By on May 29, 2020

2019 Dodge Challenger T/A 392

Dodge has been rumored to be working on a Challenger American Club Racer (ACR) for a while, encouraging your author to enact Google Alerts anytime the applicable terms crop up online. We hit pay dirt Thursday when Allpar issued insider information on the vehicle’s progress.

While you may have encountered previous ACR models from Dodge, most were likely within striking distance of a racetrack or beating your britches off in virtual racing experiences. The formula is basic, even if the execution is not. Dodge models with a preexisting racing pedigree are modified to be more track worthy; typical alterations include upgraded tires/wheels, adjustable suspensions, bigger brakes, closer gearing, slick aerodynamics, and aggressive weight reductions that throw NVH concerns to the wind. They’re track-day monsters, with all other responsibilities being secondary. 

According to Allpar’s secret source, “Muther,” the Challenger ACR will follow the Viper ACR and Neon ACR (bet you forgot that people used to race Neons on the regular) to glory by following a similar template.

This also fits perfectly into Dodge’s ability to keep old models fresh by perpetually upgrading them in exciting ways. Assuming you don’t mind buying a new car that probably won’t even have a radio, this certainly qualifies, and will help the brand pad for time until the Challenger/Charger’s true successor arrives.

From Allpar:

There are reportedly to be two cars, most likely one using the 392 Hemi, with instant-on power, and one using the 797 horsepower 6.2 supercharged Hemi. The supercharger is not allowed in some amateur racing series or classes, so the 392 makes sense. According to rumor, the car was benchmarked against the Viper ACR itself — which means that the aerodynamic work, not to mention suspension upgrades, must be fairly intense.

Carbon fiber will replace steel or aluminum wherever practical (which includes financially). The wing is reportedly straight off the Viper ACR-E, while the splitter is modified from the ACR-E design. Brakes would not surprisingly be from Brembo. The suspension would be similar to factory units, but altered so drivers could set the height, caster, and camber at the track, as well as shock damping and rebound. Shocks may be adapted from the Viper design, along with the brakes.

Signs point to the next ACR being street legal but not street friendly. This will help limit the time it spends being towed around to racing events and might even make it a secondary vehicle in a pinch. But we don’t expect future ACR owners to use it as a daily driver. The car is intended for racing and that’s where we expect to find it, especially since Dodge is also supposedly improving heat management so the car can stay on track longer.

The anonymous source claimed the manufacturer is targeting a curb weight under 4,000 pounds, making the ACR at least 100 pounds lighter than the base R/T model. Benefits will stack with the rest of its performance modifications, presumably resulting in something you’ll happily thrash for as long as Watkins Glen (or whatever your preferred local track is) and your own physical construction allows. We just have to wait for the tracks to reopen and Dodge to (hopefully) finish up the Challenger ACR’s development.

[Images: FCA]

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31 Comments on “Dodge Challenger ACR Allegedly Still in Development...”

  • avatar

    I have always liked the Challenger. I know it’s an old design, still some quality issues, they can be loud, obnoxious, not overly practical, etc. These are the reasons I use for not pulling the trigger. But there is something satisfying about flying the automotive equivalent of the middle finger to the car establishment. I just need to get one and get it out of my system I guess.

    • 0 avatar


      ‘giving the middle finger’…..


      They are the last chance to get rear drive V 8 power. And they are fairly cheap.

      I might need to get a 392 Challenger before they are gone. Then I have the rest of my life to drive electrics and 2.0 l turbo compliance crap.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m one of those nerds that likes old British sports cars, modern electric cars, and other things very alien to the Duke boys…and I like the Challenger too! Even had one for a spell. It looks totally impractical but it’s really not: the cabin and trunk are pretty huge (it’s just a 2-door body stretched over a full-size sedan, so you don’t lose THAT much to the comically long hood), it’s as refined as any modern car — hell, as long as you never drive it in city traffic, even its MPG is just fine. You want a big rumbly thing, you go get you a big rumbly thing! Ideally in a retina-searing color.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed on the Challenger. All the drivetrain options are good, too.

      But sadly, the cockpit has surprisingly little headroom, and I’m too tall for it.

      • 0 avatar

        I m surprised you dont fit.
        I m 6’3″ long torso.
        Fit fine.

        I had a v6 rental and got 31MPG; miles driven/ gallons in .
        Trip Computers are massive liars.

      • 0 avatar

        I actually bought the Challenger because I felt it had a lot of headroom. The seat moves way down and allowed my 6’4″ frame to fit just fine, also since the seat also moves almost back into the back seat – the first time I drove a car where I did NOT adjust the seat all the way back.

