SRT CEO Ralph Gilles has hinted there will be a track-focused ACR version of the new Viper, but we now have confirmation from a high-level source at Chrysler that the ACR is already under development and will debut sometime in calendar year 2014. Above is a rendering of what the upcoming SRT Viper ACR could look like.
You may think the delay is due to planning or funding, but our source says it’s actually tires. Apparently, SRT was blindsided by the performance of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires on the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and is now pressing their own supplier, Pirelli, to develop something even better than the P-Zero Corsas the Viper already wears. Why not switch to the Michelins? We hear Michelin won’t sell the Sport Cups to SRT, and it’s a good bet the Corvette team had something to do with that. Our source thinks Pirelli will be ready in time for a 2014 calendar year debut, though the exact timing is unclear.
In addition to tires, you can expect plenty of other performance upgrades. Our source wasn’t forthcoming, but based on the previous Viper ACR, you can expect bigger brakes, adjustable dampers, aerodynamic improvements like splitters and wings, stiffer springs and anti-roll bars, a lower ride height and a multitude of weight reduction measures.
What about power? That one’s tricky. The last Viper ACR did not feature a power increase, but more than that, we hear there are office politics at work that could keep the ACR tamed. Gilles has remarked in the past that the new Viper wasn’t allowed to exceed the power-to-weight ratio of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, so both cars carry 5.2 pounds per horsepower. We understand from sources that making considerably more power out of the Viper’s 8.4-liter V-10 is relatively easy and it could even exceed the F12’s 731-hp output, but Ferrari is none too happy about that idea. Unless the guys at SRT can convince the bosses at Fiat to let them off the chain, you may not see a higher-horsepower Viper from the factory.
SRT Viper ACR illustration: Scott Olsen
Via Motor Trend