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Viper ACR Stomps Corvette Z06 at Laguna Seca

The Dodge Viper ACR and the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 recently went head to head thanks to the crew at Motor Trend and not surprisingly, the most track capable Dodge of all time absolutely destroyed the most track capable Corvette of all time – with the Viper beating the Vette by almost 3 seconds around Laguna Seca Raceway.

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When Motor Trend tested the Dodge Viper TA2.0 at Laguna Seca Raceway in California, test driver Randy Pobst was able to lay down the best time by any sub-million dollar car with a time of 1:33.62. When the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 came out, many believed that it would be the vehicle to knock the Viper TA2.0 off of its podium – and they were right - but it didn’t happen during Motor Trend’s first time with the Z06 at Laguna Seca.

During their “best driver’s car” testing, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 lent by General Motors to Motor Trend ran into severe mechanical issues and as a result, the car was unable to lay down a respectable time. As you might expect, General Motors wanted to get the Z06 running right and back to the influential folks at Motor Trend and they did. The problem was that by the time GM got Motor Trend a good-running Z06, the folks at Dodge had also sent Motor Trend the new Dodge Viper ACR.

So what do you do when you have the two cars marketed as the most track capable of their lineage? You take them to the track, and that was exactly what Motor Trend did – with Laguna Seca once again serving as the battlefield for this epic war of Detroit supercars.

Viper ACR, Corvette Z06 Hit Laguna Seca
Motor Trend started by putting both of the cars through the basic tests such as 0-60 acceleration, 60-0 braking, quarter mile and the Motor Trend figure 8 and in those tests, the cars were pretty even. The Corvette was a little quick from 0-60 and in the quarter mile, but the Viper showed off some of the best braking capabilities MT has ever seen – stopping from 60mph in just 87 feet. Finally, the two cars were even in the figure 8 test when the Viper was in track mode.

While the two were very close in all of those tests, the lap around Laguna Seca was a whole different story, but before letting the Viper and Vette tear around the road course, MT made a lap with the Porsche GT3 RS. The new Porsche was impressive, breaking the Viper TA’s lap record by more than three tenths of a second. This made the GT3 RS the quickest car under a million dollars to lap Laguna Seca, but that record only lasted until the Corvette hit the track.

While Randy Pobst was critical of the Corvette Z06, he was able to run a quick time than he did with the Porsche, with the Vette running a 1:33.05 to the GT3’s 1:33.29. The C7 Corvette Z06 was officially the record holder for the quickest production car under a million dollars at Laguna Seca.

Then the Viper hit the track.

I will cut to the chase here – the Viper ACR slaughtered the Corvette Z06 lap record on the same day and in the same conditions. Pobst and the most track capable Viper ever turned in a 1:30.49, beating the Corvette’s time by nearly 3 seconds. In the world of road racing, 3 seconds is an eternity and that winning gap for the Viper comfortably secures the new American Club Racer’s place atop the podium as America’s most track capable road car.

It will be interesting to see if one of these two companies announces a Nürburgring time, as with the beating that the Viper handed the Corvette on the short Laguna Seca surface could translate into a landslide win at the Ring.

Whether you like the Viper or the Corvette, the Motor Trend video below is a great piece chock full of track videos that will make you fall even more in love with these American supercars. It is 22 minutes long, but it is worth the watch and if you refuse to watch know, at least you know that the Viper crushed the Z06 on one of America’s most famous tracks.

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Isaiah (not verified)    January 9, 2016 - 5:10AM

I'm more of a Chevy guy but I do appreciate a beautifully engineered piece of machinery & the ACR is one serious piece of work! Personally a bit too track focused for me (& the Z06 has too many issues) I'd prefer the Z51 to both, better daily road car & still track capable. The Z06 as stated NUMEROUS TIMES in the video "OVERSTEERS" TOO DAMN MUCH!!!!! I don't see why Chevy didn't tune at least SOME that out in the 2016 models via fine tuning the suspension setup, I mean c'mon, How bloody hard is that!? Tune the oversteer out & that'll easily drop a second & a half or so off the time putting it around 1:31.6 or so. Oversteer is fun, buts it ultimately slows a car dramatically. No it still won't touch the ACR on the track but it'll be a respectable time & closer to the P1's time at Laguna Seca. As well, it'd make it more predictable on the road as well which is primarily what wins head to heads on Motor Trend (Road handling as opposed to Track handling) They already have phenomenal tires, brakes, aero, interior, clutch, stereo system... Chevy, fix the suspension & get back to us! Personally I doubt Chevy will do that though. The C7 Z06 is saling like hot cakes & Tadge doesn't take the same pride in his cars as Ralph does! The second the ZR1 man handled the SRT Viper, dodge almost IMMEDIATELY responded tuning the Viper, & only marginally, giving us the TA. Then again thereafter with the TA 2.0! I respected the hell out of Ralph for that! That's serious pride & due diligence in making sure one has its best representation of what a product/company is about. Chevy needs more people like that in its company.

