2021 Dodge Challenger ACR Is Being Benchmarked Against the Viper: Report

A leaner, meaner, racing Challenger with Hellcat power is supposedly on the way.

byPeter Holderith|
Dodge News photo

Dodge's ACR nameplate started on the Viper in 1999 and has only been bestowed on one other vehicle, the compact Neon sedan. ACR stands for American Cup Racer, and it's a trim level that represents the very best Dodge has to offer when it comes to on-track performance. It's been in hiatus for three years since the Viper was discontinued, but a report from Allpar indicates that's about to change with the 2021 Dodge Challenger ACR.

According to a longtime source for the website, a slew of upgrades are in store for the LX-platform Challenger to shed the muscle car label in pursuit of pure performance. These include reworked aero, tires, brakes, suspension, and more. All of these modifications are focused on turning the rather portly two-door—the Challenger Hellcat weighs over 4,400 pounds—into a sub-two-ton weapon on the track.

Dodge plans on using some existing components to accomplish this, as money is tight due to the current global circumstances. These include the rear wing from the Viper ACR-E, a modified version of that same car's splitter, and likely some other adjustable suspension components from the Viper such as the shocks. Nothing is said about the transmission in Allpar's report, so the Challenger ACR may have to make do with the six-speed manual that's offered on the Challenger Hellcat.


There's rumored be two engine choices, the 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 out of the 797-horsepower Challenger Hellcat, and the brand's 392ci Hemi which produces 485 horsepower naturally-aspirated. The brakes, likely from Brembo, will have to work hard to get the cars immense girth—even after being lightened—to a halt. 

Dodge hopes all of this will add up to the new Challenger ACR being within two seconds of its Viper predecessor around a track. They also want to de-throne Ford's new GT500 Mustang, which is hard to beat with its 760 horsepower V8, dual-clutch transmission, and aggressive aerodynamics. 

There's no information concerning the car's release date, but with the next-generation Challenger's development delayed due to the global crisis, Dodge has some time to whip the muscle car into shape. I for one would like to know FCA's diet secrets if they can truly shed nearly five hundred pounds off of the jelly-bellied Challenger. 

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