The rivalry between the Dodge Viper and Chevrolet Corvette shows no signs of letting up, and the latest salvo in the battle is the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR, which takes the track-focused disposition of the Viper TA and kicks things up several notches.
Applying development data gleaned from the from the 2012-2014 Viper GTS-R endurance racing program, the Viper ACR looks to be setting the bar higher than any road-going Mopar has before.
“The Viper has always been more of a street-legal race car than a track-capable streetcar, and the new 2016 Dodge Viper ACR is the fastest street-legal Viper track car ever,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dodge and SRT. “Our goal is to arm our enthusiasts with the ultimate Viper track car to dominate road courses around the world.”
Considering the previous generation Viper ACR held the record for the fastest road-going production car around the Nurburgring – twice – with a lap time of 7:12:13 around the 12.8 mile course, the new car has quite a reputation to live up to. And given the fact that most recent time was recorded while attempting to best the C6 Corvette ZR1’s 7:19 lap, we have no doubt the battle between the new snake and new Corvette Z06 for road course supremacy is about to hit a fever pitch.
“This car is not a 1-3 lap track special. You can run the car at the track all day, and the performance doesn’t fall off,” added Kuniskis, perhaps alluding to the Z06’s supercharged engine.
So what does the new ACR bring to the table? Well, there’s one thing we should get out of the way immediately – it’s not more power. No, the ACR will “make do” with the standard car’s naturally aspirated 8.4-liter V10, which makes 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. That might be a disappointment to some, but here’s a couple of things to consider: First, after stints behind the wheel of a Viper TA both on and off track, the last thing on your author’s mind was the notion that the car needed more power. Secondly, the ACR is not about straight line speed – it’s about fast lap times.
With that in mind, SRT engineers focused on the elements that make a car that already has a lot of horsepower faster around a track – aerodynamics, suspension tuning, braking and grip.
To that end, the ACR features a wild new aerodynamics package that boasts nearly one ton of downforce at 177 miles per hour – that’s over three times the downforce offered in the current Viper TA, and more of any production car ever. It’s achieved by way of a massive dual-element rear wing, rear carbon fiber diffuser, a unique SRT hood with removable louvers, a detachable extension for the front splitter and four dive planes.
Moving on to the braking system, the 2016 Viper ACR gets some serious stopping power from a new Brembo “Carbon Ceramic Matrix” system, which utilizes 15.4-inch two-piece front rotors (with six piston calipers) and 14.2-inch discs out back that are clamped by four-piston calipers. Along with the most brake pad area ever offered on a Viper, the ACR will feature specially tuned stability control and ABS systems to eek the most out of the new brake package.
In terms of handling, the new Viper ACR is reported to offer a race car-like levels of sustainable lateral grip of 1.5 g during cornering. That’s accomplished by a ten-way adjustable Bilstein coilover suspension offering three inches of height adjustability and a set of Kumho Ecsta V720 high performance tires measuring 295/25/19 front and 355/30/19 rear that have been designed specifically for the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR.
Hand-built in Detroit at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant; the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR will also be feature personal customization options through the Viper’s 1 of 1 program, allowing customers to have their Viper ACRs built to their specification from a vast array of options.
The 2016 Viper ACR will go on sale in the third quarter of 2015.