        Happily drove it for 100,000+ miles like that.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        If you look at it like the old school style personal luxury coupe that it is versus a so called Pony Car it makes a lot more sense. In this case it would be akin to specing your big coupe with a 427 Side oiler (or Cammer in this things case).

    • 0 avatar

      2dr, I’ve spent A LOT of time in the SRT/Hellcat/Redeye Challengers, and I can tell you that they’re more livable than you might think. I’ve done lots of school pickups in them and it fit all 4 of my kids without (much) complaint. With the rear seat folded down you can fit a heck of a lot of cargo in there.

      Fuel economy isn’t fantastic, but for the kind of power you’re putting down it’s pretty good. The V6 (305 HP) achieves 30 mpg highway, and I’ve seen 20+ in the high-zoot versions if I’m careful.

      Get one while you still have a chance. Throw that middle finger in the air!

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Posky

        I would recommend the Challenger to anybody looking for a fun American coupe that excels as a daily driver and it would be one I’d pick (vs Camaro and Mustang) to own if I lived elsewhere. While GM and Ford have done a lot to improve their products’ performance chops, neither are as livable as the Dodge. Though I can’t really knock the other two (minus the Camaro’s awful outward visibility) in terms of value to performance.

        The only real exception I would make for interested parties goes to city dwellers. I’ve had a lot of V8s and they all get greedy on gas when you’re surrounded by slow-moving traffic. But nothing has compared to Challengers/Chargers. As stated by others, the highway miles are surprisingly good (even on the hi-po models) but all the V8s start sucking the tank dry in an urban environment. If you do most of your driving inside the city and are worried about the gas bill, I’d think about something else. I’m convinced Dodge’s highway miles are better than advertised and the city miles are much worse.

    • 0 avatar

      I have a 2014, 63k miles as a daily driver. I mounted up some snow tires as well. Just a regular RT, manual. I can confirm it’s about as livable as a rwd coupe gets.

  • avatar

    Another source said the goal was 3800 pounds, I assume that is with the seat delete similar to the Demon. Still, 3800 pounds and 797hp could rip around a hp track like Road America pretty quick.

    • 0 avatar

      the 3800-3900 has got to be for the 392. The Hellcat and upgraded heat management puts those close to 4400. The 392 with a manual and no sunroof and no spare is under 4100.

  • avatar

    This thing sounds awesome.

    Hopefully they find a way to put the 6 speed with the Redeye engine (a combo never before available).

  • avatar

    If you want a peek at how capable something like this could be, check out Kevin Wesley’s hill climb / time attack Challenger Redeye. That was a joint development with SRT and Bilstein using an old Challenger mule, and it’s an absolute beast.

  • avatar

    The Allpar article said it was 2 seconds slower at Road America than the Viper ACR.

  • avatar

    I love challengers.
    No 3800lbs car (relisticaly 4000lbs wet) is going to thrash all day on any road course unless you tow a trailer with extra sets of tires and brake pads and have the budget for those fast wearing consumables.

    The Challeger is a really cool comfy fast road car that has more handling and braking than is needed on street. Its not a great track car no matter what and if road ride an civility are ruined to make it somewhat more trackable(than a competant for what it is widebody) Ill ask whats the point.

  • avatar

    No mention or picture of the Neon ACR? It was pretty hot in its time, with a close-ratio 5-speed, 4-wheel-disc brakes, and a limited-slip differential.

  • avatar

    The Neon ACR was a pretty hot unit long after they went out of production.

    • 0 avatar

      It doesn’t carry the panache of the Scat Pack or R/T labels, but ACR definitely means something to Mopar fans. There was the 1995-02 ACR Neon, the 2005 ACR SRT-4 (Doug DeMuro recently reviewed one on YouTube) and even a Viper ACR from 1999-17 I think.

  • avatar

    I’m 5’10” 205 lbs., pretty strong, but in no way agile.

    A Dodge Challenger ACR racing road courses is the exact same thing as if I spent three years buiking up further in the weight room and then tried to dance ballet.

  • avatar

    I’m wonder what effect the merger with PSA will have on the effort. It’s been in the works for awhile, and the initial view may be that it should come to completion, but the combined company will have cost cutter Carlos Tavares in charge.

    The fate of a track-capable Dodge is going to be dependent on his view of the cost/benefit for the combined company. He may not share the view of the FCA crew that a sporty RWD big V8 Dodge is the proper halo car for the North American market.

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