What is it?
It’s a turn-key race car straight from the factory which distills the Viper ACR down to the performance essentials, while adding in some of the features found on the tube chassis Viper Competition Coupe. Anything remotely close to being considered a luxury amenity is out, such as air conditioning, interior trim panels and a passenger seat. In place of those items are the race seat from the Competition Coupe, aero upgrades, a fire-suppression system, Michelin race slicks, a Momo steering wheel, a roll cage, a stiffer KW suspension, upgraded brakes, a transmission cooler and more power.
The heart remains the 8.4-liter V10, which gains forged pistons, a new PCV system, headers and freer flowing exhaust. It loses its catalytic converters to produce an additional 40 hp and 45 lb-ft of torque for a total of 640 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque. That, along with the 160 pounds of weight lost compared with standard production Vipers, aero improvements and tires, make for thoroughbred track beast.
With current-generation Viper production ending this summer, the ACR-X is the most hard-core limited-edition version that Viper Nation will be able to get their hands on. It’s so hard-core that it’s not street-legal. Twenty-five people have spoken for the first batch, with a second batch of 25 cars being considered for production if demand warrants.
The cars are eligible for the STO category in the SCCA with a restrictor and in a newly developed Dodge Viper Cup spec series that will be sanctioned by the Viper Racing League. The season kicks off the weekend of July 9 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., and will be followed by four more events, each consisting of two races. Dodge Motorsports and Mopar plan to put up more than $200,000 in prize money and Mopar parts vouchers for the season.
How’s it drive?
Critics that bag on the Viper as being only a straight-line monster will need only two laps on any racetrack in the ACR-X to squash that notion (one to warm the tires before dropping the hammer on the second). We drove the SRT10 and the ACR before jumping in the ACR-X, and the differences were clear, which shouldn’t be a surprise. While even the ACR did get a little squirrelly under hard braking, the ACR-X felt planted at all times. The brakes are strong and allow drivers to dive incredibly deep into corners with no signs of fade, even after hammering around the track all day long.
We were also able to get on the power sooner exiting corners, and the g-loads you experience under braking and in corners will have you reaching down to tighten the straps on your six-point harness often. Power is phenomenal to slurp up straights in short order and is available seemingly at every point in the rev range. Throttle response is instant for matching revs. The six-speed gearbox with short shifter is crisp and precise.
The racing bucket was another good thing to have to help keep us in place and offers a comfortable seating position. As expected in the race car, the cockpit is pretty simple, with thermal pads covering the center tunnel, a kill switch mounted on the door and not much more.
Do I want it?
If you’re a serious Viper collector or are looking for a relatively inexpensive race car, then yes. The Viper ACR-X would be one heck of a buy and an awesome tool to further your club-racing career, or it would look great in your car collection.
For a purpose-built racer, there’s good value here for a car that is well built (assembly is completed by Roush) and will be stupid-fast right out of the box. It was a car developed by racers for racers and is a total thrill ride around a road course. Just make sure to have a tow vehicle in your fleet.
In collector terms, while the numerous other limited-edition Vipers are nothing more than a special paint job and badges, the ACR-X would be a standout in the garage for all of the added performance substance. However, it would be a real shame to have something such as this sit under a car cover in a garage, because all of these cars should be out terrorizing tracks on race weekends.
Interested parties cannot just walk into a local Dodge dealer and purchase one. Instead, they have to call Viper Headquarters at (888) 960-3333. The green light has not been given to produce the second batch of 25 cars yet, but with five people already on the waiting list, the chances are probably pretty good of it happening.
2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X
On Sale: Now
Drivetrain: 8.4-liter V10; 640 hp @ 6,100 rpm, 605 lb-ft @ 5,100 rpm, six-speed manual transmission
Curb Weight: 3,190 lb
0-60 MPH: NA