The Dodge Viper ACR has returned to take on the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and also reestablish its role as one of the most venomous serpents in Dodge’s reptile house thanks to revised aerodynamics as well as more power from its potent 8.4 liter V10 engine which is always a winning combination in our book.
Even though the ACR does arrive with only 645 horsepower (a mere gain of five over the standard Viper) and also five less than the supercharged LT4 V8 in the Z06. We suspect the main reason that Dodge did not extract any more ponies from the engine was not because of a lack of effort on their part, but rather due to folks within FCA that did not want the ACR to tread on the shoes of Ferrari and its arsenal of track weapons.
That said, while it may not make any headlines in the power department, Dodge engineers instead chose to max out the ACR in another key category and that’s its aerodynamic profile which should help it shine out on the track. The aggressive aerodynamic package included an adjustable twin element carbon fiber rear wing, carbon fiber diffuser, an extendable front splitter, as well as specially constructed dive planes. As a neat bonus the hood mounted louvers are also removable which should please weekend track warriors looking for even more aerodynamic efficiency. Dodge claims that the package as a whole generates nearly a ton of down-force when the car is pushed to its 177 mph top speed which is very impressive, and may allow the ACR to out handle the Z06 in certain driving situations.
The race tuned suspension of the ACR features coil-over Bilstein shocks that allow up to 10 different handling settings as well as up to three inches of overall height adjustment. Meaty Kumho Ecsta V720 tires were built specifically for this car and ring in at 355/30 for the rear and 295/25 up front with 19-inch wheels at all four corners. In addition, Dodge claims that the sticky tires and the revamped suspension hardware allow the car to pull an impressive 1.5 Gs in high speed turns (that’s in race car territory) while Carbon-ceramic brakes with six piston calipers deliver equally lofty levels of stopping performance when it comes time to bring the ACR to a halt.
As was the case with the last iteration of the ACR, Dodge engineers also made a commendable effort at reducing excess weight in a bid to improve acceleration and handling. Unlike the old model though, some radical concessions were made with the stereo featuring only three speakers, (the only other system with less is the one speaker affair in the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28) fully manual seat adjustments, and a special “lightweight” alternative to carpet that takes more than a few pages from the McLaren P1 school of weight loss.
Along with this potent performance, Dodge is also offering its “1 of 1” customization program that allows buyers to not only obtain the fastest Viper that has ever been produced, but also allow them to celebrate this milestone in a special one of a mind vehicle that is distinctively yours. Look for more formal details such as pricing and final specifications to be announced closer to its official launch, with the first production units arriving in dealer lots later this year. In the meantime you can check out our full image gallery as well as a brief video of the car in action which can be seen below.