UPDATE: NEW PHOTOS
Fans of drift racing like to say “only boring people race going forwards.” If there’s one thing Dodge and Mopar aren’t, and that’s boring. So check out the Charger drifter, unveiled today (11/1) at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas.
WOW, I love this car:!:
For those of you not familiar with drift racing, it’s all about drivers in rear-wheel cars attempting to keep their cars sideways for as long as they can.
B.J. Birtwell, Youth and Urban Marketing Manager for DaimlerChrysler, discusses the car and the company’s commitment to this exciting sport:
We haven’t given the name a car as yet. But we will. It is a 2006 Dodge Charger R/T. Many things about this car are still under development. We are showcasing the show version of it at this year’s SEMA show to replace the Viper that we’ve been drifting with over the past couple of years.
In 2004 we won the inaugural Formula Drift competition with the Viper competition coupe and the year following that we finished second overall with the Viper SRT10. We’ve raced a couple of different Vipers over the past couple of years but this is the first year we’ve been able to have a purpose- built drift vehicle. It will have some goodies in it that a traditional Charger R/T wouldn’t have. We’re going to be dropping a 6.1-liter SRT8 engine, that engine will be pretty heavily modified to support the kind of horsepower and torque numbers we need to be competitive in drifting.
Drifting: It’s the action sport of motor sports industry. You look at surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding. None of those things is judged by going from point A to B None of those is a checkered flag race and neither is drifting. Drifting is judged by a panel of judges and you’re judged by three criteria. One is angle, how much drift angle you have going into certain corners. Second is your line, what’s your racing line throughout the course. The third component is style. That’s what separates drifting from most motor sports. You get more style points for doing certain things. The more tire smoke you create, the more style points you get. The more adventurous the driver is without going off his racing line the more style points he’s going to get.
Drifting is basically rally racing on asphalt except you’re talking out the the time component. Cars are on a marked course, and they are judged by the criteria and literally in a drift throughout the whole course. They’re braking traction on tires and maintaining a certain angle and moving from left to right around the race course and they’re doing it at speeds of 100 mph and down. It’s a pretty exciting sport to watch.
Mopar prides itself on being on the cutting edge of new motor sports. They really want to be where the enthusiasts are and a lot of these motor sports movements start out as extremely grass roots movements and those grass roots movements are supported by the enthusiasts. We know if we can get to the enthusiasts we achieve a greater level of street credibility for Mopar. We expose the enthusiasts to our new products. As the sport grows which it will and goes mainstream Mopar has been involved in the sport the entire way and that’s a pretty big thing especially with youth culture. You don’t want to look like Johnny come lately.
It’s a youth automotive sport for the most part Drifting is extremely exciting to watch, it always has you on the edge of your seat, it has a lot of smoke. People are driving cars like they stole ‘em. Next year “Fast and Furious 3” is coming out and it’s all about drifting, so drifiting is starting to explode.