By Patrick Rall
While this news shouldn’t come to much of a shock to any diehard Mopar fan, Motor Trend has reported that the new American Club Racer package (ACR) for the new SRT Viper will debut sometime during the 2014 calendar year. As has been the case with previous generation ACR models, we can expect that the 2014 (or 2015) SRT Viper ACR will be a street legal supercar with track ready capabilities – serving as the highest performance option in the SRT lineup that is designed for road use as well. The new ACR will be the Viper that hits tracks like Laguna Seca and the Nürburgring to defend or reclaim the records set years ago by the 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR.
Provided that the 2014/2015 SRT Viper ACR arrives in the first quarter of the 2014 calendar year, it will come almost two years after the 2013 SRT Viper and Viper GTS debuted at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. Why the delay, you ask? Well, according to Motor Trend, the Street and Racing Technology engineers are hard at work on coming up with a set of tires that is fitting of a car of this magnitude.
Evidently, after seeing the incredible performance capabilities of the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires found on the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, Chrysler Group engineers aren’t comfortable with the Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires found on the current 2013 SRT Viper and Viper GTS. Because of that, the SRT team has called on the folks at Pirelli to come up with a tire that will go head to head with the ZR1’s Michelin tires and win. In those head to head shootouts between the ZR1 and the 2013 Viper GTS, the Corvette’s tires have been a major reason behind the narrow victories posted by the ZR1.
Should Pirelli be able to come up with a tire for the 2014 SRT Viper ACR that is at least equal to the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, that alone could be enough for the new ACR to beat the ZR1 in a head to head battle – leaving the rest of the ACR modifications to just serve as icing on the high performance cake. According to Ralph Gilles, simply plugging a driver into the SRT Viper will be enough for the new GTS to beat the Corvette ZR1 but even with driver Randy Pobst (who has been openly been questioned by Gilles) at the helm, a Viper with improved tires could take down the supercharged ZR1.