An exciting rumor is that there may be a hardcore Challenger ACR, in 2021, to replace the discontinued American Club Racer Viper.
Even though the Challenger ACR has already been presented, in 2011, at the SEMA Show with SRT8 goodies as a one-off concept, Dodge has failed to come up with a production model. Insider “Muther” told Allpar.com that we should look forward to two variants, one with the Hellcat Redeye engine and the other with the 392 HEMI.
He stated, “The supercharger is not allowed in some amateur racing series or classes, so the 392 makes sense” in this application. “Carbon fiber will replace steel or aluminum wherever practical,” and word has it the high position wing, large splitter, big Brembo brakes and manually adjusted suspension are heavily influenced by the Viper ACR with the Extreme Aero Package. The goal is to approach the same on-track pergormance as the Viper and compete with the Shelby GT500 and ZLI 1LE.
Muther also claims the street-legal, single-seat machine may tip the scales at less than 4,000 pounds. At the Road America circuit in Wisconsin, the Challenger ACR is said to be “within two seconds of the Viper ACR Extreme Aero Package.”
The Viper ACR was first introduced in 1999. For the 2016 model year, the Viper ACR retailed at $121,395, as opposed to $92,500 for the entry-level specification.
In addition to carbon-ceramic brakes from Brembo and special tires from Kumho, the American Club Racer dominated the racetrack with 1,500 pounds of downforce and Bilstein suspension, with 10 settings for rebound and compression. The Extreme Aero Package helped it to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in only 7 minutes/one second.
Don’t count Dodge out. This special Challenger just might become a reality!
On July 10, 2020, Tim Kuniskis, the head of passenger cars, told Muscle Cars & Trucks, that FCA would not be building a Challenger ACR. He stated, "Our cars aren't going to be track cars, it's just physics." He acknowledged that the heavy Challenger could not beat the Ford Mustang GT500, adding "I'd have to have a wing the side of a house, I'd have to have no seats."
I don't think having a successor to the Viper and Neon, for road course racing, is any big deal, since most Dodge owners identify more with drag racing.