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Dodge Reintroduces Street-Legal Race Car For 2016!

Published on May 21, 2015 by in Blog, CATI

street legal viper

Last week, Dodge announced that it will be producing a 2016 Viper ACR, bringing back a fan favorite in an effort to keep the Viper name alive after some disappointing sales numbers in recent years. The American brand that’s been around since 1900 last offered a Viper ACR (short for American Club Racer) model in 2010. The venomous supercar’s production was halted to prepare for the Viper’s remodeling in 2012.

In speaking about the 2016 Viper ACR, Tim Kuniskis, head of the Dodge brand and its SRT performance group said “This is the fastest, street-legal Viper track car that we have ever built.”

Let’s take a quick look at the history of the Viper series of supercars, as well as the impressive specs of the 2016 ACR model.

Dodge Viper: A Brief Automotive History

At the time of the Viper’s conception, Chrysler/Dodge had hired a “performance consultant” whose name students taking auto mechanic training might be familiar with: Carroll Shelby. Among his other accomplishments, Shelby is a legendary designer, race car driver and entrepreneur who is famous for his part in designing the AC Cobra and performance Mustangs (known as Shelby Mustangs).

As Shelby recalls, he was approached by brand president Robert A. Lutz in the late 1980’s, who said “Why don’t we build a sports car, something like the old 427 Cobra, only let’s build a 1990s version of it.” The two then sat down and designed the Viper in just 30 minutes.

The first concept Viper was displayed at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January 1989, and it was a showstopper. While many automakers were starting to discuss powertrains that ran off of alternate fuel sources, the Viper was a gas-guzzling beast that boasted a V10 with an iron cylinder block. Its mean-looking elongated body was almost all hood in order to house the V10, and Dodge was talking about the vehicle being able to produce at least 300hp. It was the most talked-about car on display in Detroit that year and went into production three years later.

The Viper’s Unique Manufacturing Process

Students who want to enroll in automotive school may know that in the typical car manufacturing process, a new vehicle comes off the assembly line every minute. In the case of the Dodge Viper though, each car is hand-built by 64 workers at the 400,000-square-foot plant located in Detroit.

Over the company’s 20 year history of making Vipers, Dodge’s Conner Avenue plant has produced 24,000 Vipers – a very small number considering the company sold 37,000 Ram pickups last month alone!

Specs of the New & Improved 2016 ACR

The new Viper ACR features the same 645hp, 8.4-liter V10 engine as other Vipers. If you’re looking to take courses at an automotive training center, you’re probably wondering what makes this new model so special.

In this case, Dodge went with an exclusive aerodynamics package that delivers one ton of downforce at the 2016 ACR’s max speed of 177mph. The package includes a huge adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing, carbon-fiber diffuser and drive planes. With a strong focus on weight reduction, the car’s stereo only has three speakers and even features lightweight carpets.

The race-tuned suspension offers 10 different settings with up to three inches of adjustable height. The tires were built specifically for the 2016 ACR by Kumho Ecsta.

Pricing for the new Viper ACR was recently released: it’ll cost auto lovers a hefty $117,895 to become an owner. Dodge announced that it will go into production in the third quarter of this year.

Do you have a favorite model of Dodge Viper?

 
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