Dodge Viper ACR 7:22.1 at Nurburgring - Not Impressed

Motor Trend

Video of the 7:22.1 run

Street legal racecar vs street cars. Its fast, but I am not that impressed. The ZR1 and the GT-R are both real street cars. Both with full amenities. The Dodge is a stripped out street car on real DOT R compound tires.

Well, they could (and did) bug Dodge-specifically, the Street & Racing Technology team-to the point that SRT said, What the heck, let's go for it. So SRT rented the Nordschleife for a half-day (at a cost of $2000 Euro per hour), shipped two ACRs over to Germany, hired a pro driver through Zakspeed (a race team that runs Vipers in the ADAC Zurich 24h Race at the Nrburgring), and hoped for good weather and, more important, a lap time quicker than 7:26.

This car was a 10 percenter not a 90 percenter.

A note on the two Viper ACRs: Except for a Racetech seat with a six-point harness, each ACR is factory stock and fitted with the Hard Core package, a no-cost option that cuts 40 pounds off the curb weight. About 10 percent of ACR customers order the HCP, which deletes the audio system, trunk carpet, rear cabin sound insulation, tire inflator kit, hood insulator, and steel battery cover.

A "stock" car that comes with engineers and 14 postion multi adjustable coil over suspension. You can do the same thing,you just need an engineer.

To address Coronel's complaints that the ACR is displaying light understeer in medium- to high-speed turns and its steering feels a little light, engineers stiffen the front dampers for both compression and rebound (up three clicks to position 11, out of 14 total) and the rear dampers for compression (again, up three clicks to 11). The adjustable rear wing, which offers seven hole positions with the seventh offering the most down force, remains in position three, while the front splitter stays at its initial setting (0) as does the ride height (0.5 inch lower than stock).

On the fourth run, another single hot lap, Coronel puts down the best time of the day, a 7:22.1, slicing over four seconds from the ZR1's time. It's not a sub-7:20, but it'll more than do. Per Shinedling, "Had we shortened the gearing and had more than a day to develop the car for the Nordshcleife, we probably could have dipped below 7:20, but we're very happy with our time, nonetheless." So is Coronel, who suggests the team celebrate with a round of beer at the famous Pistenklause restaurant. Everyone obliges, as there is much to rejoice and, let's face it, likely little time to enjoy it-undoubtedly, the ZR1 will be back as will the GT-R (rumors abound that a V-Spec version has lapped a 7:25). But for now, the Viper ACR is the most lethal 'Ringer around.

Shorten the gearing ? Again is this a racecar or a street car. A tuner GT-R would be faster than this car at the ring. Apples to Apples comparision. A ZR1 on a real tire would be faster. Strip a couple hundred pounds out of the ZR1 and the GT-R and they will kill the ACR. Put the Cobb R35 GT-R or Amuse R35 GT-R at the Nurburgring and see what they do. Pro driver and an Engineer. I am not impressed.


Anonymous said...

Im not impressed either, Sean. In fact it makes me rather upset to hear Dodge making these claims feels a bit naive. Nothing about this car is a street car. Lets get they're mythical Hennessy viper out there and see where it crashes... er laps at, my bad, force of habit.

ultimate lurker said...

Dodge is grasping at straws.

That car with the the preparation it had, with the driver it had, should have been running a 7.15 or thereabouts.

The fact that it didn't shows just how much Dodge underestimates their competition.

Anonymous said...

I can still listen to the Bose System, with the A/C on, and a set of Golf clubs in the trunk in my GTR...while blowing by and annihilating cars that cost twice as much. I own & have owned much more expensive cars...the new GTR is equally, if not more impressive than them all.

BTW...Sean, I think I am the first owner in Connecticut. Took delivery 8/7/08.

Steve C said...

Awww! The butthurt GTR fanboys cannot accept that American engineers are better than their Japanese counterparts.

Jut accept it, kids. They have the ability to own you and anything the GTR can put out. Dodge just showed what they can do when they WANT to. They've held back a LONG time, but got sick of the trash talking. There you have it boys, they whooped your butts. :)

Saying it's a street legal race car? You mean like the Ferrari Enzo? Pagoni Zonda? Among many others? Yah, but they boast of THEIR times on the track, right?

Stop your BS excuses, boys. You lose! :)

Anonymous said...

i agree with you about america proving themselves, but i do want to point out that the dodge spent 6 hours at the track before finally beating the record time that the ZR1 left, while the ZR1 and
the GT-R only did, what, three laps? I am not puttin the dodge down, but i am pointing it out. I wanna see the ZR1 spend more time there, then see the new record.

Item Reviewed: Dodge Viper ACR 7:22.1 at Nurburgring - Not Impressed Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sean Morris