If you remember the Viper All Club Racer then you know the sensation it would cause if applied to a Dodge Challenger. With the Mustang Shelby GT350 and Camaro ZL1 wiping up road courses around the country Dodge needs a piece of that. So the rumor was that Dodge was actively developing an ACR version of a Challenger. It would use bits from the Viper along with carbon fiber pieces to lighten things up. But now there are conflicting reports. So will there be or not be a Dodge Challenger ACR?
The whole ACR enchilada goes for improved suspension and brakes, aero mods, and in the case of the Challenger a whole lot of weight reduction. When Dodge gave the Neon the ACR makeover the list of mods was impressive. Adjustable dampers, thick anti-roll bars, stiffened suspension, fast-ratio steering, beefier wheel hubs, and a five-speed transmission.
You could fling a Challenger ACR around a track like a go-kart
Now imagine mods like those plus carbon fiber parts like a hood, trunk lid, front fenders, and maybe even doors. With either the 392 Hemi V8 or the supercharged Hellcat engines you could fling this thing around a track like a go-kart.
A fully adjustable suspension allows for lowering and raising, changing camber and caster, and shock damping and rebound. That, combined with a target weight of under 4,000 lbs–where do we sign up? And all of this in a sweet street-legal package.
The Viper ACR it borrowed much of its unique components from the Viper GT2 racer
When it came to the Viper ACR it borrowed much of its unique components from the Viper GT2 racer. It was essentially racing components massaged for the street. A street racer if you will. But street legal, of course. The last Viper ACR version came in 2015 and lasted until the end of the Viper in 2017.
But now Autoweek says it ain’t gonna’ happen. It contacted a Dodge inside source and he said, “No way.” We wanted to believe it would be so bad.
As the Challenger is in its twilight years it needs to go out with a bang. An ACR Challenger would have been the perfect swan song. We know that the all-new Challenger is slated for 2023. That’s providing the Fiat Chrysler PSA merger doesn’t consolidate and eliminate models.
Everything from ZF transmissions to a straight-six hybrid engine has been speculated for the new Challenger. Electrification, hybrid versions, it is all possible.
Maybe Dodge is squashing a Challenger ACR rumor that is actually true?
Maybe the Autoweek source is squashing a rumor that is actually true? Car companies don’t want their projects leaked before they’re ready to be both seen and heard. There is an awful lot of very specific information swirling around about the ACR Challenger. That would indicate there is more to the idea than just rumors.
Like an improved front splitter, the rear wing from the last Viper, and a fully reworked suspension. That’s what we have heard. Since all previous ACRs have had manual transmissions, we might see that too. If it is a real deal, which Dodge says it is not.
In the end, we’ll just have to wait. Maybe Fiat Chrysler needs it to be a secret until it can be revealed? Maybe it has to hit a certain benchmark or Dodge won’t make it. Who knows. The idea of a track-worthy Challenger as a lead-in for an all-new model in 2023 seems like a terrific marketing idea. Doesn’t it?