throated enthusiasm like this direct from an automaker. In Dodge’s case, it’s right on brand.