Few cars put the fear of God in mortals quite so convincingly as the Dodge Viper, so you can imagine the brand-spanking new 2016 ACR version can only be utterly terrifying.
Beneath its instantly recognisable brutish exterior and never-ending bonnet is a naturally-aspirated 8.4-litre V10 that generates a thunderous 645hp and the sort of torque that could move a mountain. Think 600lb/ft (813Nm).
ACR stands for American Club Racer, which makes sense when this particular Dodge has a racing spoiler so large it could double up as a dining table. That and the ACR Extreme Aero package kit produces a ton of downforce at its 177mph top speed.
To put all that power to the floor, Dodge has used specially designed Kumho rear tyres that are 11 inches wide, giving the ACR the largest contact patch of any production car. Meanwhile the carbon ceramic front discs are 390mm (15.4 inches), with Brembo six-piston calipers providing the braking force.
Springs that are twice as stiff as the standard car, an upgraded chassis, Bilstein shocks, carbon fibre diffuser and various other race-inspired tweaks help generate up to 1.5g in the corners, whether on a road or track. This machine is, believe it or not, fully road legal.
Those who want a really, really personal Viper can opt in for Dodge’s ‘1 for 1’ program, which features 8,000 exterior colour options, 24,000 custom stripes, 16 interior trims, seven aero packages, three brake packages and four suspension options. That’s 25 million permutations, number fans.
Dodge president and chief executive Tim Kuniskis said: “The Viper has always been more of a street-legal race car than a track-capable streetcar, and the new 2016 Dodge Viper ACR is the fastest street-legal Viper track car ever. Our goal is to arm our enthusiasts with the ultimate Viper track car to dominate road courses around the world.”
Unlike your typical fragile race thoroughbred, the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR is said to put up with all-manner of punishment. “This car is not a 1-3 lap track special. You can run the car at the track all day, and the performance doesn’t fall off,” Kuniskis added.
Prices start from US$117,895, making it US$30,000 more than the Dodge ST and in line with the Nissan GT-R. Best to put aside another US$20,000 for new tyres. You can order the car now before deliveries in begin later this year.