Last week, we reported a rumor that Dodge was prepping the Challenger to be its next ACR model. It’s a badge most recently worn by the Viper, with its garish wing and racing upgrades, and one that stumbled its way onto the Neon, too, with great success. It’s enticing to think about a true track-focused Challenger, though overcoming the ancient platform and chunky proportions would be challenging if that’s what Dodge was doing, though that doesn’t appear to be the case. A new report from Autoweek says Dodge is a no-go on the Challenger ACR.
The publication cites an unidentified Dodge spokesperson, writing, “it’s not happening.” Sorry, folks. We first heard the rumor mill bubbling back in October, though the latest rumors came from last week when Allpar.com reported there’d be two Challenger ACR models with different engines and outputs. One would pack a naturally aspirated 392 Hemi, that’d make 485 horsepower (361 kilowatts) while the other would use the supercharged Hellcat V8 that currently motivates the Challenger Redeye. It makes 797 hp (594 kW).
We’re not surprised Dodge is dumping cold water on the raging rumor fire. If Dodge were developing the Challenger ACR, it’d have to contend with the coupe’s aging underpinnings. The Challenger rolled out for its debut in 2008, and little has changed since then. Dodge has, however, continuously refined it, improving its performance, handling, styling, and interior quality, going as far as building the Demon for the drag strip.
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If the Dodge Challenger ACR were real, it’d be competing against agile foes like the Chevy Camaro ZL1 and Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, but, sadly, that’s another reality happening in another universe. While it’d undoubtedly pack the necessary punch – especially with 797 hp on tap – overcoming its massive size and weight would be a hurdle. Extensive use of carbon fiber would help, but there’s little to do to reduce its physical size, and with its large footprint comes the weight.