Dodge, in collaboration with Mopar, has developed a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car version of the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. The 2019 body made its competition debut at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals Powered by Mopar at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, Colorado, on July 20.
“Our job at Mopar is to put the best race car underneath our drivers and keep them winning. We know this new body, developed in collaboration with the Dodge SRT brand and Don Schumacher Racing, will do just that,” said Pietro Gorlier, head of Mopar, FCA.
“The changes made to this new Funny Car body will improve on-track performance and help us carry on the Mopar brand’s long tradition of success at the dragstrip.”
The new 2019 Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car pushes the envelope in importing as many visual cues and characteristics from the supercharged, 707bhp production Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, while still hitting the demanding performance targets of a race car that reaches 530km/h and covers 1,000ft in less than 4 secs.
“The Dodge//SRT brand is all about performance, and the introduction of the Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat NHRA Funny Car body showcases our commitment to performance and excellence at the dragstrip,” said Steve Beahm, head of passenger car brands for Dodge SRT.
“This new Funny Car body is something that Mopar and Dodge have put a lot of work and support behind, from R&D to wind tunnel testing,” said Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) Funny Car driver Matt Hagan, who has spent all 10 years of his drag-racing career behind the wheel of a Mopar-powered Dodge Charger.
“We’re going to have a little more downforce, a little more traction on these racetracks and it will be a huge performance advantage. We will be able to press harder with more downforce on the nose, which translates into huge amounts of downforce on the run.”
The new body features major design changes in three key areas: the front end, bodysides and burst panel placement.
At the front, the shape of the nose has been tweaked and a new splitter, built of carbon fiber and Kevlar like the rest of the Funny Car body, has been added. The splitter mimics the look and shape of the production vehicle’s splitter while generating greater downforce to help plant the Funny Car to the track.
The bodyside scallops have been redesigned to more closely identify with the production Hellcat while also enhancing on-track function and performance. The deeper character lines provide greater visual ties to the street version of the Hellcat, while also helping to mitigate the body burn common on all Funny Cars due to the close positioning of the exhaust headers.
The location of the burst panel on the hood has also been reworked. The panel is now centered over the top of the engine to more efficiently release energy and pressure in the event of engine issues, a common occurrence in race cars that are pushed to the edge of performance.
The new Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car body replaces the current generation Mopar Dodge Charger R/T race car. First introduced at the dragstrip in 2015, Mopar Dodge SRT drivers have raced the Charger R/T to 50 wins to date.