2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR
IN FLEET: Sept. 4-11
AS-TESTED PRICE: $100,915
DRIVETRAIN: 8.4-liter V10; RWD, six-speed manual
OUTPUT: 600 hp @ 6,100 rpm, 560 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
CURB WEIGHT: 3,408 lb
FUEL ECONOMY (EPA/AW): 16/13.0 mpg
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT JONATHAN WONG: The ACR Viper is fun, intimidating, flamboyant and a giant middle finger to the environment all wrapped up in one car, and--forgive me--I love it!
The best thing is the raw driving experience. There are no electronics saving your bacon. When you’re doing a Tommy Archer impersonation, you’d best respect this snake; it won’t hesitate to bite you back—and hard.
This is close as you can get in a road car to the Viper Competition Coupe that Dodge sells to racers. It has a full interior but no roll cage or other stuff needed for competing in the race series. Its DOT-approved Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires are street-legal but best driven only on the driest surfaces. They take a bit of time to get some heat into them, and with a wear rating of 80, there are hardly any treads to cut through even a little water.
Wait for a light to go green, drop the hammer, and spin the rear tires wildly through the first three cogs as you correct the car’s trajectory with the appropriate steering inputs. In a corner, the ACR claws its way through quickly and with remarkable grip. This thing did the Nürburgring faster than the Corvette ZR1, but it has an advantage in the rubber department, and the Vette does with-out the circuslike rear spoiler and carbon-fiber bits glued onto the front fascia.
For everyday touring, the ACR is a little rough. Unless you’re a member of the SCCA and take your performance driving seriously, you’re not going to like it. The people this car caters to will gladly take the abuse on the road to enjoy the superior ability on a smooth track.
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