Chicago Auto Show Blog

A Rally and a Street Legal Racecar

Posted by: Jennifer Morand

Earlier this week automakers and journalists once again descended on Elkhart Lake, WI, which has become home to the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Spring Rally – a highly-anticipated annual event that draws top journalists from the across the country where they’re able to experience some of the industry’s hottest vehicles.

The automakers brought a variety of their latest vehicles for the journalists to take on hot laps at Road America, one of the country’s best racetracks. Beyond track driving, members of the media were also able to participate in off-road driving, an autocross course, go-karting and test drive vehicles along winding country roads – a dream for auto enthusiasts!

With so many amazing highlights from the rally, it’s hard to focus on just one. However, Dodge stole the show with the reveal of its new 2016 Viper American Club Racer (ACR) – the fastest street-legal Viper ever made. Dodge had a surprise in store for attendees as everyone congregated one evening for dinner. Outside the venue, people speculated what would ultimately be the ACR reveal, as there was a vehicle undercover that looked a lot like a Viper. Hints were subtly (or not so subtly?) placed just before the reveal with enlarged Scrabble blocks on display that spelled out “Viper ACR.” Dodge didn’t disappoint: brand representatives Bob Broderdorf and Chad Seymour shared highlights of the ACR before the vehicle was fired up.

The new Viper ACR received significant upgrades within three primary areas: aerodynamics, chassis and tires to maximize grip, producing never-seen-before handling capabilities and unprecedented lap times.

Powered by a hand-built 8.4-liter V-10 engine rated at 645 hp and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, the ACR has the most torque of any naturally aspirated sports-car engine in the world. The Extreme Aero package also produces the highest aerodynamic downforce of any production car at nearly one ton of peak downforce.

With a unique tread pattern and compounds front and rear, the ACR is fitted with high-performance tires specifically designed for the car. The new tires produce lap times that are 1.5 seconds faster than race-only tires. New Carbon Ceramic Matrix brakes provide optimum braking performance with fade resistance and greater handling capability through reduced un-sprung weight.

On the inside, the instrument panel cluster hood, lower instrument panel and door armrest panels of the race-inspired interior are wrapped in Alcantara suede. Owners can choose between silver or Header Red accent stitching throughout the interior. But these aren’t all the options from which customers can choose: the ACR allows for more than 25 million different build combinations including 8,000 exterior color options, 24,000 custom stripe colors, 11 wheel options, 16 interior trims, seven aero packages, three brake packages and four suspension options. Production begins later this summer.

We want to hear your thoughts on the street-legal racecar! Comment below or tweet us @ChiAutoShow.


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