2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X

The Viper is one of my favorite cars and I love the way it looks in movies like Wanted. It makes me want it even more, however, with the Viper’s uncertain future — not to mention sales figures that are well below what we saw in its prime — one might not expect Dodge to roll out anything new wearing the snake badge. But it turns out that where there’s a will (or parts), there’s a way. Enter the 2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X, a factory turn-key race car that will compete in the Dodge Viper Cup spec-racing series.

The ACR-X is a modified version of the Viper ACR, but one big difference is that the ACR-X isn’t street legal, so don’t plan on ordering a custom license plate for it. No, X doesn’t mean all-wheel-drive; in fact, it doesn’t have a denotation, except perhaps Xtreme. The ACR-X comes complete with a gutted interior, a full roll cage, a fire suppression system, a race seat, a six-point harness, and a MOMO steering wheel, all topped off with Michelin R compound racing slicks. It uses the ACR’s same mammoth 8.4-liter V-10 engine, but here it produces a back-bruising 640 hp at 6100 rpm (40 hp more than the street-legal ACR) and 605 lb-ft of torque at 5100 rpm (45 lb-ft more than the ACR). The added thrust comes courtesy of engine programming and a free-flow exhaust system that is deafening inside the cockpit but manages to sound oh, so sweet. The six-speed manual transmission comes with a short-throw shifter that provides a sturdy feel. Now doesn’t this combination make a real man just smile.

Where the X really separates itself from the ACR is in the handling department. The springs are 50 percent stiffer and work well with the custom two-way adjustable dampers. The rear sway bar is the same size but is adjustable. As with most race cars, downforce plays a major roll in high-speed stability. In the ACR-X’s case, the deck-lid spoiler has an adjustable pitch angle at the rear of the car, and two additional dive planes were added to the front bumper. The result is up to 100 pounds of added downforce at 150 mph.

Next year. they are talking about adding wings, but until then, we will have to keep our wheels on the ground and hope we will see our little snake in a few more movie chase scenes.

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