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More To The Point, It Likely Won’t Ever Happen

Dodge Challenger ACR
The Wesley Performance Dodge Challenger Hellcat Widebody - an ACR version could look like this.

Physics. When rumors came out about a month ago that an alleged Dodge Challenger ACR was in the works, we could only pause and cast doubt on such a program on the sheer basis of physics. The Challenger is, after all, is the heaviest two-door muscle car on the market. In Hellcat form, its curb weight comes in at 4,429 pounds. Meanwhile, the Charger Hellcat is an even heftier 4,586 pounds.

Moving that much metal around a road course to make it competitive with lighter (though still heavy) adversaries such as the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 or the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 would require incredible investments in engineering, while also attempting to contort the basic nature of what the Challenger happens to be. Which is going fast in a straight line better than pretty much anything else out there.

Dodge Power Dollars Challenger RT Scat Pack
Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 Edition.

“Our cars are not going to be track cars, it’s just physics,” said FCA head of passenger cars Tim Kuniskis to MC&T. “They’re bigger, they’re heavier… when reports came out saying we’re going to build an ACR Challenger I’m like ‘we’re not going to do that.'”

Sticking to its guns, Dodge instead chose to offer up a family of go-fast machines in the quarter mile. And it’s not just high-priced muscle cars like the 2021 Challenger Super Stock, Challenger Hellcat Redeye, or 2021 Charger Hellcat Redeye. The track-read Dodge Challenger 1320 Edition can be had for less than $45,000. While impressively rare, the 1320 Edition has no production cap, and borrows much of the impressive hardware from the 840 hp Dodge Demon to make it the fastest naturally aspirated V8 production muscle car available. It features a trans brake, heavy duty splined half shafts, line lock, and Nexen drag-spec tires. Passenger seats are also optional for a dollar.

“(Around a road course) I can’t beat the GT500, I can’t beat the GT350R. I’d have to have a wing the size of a house, I’d have to have no seats… we can’t go into that space,” said Kuniskis.

Dodge also enjoys the youngest buyer in the muscle car segment with the Challenger. In a separate article from the same interview, Kuniskis outlines how Dodge has carved out its niche with market data demonstrating how more customers identify with drag racing versus road course racing by a ratio of 7:1. In short: not only will Dodge not build an LX-platform Challenger ACR, it simply doesn’t need to. After 2023, however, when the next-generation of Mopar Muscle likely shows up, we might have to ask about a Dodge Challenger ACR again.

2020 Dodge Challenger 392 Widebody
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Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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