2014 SRT Viper ACR coming next year, specs limited to avoid competing with Ferrari
The Dodge Viper that holds many of the records that the new SRT Viper hopes to break is the American Club Racer (ACR) package and it has been widely expected that there would soon be an SRT Viper ACR. Motor Trend has learned from an unnamed source within the Chrysler Group that the SRT Viper ACR will arrive sometime during the 2014 calendar year and the delay relative to the release of the 2013 SRT Viper is due to the company’s hunt for an ultra high performance tire for the Club Racer model.
After seeing the incredible performance capacities of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires found on the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, the SRT Viper ACR team asked Pirelli to come up with an ultra high performance tire of their own to compete with the ZR1’s Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. Pirelli currently provides the P-Zero Corsa tires found on the 2013 SRT Viper but after some publications have found the Michelin’s on the ZR1 to be the better tire – Chrysler wants to make sure that they can level that portion of the playing field for the new Viper ACR.
Once the tires are taken care of, we can expect that the 2014 SRT Viper ACR will have a host of other features to help make the American Club Racer a little more comfortable on the world’s fastest tracks. This will likely include a premium track-ready brake setup (possibly with carbon ceramic technology) along with a vastly improved suspension system. Figure, the Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR that set records around the world came fitted with adjustable dampers, stiffer springs, stronger anti roll bars and lightweight wheels…all features that we would expect to see on the new SRT Viper ACR.
One interesting question is whether or not the 2014 Viper ACR will come equipped with the high tech dual mode suspension system. The adjustable suspension system found in the 2013 Viper GTS allows the new supercar to offer the driver’s choice of either a smoother ride or one that is more ideal for track purposes. This is an awesome piece of technology but it adds weight and that additional weight is likely something that the SRT engineers would like to avoid – especially since the focus of the ACR is more on high performance than on a smooth ride. The company will most likely be able to come up with a full suspension system that allows adjustability for improved performance that weighs less than the electronic system in the Viper GTS.
Ferrari doesn't want the Viper ACR to be competition
The bad news for those expecting a monster performance ACR version of the SRT Viper is that there have been some rules offered to the SRT team by the parent company Fiat. Fiat (who owns Ferrari) doesn’t want to see the SRT Viper ACR offer more power or a better power to weight ratio than the current Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. This means that there is a cap of sorts on the power output of the SRT Viper of 731 horsepower but luckily, that leaves plenty of room for the Viper ACR. We should probably mention that the previous Viper SRT10 ACR didn’t offer any more power than the non-ACR versions so that aspect really might not be a big deal to the folks designing the new ACR.
According to Chrysler, the lightest configuration for the 2013 SRT Viper is the base model fitted with the new Track Package which has a dry weight of just 3,143 pounds. Taking into the account the 640 horsepower Viper V10, that Viper has a power to weight ratio of just 4.91 pounds per horsepower while the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta has a dry power to dry weight ratio of 4.70 pounds per horsepower. Provided that the Viper ACR has the same output of 640 horsepower, the ACR package could cut the weight down to 3,015 pounds without equaling or dropping below the power to weight ratio of the Ferrari F12. We can expect that the 2014 Viper ACR would start with many of the same features as the Viper base with the Track Package so from that 3,143 pound base, the SRT engineers could shave 128 pounds to still technically be “worse” than the Ferrari. When you take into account the addition of some weight adding items like a big rear spoiler and other aero bits around the Viper ACR, the company should have enough room between the ACR and the F12 to put together a car that will head back to the Nürburgring to back up the times laid down by the 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR. This weight reduction will likely come in the way of removing things that really have no positive impact on performance such as the big, fancy infotainment screen, maybe some lighter seats and perhaps less sound insulation around the car.
The good news for Mopar fans who expect that the 2014 SRT Viper ACR will lay a sound beating to the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is that those head to head comparisons that found the ZR1 to be the winner did so by only very small margins. It is widely believed that the battle of the 2013 Viper and the 2013 ZR1 will come down to a driver’s race but a Pirelli equivalent to the Michelin tires on the Vette along with a lighter interior and improved suspension should allow the ACR to score an easy win against the ZR1.
Of course, this could all be for not once the C7 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is released but for the meantime, we can expect that the Chrysler Group will offer a 2014 SRT Viper ACR that will soundly beat the ZR1 – even with someone like Randy Pobst behind the wheel.
Source: Motor Trend