If it wasn’t for the greatness that was the Viper ACR, Dodge wouldn’t know what to do with the Challenger ACR

The ACR name – also known as American Cup Racer – is a name that represents the very best on-track performance that Dodge can offer. It was introduced back in 1999 on the Dodge Viper and was used, briefly, on the Neon (we can argue about this another time), but has been sitting on the shelf since Dodge decided to kill the Viper off a few years ago. The Challenger, however, in a sense, helps to fill the void left by the Viper’s untimely exit, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that a Challenger ACR is actually on the way. The latest word on the Challenger ACR, however, hints that it could be just as much Viper as it is Challenger. Let me explain this a little further.

Moving the Challenger to ACR Territory Is No Easy Task

Because of the Dodge Viper ACR, The Challenger ACR Will Actually Be Something Special Exterior
- image 785361

ACR – American Cup Racer – is more than just a name. It stands for lightweight, amazing aerodynamics, and extreme on-track performance. And, that’s what the Challenger ACR is going to represent.

According to a new report from Allpar, the Challenger ACR is going to feature new tires, brakes, updated suspension, and reworked aero, among other things.

On top of this, Dodge engineers are faced with the task of shedding enough weight to put the Challenger ACR into sub-two-ton territory. That would make it at least 400 pounds lighter than the 4,400-pound Challenger Hellcat.

Because of the Dodge Viper ACR, The Challenger ACR Will Actually Be Something Special Exterior
- image 785363

The path to creating the Challenger ACR, however, is one that’s blessed with past success. Because the company is forced to cut costs and spend as little as possible, Dodge is reportedly using some components that it already has in its portfolio.

This apparently includes the rear spoiler from the Viper ACR-E, a revised version of the ACR-E’s front splitter, and the Viper’s very own adjustable suspension components, including the shocks from the last Viper ACR.

As you can see, the Challenger ACR will be just as much Viper as it is Challenger, and that’s actually a good thing.

As far as transmissions go, we’re told that the Challenger ACR will be forced to stick with the Hellcat’s six-speed manual transmission. Two models of the Challenger ACR will be offered – one with a 485-horsepower version of the 392CI Hemi, V-8, and another that has a re-tuned version of the supercharged 6.2-liter from the 797-horsepower Challenger Hellcat. The idea behind the two models is that the 392 Hemi model will be perfect for the amateur racing series or classes that require natural aspiration.

Because of the Dodge Viper ACR, The Challenger ACR Will Actually Be Something Special Exterior
- image 785364

So what does all of this add up to, and when will we see the Challenger ACR? Well, the truth is that Dodge isn’t only using parts from the old Viper ACR to make the Challenger ACR, but it’s also bench-marking the new Challenger ACR against it. Dodge is reportedly aiming for the Challenger ACR to run within two seconds of the Viper ACR on the track while stealing the crown from the 760-horsepower Shelby GT500. As for when we’ll see it, that’s a complete mystery. So far, we haven’t even seen prototypes running around. However, we do know that the next-gen Challenger has been delayed, so Dodge actually has plenty of time to get the Challenger ACR whipped into shape.

Source: Allpar

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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