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Track-Ready Dodge Viper ACR Returns for 2016

Suspension and aero upgrades, no engine tweaks.

DETROIT - Dodge is reviving the street-legal ACR track package for its fifth-generation Viper, with suspension upgrades good for up to 1.5-g of cornering force and an optional Extreme Aero Package that provides nearly 2,000 pounds of peak downforce.

"This is the fastest street-legal Viper we have ever built," said Dodge and SRT president and CEO Tim Kuniskis, at the car's introduction at the Viper's Conner Avenue Assembly Plant. He's talking about handling and balance more so than straight-line speed.

Dodge characterizes the Viper as "the ultimate track car," while the 707-horsepower Charger Hellcat and Challenger Hellcat are "the ultimate musclecars," Kuniskis said.

"We're not putting an iron-block Hellcat with 200 [extra] pounds over the front wheels of the Viper," Kuniskis said.

The 2016 Dodge Viper ACR, which begins production in the third quarter, gets a race-tuned suspension with 10-setting double-adjustable coil-over Bilstein shocks and a special racing alignment that provides up to three inches of suspension height adjustment. Kumho Ecsta V720 295-25/19 front/355-30/19 rear high-performance tires have been developed for the ACR. Dodge says they deliver lap times 1.5-seconds faster than race-only tires.

Brakes are Carbon Ceramic Matrix 15-inch two-piece rotors with six-piston Brembo front calipers.

The optional ACR Extreme Aero Package adds an adjustable, dual-element, carbon fiber, 73.9-inch rear wing (a 69.9-inch rear wing is standard), rear carbon-fiber diffuser, detachable front-splitter extender, additional dive planes and removable louvers to relieve front air pressure.

The Viper ACR comes with lightweight carpeting, minimal three-speaker audio and manual seats, and maintains the car's 50/50 weight distribution. The 645-hp, hand-built aluminum-block 8.4-liter V-10, which makes 600 lb-ft. of torque, remains unchanged. Pricing has not been announced.

The interior features Alcantara, an ACR badge and accent stitching. However, customers may order the ACR with the Dodge Viper's 1 of 1 customization program, including some of the cushier "luxury" features found in the Dodge Viper GTC. Dodge also showed off its first 1 of 1 customized Viper, a dark maroon metallic car with saddle leather interior and a dash plaque that indicates it has been built for "Sneaky Pete," at the Conner Assembly Plant Friday. About one-third of the 32 Dodge Vipers currently in the build process here are 1 of 1 customization cars, a series that offers more than 8,000 paint choices, and other special order features.

The 1 of 1 program is designed to plan and normalize production runs at Conner, which has been beset by layoffs because of slow Dodge Viper sales in the past year or so.

"The value of this is not selling 30,000 or 40,000," Kuniskis said of the Viper model. "Its big impact is on the brand and the brand position."