The Dodge Challenger SRT8 ACR, built for SEMA 2011. Image: Chrysler Group LLCEnlarge Photo
It’s a big and heavy car, so it shouldn’t be capable on any race tracks that involve turning left and right instead of just going straight for a quarter mile.
Yet somehow the family-sized Challenger manages to hold its own against smaller and lighter cars.
In this year’s One Lap of America, a Dodge Challenger SRT8 driven by two SRT engineers placed third in class, beating out a new Chevy Camaro SS in the process.
Still not convinced? That particular Challenger finished 14th overall in the same event, beating out such cars as a 2010 Corvette ZR1 and a 2011 BMW M3. The Challenger SRT8 may not be the best choice for a weekend track car, but it will probably impress you with its at-speed manners should you choose to run the occasional high performance driving event.
Dodge is well aware of this, so the automaker is introducing a more track-worthy Challenger at this year’s SEMA show, which kicks off next week. Built primarily from Mopar catalog items, the Dodge Challenger SRT8 ACR is influenced by the success of the Mopar Drag Pak Challenger and by the Nürburgring record-setting Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR.
The SEMA Challenger will come with a Mopar coil-over suspension, front and rear strut tower bracing, a short-throw shifter, revised aerodynamics, a cat-back exhaust and Goodyear F1 Supercar tires. Outside, the car wears white paint with a charcoal roof, carbon fiber hood and rear decklid, red flame stripe and ACR fender badging.
Inside, the Challenger SRT8 ACR gets carbon fiber door panels, front sport bucket seats, an SRT gauge cluster, an SRT flat-bottomed steering wheel, a Mopar Drag Pak center stack and a carbon fiber center console. It doesn’t get a rear seat, which is deleted to save weight and to accommodate the chassis-stiffening roll bar.
There’s no word on whether or not Dodge will build the Challenger SRT8 ACR as a production model, but you can certainly build a near-replica yourself with the Mopar parts catalog and a credit card.
Stay tuned for its reveal next week but in the meantime follow our complete coverage of the 2011 SEMA show by clicking here.