Mopar Charges into SEMA with 10,000 HP Dragster

by on Nov.05, 2014

Dodge hopes to dominate the Funny Car dragster series with the new Charger R/T.

For those who might think the new Dodge Hellcat models, at 700 horsepower, just don’t have quite enough muscle, you might want to check out the new Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car making its debut at this year’s SEMA aftermarket show.

The new rocket on wheels churns out something more on the order of 10,000-hp, enough to get it down a quarter-mile run in less than four seconds – at a speed approaching 320 miles per hour.

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The new dragster is the product of a joint effort teaming Dodge and Don Schumacher Racing, noted Pietro Gorlier, the CEO of Chrysler’s aftermarket arm, Mopar. “The process of designing and building this new race car has been a true collaborative effort…and we are very excited with what we have brought to fruition,” he noted during a Las Vegas news conference.

Among traditional automotive manufacturers, Chrysler has one of the most ambitious and long-running drag racing efforts. The new Charger Funny Car is an effort to stay on top of the competition with a design that is lighter and more aerodynamic.

The Charger R/T Funny Car is powered by a solid block, 500 cid Hemi V-8.

“Drag racing is an experiment,” explained Tricia Hecker, Mopar’s marketing director, during an earlier background briefing on the dragster. “Every time you do a run you come back, tear down the car and learn things.”

(Live from Las Vegas! Click Here for our complete coverage of the 2014 SEMA Show.)

She suggested that some of the lessons ultimately wind up helping Chrysler’s various brands build better street cars – noting the maker’s legendary Hemi engine started out as part of its motorsports program.

The Charger R/T Funny Car picks up many of the basic cues of the Charger sedan, according to Mopar chief designer Mark Trostle, including its front and rear decals and some of the details of its roofline. But there were some critical differences in designing a dragster.

Among other things, the emphasis isn’t on enhancing fuel economy. While a slick design also can improve performance, one of the key issues with a car topping 300 mph, Trostle stressed, is maximizing downforce to ensure the vehicle stays on the road.

(Ford’s legendary Mustang King Cobra makes its return – sort of. Click Here for a closer look.)

The new Dodge Funny Car could nudge the current 324 mph quarter-mile record.

The Hemi under the hood of the Charger Funny Car is surprisingly modest in size, in line with production V-8s, at 500 cubic inches – but there the similarities end. It’s designed to run for mere seconds at full power. The block is solid, with no water coolant system. And it will suck down about 15 gallons of nitro-methane fuel per run.

The dragster weighs in at just 2,400 pounds, and uses about 200 feet of aluminum moly tubing, noted Dale Aldo, Mopar’s motorsports manager.

The goal is to set a new record with the Charger R/T Funny Car, something that won’t be easy, and would be measured in hundredths, even thousandths, of a second. The current quarter mile record is 3.96 seconds, with a top speed of 324 mph.

The Dodge dragster will make its debut at the winter nationals at Auto Club Raceway in California next February. It replaces the old Charger R/T Funny Car first track tested in 2006. It won national championships in 2011 with Matt Hagan behind the wheel, and again in 2012 with Jack Beckman driving.

(Nic Case sets new land speed record – with 202 mph R/C car. Click Here for the story.)

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3 Responses to “Mopar Charges into SEMA with 10,000 HP Dragster”

  1. Jorge says:

    Paul,

    There is a typo in the story that says: “…200 feet of aluminum moly tubing…” The tubing is “chromoly” not aluminum. Chromoly is an super strong material used for aircraft frames and similar high stress applications.

    As far as the car is concerned it’s a typical NHRA type Funny Car with some refined engineering that Chrysler/MOPAR/Schumacher hope will provide a competitive advantage.

    It’s worth noting that ALL of the engines used in Top Fuel and Funny Car are actually based on the Chrysler 426 race Hemi engine from back in the late 60s/early 70′s. It really is a living legend engine.

  2. Paul says:

    Top Fuel Dragsters now compete at a 1000 ft distance, not a quarter of a mile (1320 ft) for safety reasons.

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      Understood, Paul, with the data calculate according to a quarter-mile run.

      Paul E.

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