It’s been a long time since the Viper has worn an American Club Racer (ACR) badge, but Dodge has announced that the street-legal race car will be available in 2016 with a starting price of $117,895. Compared to other ultimate-version cars like Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS ($175,900) and Nissan’s GT-R NISMO ($149,990), the Viper ACR is a value buy considering that you’re getting a track-prepped car right off the showroom floor.
Today’s racing technology is vastly different than what was available in 2010, the last year the Viper ACR was produced, and the engineers at SRT have been hard at work implementing as many new features as they can into this hand-built American supercar. This time around, they’re focusing on aerodynamics, chassis and tires with the help of lessons learned from the Viper GTS-R that competed in the American Le Mans Series and IMSA United SportsCar Championship from 2012-2014.
The ACR Extreme Aero Package is eye-catching as well as fully functional, delivering almost one ton of downforce at 177 MPH; this is the most aerodynamic downforce generated by any production car. Helping to keep the car glued to the ground are a front splitter, four dive planes, rear carbon fiber diffuser and a massive (over 6 feet wide) rear wing. The adjustable dual-element wing along with detachable components on the front splitter and rear diffuser allow drivers to reduce drag for high speed tracks.
Making use of the new aerodynamics is an 8.4-liter all-aluminum V10 pumping out 645 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque; this is the most torque available from any naturally aspirated sports car engine. A Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission puts the power to the rear wheels while special exhaust tips on the side mounted pipes lower back-pressure. This powertrain combo has been engineered to withstand an entire track day with the toughest conditions, not just two or three laps followed by 30 minutes of cooldown like other home-brew track cars.
Reining in all this power is a set of Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes with 15.4 inch front rotors and 14.2 inch rear rotors. Go big or go home, right? The carbon ceramic brakes reduce un-sprung weight while maintaining optimum performance with 6-piston front calipers and 4-piston rear calipers. Detachable front brake ducts provide additional cooling for those late-braking corner entries.
A slight departure from the past, Dodge has chosen to outfit the ACR with Kumho Ecsta V720 high-performance tires. These tires were specifically designed to handle the ACR’s upgraded suspension and aero, and produced lap times 1.5 seconds faster than track-only race tires. The tire combo measures 295/25/19 in the front and 355/30/19 in rear, creating the largest combined tire patch of any production car. Are you starting to see a trend here?
All of this power, downforce and grip would be lost on a soft suspension setup, so the SRT engineers have more than doubled the suspension stiffness over the Viper TA model and added adjustable Bilstein race shocks, customizable ride height and 1.4 degrees more negative front camber. With these improvements, the Viper ACR is capable of sustaining over 1.5 g on high-speed turns.
Production for the 2016 Viper ACR has already begun in the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, with the first examples arriving in dealer showrooms in the third quarter of 2015. Those wanting an even more exclusive car can take the ACR through Dodge’s “1 of 1” Viper customization program, giving customers access to over 25 million build combinations.