Dodge Viper ACR couples massive downforce with V10 power
Dodge is keen for a sliver of the high-end trackday pie with the upcoming release of the new Viper ACR, which combines the standard Viper's prodigious power with a race-inspired aerodynamics kit.
In the process of turning a standard Viper into the more focused ACR model, Dodge has stripped back the car's interior, swapping in a lightweight, three speaker stereo and dropping electric adjustment in favor of a simpler manual system. Alcantara replaces much of the leather around the ACR's cabin and the footwells are filled with carpets made up of a lightweight weave to cut back on precious, time sapping grams.
Dodge says that the car's aerodynamics kit – previewed at SEMA – will produce almost one ton of downforce at its 177 mph (285 km/h) top speed. While the most prominent feature of the ACR aero package is the 1.87 m wide rear wing, there are a number of smaller touches around the car designed to fine-tune its balance, including small dive planes and a removable front splitter.
Dodge has also extended the carbon fiber diffuser so it now starts in front of the rear axle, and owners can customise their setup through six removable strakes in the diffuser unit. Similarly, the ACR's bonnet louvres are removable, allowing owners' to tweak the setup for the track they're on.
Backing up the extensive aerodynamic changes is a brand new set of Bilstein shocks that can be adjusted for rebound and compression. Their aluminum construction also helps to reduce weight and the ACR's springs are more than twice as stiff as the standard model.
Lightning-quick laptimes require strong brakes, so Dodge has fitted the ACR with 390 mm (15.4 in) front and 360 mm (14.2 in) rear carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes, clamped on by six and four piston calipers respectively. These bigger brakes are backed up by rear tires measuring up at 11-inches wide (355/30), which combined with the 295/25 front tires provide the car with the largest contact patch of any production car. Dodge claims all of these upgrades, along with an extra 1.4 degrees of negative camber, mean the ACR can generate up to 1.5 g in the corners. Because of the extra grip provided by the ACR's upgraded chassis, Dodge has recalibrated its ABS and five-mode stability control.
Powering the ACR is the same 8.4-liter V10 engine that lies under the standard Viper's shapely hood, producing the same 645 hp (481 kW) and 813 Nm (600 lb.ft), which Dodge claims is enough to make it the torquiest naturally aspirated engine in the world. While power is the same, the ACR is fitted with new exhaust tips that are designed to cut down on back pressure.
The SRT "is not a 1-3 lap track special," according to Tim Kuniskis, Dodge President and CEO. "You can run the car at the track all day, and the performance doesn't fall off."
Pricing for the Dodge Viper ACR will start at US$117,895 (that's well over $30K more than the ST) and orders are now being taken ahead of a Q3 release.