Luke (not verified)    January 9, 2016 - 2:08PM

OK so the acr only costs 30k more then the Z06. No big deal right? Wonder what 30 grand in mods to the vette would do for its lap times. Why not compare the viper TA to the Z06? Its much closer in specs and price? The Z is good on and off the track. The viper screams race car and is really a track specialist only. When will the car mags get it right? They also said in the video that they would rather buy/own the corvette yet the viper wins the comparo simply because its faster on a track. Great video.. Not

HI (not verified)    February 1, 2016 - 2:53AM

January 2016
Dealer Service Instructions for:
Customer Satisfaction Notification R28/R29
Engine Oil Contamination and Consumption
2013-2014 (ZD) Dodge Viper
The engine cylinder block on about 1,100 of the above vehicles may have been contaminated with abrasive debris.
Under rare conditions during high-speed right-hand cornering when the engine is at light throttle and high RPM, engine oil can be forced into the Make Up Air hose, resulting in unintended oil consumption.
Customer Satisfaction Notification R28/R29
Engine Oil Contamination and Consumption Page 2
To address the R28 portion of this CSN, the oil contamination issue, the engine oil,
oil filter and air filter must be changed then the oil filter must be sent to FCA for
If FCA’s analysis of the oil filter is positive for debris, the dealer will contact the
customer to schedule replacement of the engine and related oil cooler components.
If a new engine is not required, the dealer will contact the customer to inform them
that they do not need to return to the dealership.
To address R29 portion of this CSN, the oil consumption issue, an updated oil
management system must be installed which includes a new valve cover assembly
with a relocated make up air (MUA) fitting and new baffle.

Howard "eagle … (not verified)    February 9, 2016 - 7:03PM

Triple crown last year, 1, 2 finish daytona last week. Where was vipor then?
Your rag mag is biased. Also 0 to 60 is 2.95 with 8spd paddle shift.
If you are going to do articles you need to be honest. Sure you like the vipor over the Z06. That is your perogative. It also costs more than $30,000 more than the Z06.
I am selective what car i drive and for $89,000 ill keep my Z06. You need to put the right vipor up against the Z06 then you will see who is better in price range. Like i said the 2015 Z06 is great and i have no problems. I drove over 8,000 miles three weeks in november in everything but snow and a lot of different road conditions with NO PROBLEMS except jerk drivers some of whom tried their hardest to kill me.

peter lamboo (not verified)    April 18, 2016 - 7:39AM

Who really cares, they only sold 850 some odd cars and is now DEAD, again. Corvette sold 8600 Z06's in 2015, who's the real winner? That rear spoiler on the ACR is something I would not be able to live with although it provides 1600 lbs of down force of course it will win at the track, just not in the showroom. Besides compare apples to apples, the ACR is $160,000 Canadian funds compared to $125,000 Canadian, For the extra $35,000 I could install a bigger super charger, air box, long tube headers,Corsa exhaust and a tune up by Hennesey or Lingenfelter and still get 25MPG and would not have to deal with a Dodge and it's fugly wing.

T (not verified)    January 6, 2017 - 9:38PM

Who cares..speed limit 75 and 80 in texas on some highways..when you crash it at the track insurance wont pay for repairs because of your stupidity..go to germany then buy a sportscar you can go fast in legally..price of one of these cars you can buy 3 suvs plus what do you think its gonna be worth when you sell it with 100k miles on it..nothing...big cost for a status symbol..who cares

Howard eagle eye (not verified)    January 7, 2017 - 3:52PM

One other thing, i wouldnt own a foreign car. My Z06 is American and i buy American. My Z is not a status symbal, it is my life.

Peter Lamboo (not verified)    April 10, 2020 - 2:39PM

I had a 2008 Viper I now own a 2016 Z06. No comparison, love my Vette. I don't care if the Viper laps me, it's a crappy car.