The Dodge Viper ACR represents what the future will miss
We live in an unfortunate period of motoring where crossovers are king, strict emissions laws kill great engines and manual transmissions will soon be an anti-theft mechanism.
The 2016 Dodge Viper ACR goes against all that. When was the last time you heard of an 8.4L naturally aspirated V10? Exactly.
It will leave you deaf and in a trail of smoke
The 20-valve aluminium block 8.4L V10 produces 645hp and 600lb-ft (813Nm) of torque, allowing for the ACR to hit 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds and the standing 1/4 mile in 11.5 seconds.
True, those power figures are not exactly impressive for a naturally aspirated engine of that size. The Ferrari 812 Superfast produces 789hp and the Lamborghini Aventador SV 750hp. However, the ACR excels on the track, where it will upset its European competitors for a fraction of the price.
In 2016, your $120,000 USD got you a car that was (and still is) one of the fastest production cars on track. An Extreme Aero Package example achieved 7:01.3 at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, a time that beat motoring royalty including the Mercedes AMG GT R Pro, Nissan GT-R NISMO and the Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package.
Why the gargantuan and outdated engine?
This is an interesting question as Dodge's V10 engine has been around since 1992 and weighs quite a bit, giving the car a final weight of 3392lbs (1539kg) with the Extreme Aero Package. This engine has been tweaked and reengineered over the years with incremental power boosts and adjusted displacements but Dodge never brought out a brand new engine. Truth is, that big capacity, thundering V10 lies at the heart of the Dodge Viper experience.
It is simply a race car for the road
Dodge spared no expense when it came to improving the ACR's aerodynamics and design over the standard Viper GTS. There are enough sharp vents to make a Porsche GT3 look like a track-ready punch bag and enough carbon-fibre bits to give your wallet anxiety when you spear off track. This is one of the few street-legal vehicles to feature both front canards and a picnic table-sized rear wing from factory.
Would you invest in a Viper ACR or something else?
Thanks for reading and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.