LA Auto Show – 2008 Dodge Viper ACR – More Venom Anyone?
In 1995 a friend of mine picked me up in one of the crudest stock production cars of our time. First of all, there were no exterior door handles or a roof and I had to be careful not to burn my shins when getting into the vehicle as the side pipes (exhaust pipes running down the sides of the vehicle) were hovering around 230 degrees. The vehicle reminded me a lot of the AC Cobra, only bigger. It was a first generation Dodge Viper with what, at the time, seemed to be a ridiculous amount of horsepower (400) and unbelievable torque (465 lb. ft.). It was the first time off the track that I ever though I needed to wear a helmet. The brute force that pinned me into the not so comfortable seats seemed endless and yet at that moment the message that Chrysler was sending me seem ever so clear. It’s not about feeling comfortable you idiot, it’s about performance pure and simple. Anything and everything needed to increase speed is paramount and everything else is a moot point. I had to sit down in my driveway for a while after the ‘joy ride’, but with the Dodge Viper Chrysler left an indelible mark, both on my shin and on the industry.
Over the years the Dodge Viper became a little more domesticated. The snake charmers over at Chrysler have added (government mandated) airbags and offered upgraded interior packages, while boosting horsepower ratings. Bringing back an ACR (American Club Racing) version only seems to makes sense. Those truly interested in a Viper are not interested in much else other than performance so why not make a knock down, drag out version?
The first ACR introduced in 1999 offered suspension and engine enhancements focused on racing or what some would refer to as ‘autocross’. This new ACR for the 2008 model year is much more radical than the 1999 venture. With the new ACR package owners will get better brakes, adjustable suspension, racing tires, and serious aerodynamic improvements.
Now offering 600 horsepower the Dodge Viper SRT 10 ACR is street-legal; so now you track junkies can drive to the track on Sunday and then to your office on Monday morning. The 600 horsepower is pulled from a new 8.4L aluminum V-10 and also enjoys boasting about 560 lb.-ft of torque.
This thing is bold and focused. Only available in Red, Black, Bright Blue, Violet, or Very Orange the ACR’s monotone paint scheme also offers a body color rear wing and dual painted ‘Viper stripes’. The aerodynamics are assisted by a front splitter, dive planes and the adjustable rear wing; all of which are formed out of high-performance autoclaved carbonfiber – optimized for the minimum possible weight. The fog lights have been removed, also to save weight.
These guy’s are so hard core and serious about weight savings that they even have an option that deletes the audio system, under hood silencer pad, trunk carpet and tire inflator; which by the way saves an additional 40 lbs. What else would they call this option other than the ‘Hard Core’ package?
A New Benchmark?
With the ability to stop from 60mph in less than 100 feet, a standout powertrain and the latest street and racing technology this is definitely the best Dodge Viper yet. It delivers the ultimate purpose-built street legal track car by offering reduced weight, race-ready hardware and competition tuning for optimal on or off track performance. And with a price tag under 100K, it seems unequalled for the money.