Written by: Robert Nichols
Photography by: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Dodge has just revealed its fastest Viper yet, the 2016 Viper ACR. There is absolutely no doubt that this is a race car meant for the track. What may surprise you is the fact that the ACR is street legal - even with that planetary 6-foot long wing that would make a WRX STI feel microscopic. Dodge was primarily focused on improving the handling characteristics of the Viper, making a fast car even faster. Dizzying lap times are on the top of the docket. Dodge is being tight lipped about the actual figures but they are adamant that the new version will decimate the last model’s records.
Looking at the ACR, your eye is immediately drawn to the alarmingly large wing at the back. Along with the rest of the aerodynamic body kit, the ACR is able to produce an entire ton (2,000 lbs) of down force at 177 mph. But this aero kit is much more than just some carbon fibre glitz. The wing is adjustable, the rear carbon fiber diffuser has six removable strake extensions, which are there to rub against the track surface and increase the straight-line stability, and the removable hood louvres over the front tires reduce air pressure in the wheel wells and create more downforce. The detachable front splitter extension and dive planes also assist the rear aero treatment in providing more grip and balanced performance at track speeds.
The 2016 Dodge Viper ACR will use 19” Kumho Ecsta V720 high-performance tires designed specifically for the Viper with unique tread patterns and compounds for the front and the rear. The company claims these tires will produce lap times that are 1.5 seconds faster than regular race-only tires. The tires bear the ACR logo on the sidewall, which is a neat touch and another conversation piece to either delight or bore your friends with. Whatever the case, these massive tires are the largest to be mounted on any available production car.
Peer beyond the wheels and you will notice the large Brembo carbon ceramic matrix brakes. The system uses 6-piston calipers in the front and 4-pot in the rear to squeeze the two piece rotors. I would normally like to provide a stopping distance to wow you with, but Dodge has not yet provided any. They claim they want to test it on a few more tracks before giving us any actual performance numbers.
Not as easy to glance at is the new suspension setup. The Bilstein coil-over race shocks are aluminum bodied and feature dual adjustment. Each individual shock offers 10-way rebound and compression adjustability. The suspension also has more than three inches of ride height adjustment, which should allow you to drive down your local roads without causing too much damage on the smaller potholes. With the new stiffer springs, the ACR delivers more than double the stiffness of a Viper TA and can sustain 1.5 lateral g’s in high speed corners.
Carried over is the V-10 engine, and what a glorious engine it is. This 8.4L nuclear reactor provides 645 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. It should be noted the Viper has the highest torque of any naturally aspirated engine out there, and it uses a proper 6-speed manual to control all the madness.
One final bit of information before I leave you to stare longingly at the pictures; the ACR will be part of the 1 of 1 program. This program gives owners the ability to customize their snake with 8,000 exterior color options, 24,000 custom stripe colors, 11 wheel options, 16 interior trims and seven aero packages, three brake packages and four suspension options. All said that means there are more than 25 million ways customize a one-of-a-kind Dodge Viper. If you want to play with the customizer you can check it out at:
That’s certainly where I’ll be for the next few hours…