2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR Preview
By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2007
- Based on the 2008 Viper Coupe
- Purpose-build street-legal track car
- Race-ready, competition-tuned hardware
- Special suspension, brakes, weight reductions
- Optional "Hard Core" package
- Aerodynamic improvements add downforce
- Available second quarter 2008
The Dodge Viper first arrived in concept form at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 1989. Three years later, the first production Viper rolled into showrooms as a 1992 model. With a massive V-10 powerplant, rear-wheel drive, and an absence of electronic driving aids, the Viper offered the traditional muscle-car formula-if a bit too raw for some consumers. Now in its third generation, the Viper offers a slightly more refined overall package, yet with its updated 600-hp engine it continues to carry the successful mixture of bullish brawn forward. For 2008, Dodge introduces the Viper SRT10 ACR. The ACR (short for "American Club Racer") version shares the same V-10 powerplant with the standard Viper Coupe and Roadster, but it offers a host of performance upgrades that transform this Viper into street-legal racecar.
Hand-built at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR is easily differentiated from the standard Viper Coupe. Unique paint schemes, aggressive exterior styling, special wheels, and visible mechanical upgrades offer bold aesthetics that translate to functional benefits on the track.
The options list is short, as each Viper SRT10 ACR model is capably equipped in standard trim. One of the few options customer may choose is the "Hard Core" package. Designed for maximum weight savings, this option deletes the audio system (a 310-watt, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player), under-hood silencer pad, trunk carpet, and tire inflator. The blank speaker holes are replaced by lightweight carbon fiber panels while the radio is replaced by a cover that may be configured to mount the included racing lap timer. Dodge states the Hard Core package saves 40 pounds.
A two-tone paint scheme, with a black center section and an available driver's stripe in Viper Red or Viper Black, sets the Viper SRT10 ACR apart from the standard versions. Available exterior colors include: Viper Red, Viper Black, Viper Violet, Viper Bright Blue Metallic, and Viper Very Orange.
According to Dodge, the 2008 Viper SRT10 ACR was engineered to dominate on the racetrack while still offering the owner a street-legal ride home. Components such as brakes, suspension, tires and aerodynamics were refined for weight savings and unmatched performance. The chassis is constructed with SMC and RIM body panels and fascias. Special to the Viper SRT10 ACR is a carbon fiber "fanged" front splitter with rub strips, a splitter extension, and carbon dive planes. The rear of the vehicle features a carbon fiber ACR wing manually adjustable to seven positions. Dodge claims these aerodynamic aids create up to 1000 pounds of downforce at 150 mph.
A big-block 10-cylinder powerplant is a signature feature of the Dodge Viper, and the Viper SRT10 ACR makes no exception. Displacing 8.4 liters, the all-aluminum engine is rated at 600 hp and 560 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard transmission is a Tremec 6-speed fully-synchronized manual sending power to the rear wheels through a standard GKN ViscoLok speed-sensing limited-slip differential. At full throttle, 60 mph is attained in less than 4 seconds. Top speed is in excess of 190 mph.
The suspension is fully independent, front and rear, with aluminum control arms and aluminum unequal-length "A" arms. The Viper SRT10 ACR upgrades include special KW coil-over racing dampers adjustable for both ride height and dampening, high-rate coil springs, and stabilizer bars. Brakes, wheels and tires are exclusive to the American Club Racer version, and they are credited with saving 40 additional pounds of unsprung mass. The brakes are massive race-proven Brembo calipers clamping on curved-fin vented StopTech 2-piece slotted rotors front and rear. Wheels are lightweight forged aluminum. The 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels are wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup DOT-approved (street-legal) racing tires.
While most vehicles today are manufactured with a heavy steel "unit body" (unibody), the engineering team at Dodge chose a more advanced weight-saving approach for their high-performance supercar. The Viper chassis is constructed with a backbone tubular space frame with a separate cowl structure. Carbon fiber sheet molded composites (CFSMC), and conventional glass fiber sheet molded composites (GFSMC), add structural rigidity and weight savings in the fender supports and brackets, headlamp supports, door inner panel, and windshield surround. In addition, the utilization of custom-formulated composites and plastics gave the design team greater flexibility, and offer excellent long-term corrosion resistance, according to Dodge.
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