Dodge Challenger ACR Allegedly Still in Development

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
dodge challenger acr allegedly still in development

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]

Join the conversation
2 of 31 comments
  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on May 29, 2020

    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.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on May 31, 2020

    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.

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.