• Jul 25th 2005 at 4:45PM
  • 59

From the outside the Dodge SRT4 ACR (American Club Racing) screams boy racer. In the presence of larger more powerful vehicles, it almost is a joke. Then you open the door, and sit inside the cockpit. It is as though you forget you're in a Neon.

The SRT4 ACR?s race buckets hold you like King Kong scaling the Empire State Building. The steering wheel and gear shift all fall right where they belong and have just the right feel. It is a total shock to the system. Everything that touches the driver has a serious feel to it. It makes the SRT4 ACR feel a lot less like a Neon and more like the serious performance car it actually is. With 230 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque trying to find their way through the front wheels, this is no joke. Thankfully, attention has been paid to the suspension tuning and a Quaife automatic torque biasing differential has been installed. This gives the SRT4 a competence that belies its Neon hertitage and front-engine/front-wheel drive layout.

This car is a racer right out of the box. With the wider tires and Tokico adjustible suspension the SRT4 ACR is ready for the track. Despite its powerful engine, I never had to fight with the front wheels. The SRT4 is well balanced and very tossible, and it was certainly the easiest car in the SRT fleet to drive at the limit. It?s power and handling are very accessible, and it thrived within the confines of the small 1.1 mile Jefferson circuit. Expect to see these SRT4 ACRs tearing it up on the track. They are a great bargain with a $21,295 base price. For what most people spend on performance wheels and tires ($1195), the ACR package gives you light weight BBS wheels (sixteen inch), BFGoodrich KDW2 tires, adjustible Tokico dampers, a larger front anti-roll bar, and special seats that can accommodate a racing harness. The SRT4 ACR is a great car on its own, but Mopar has some kits to really crank out the power. The SRT4 can be fitted with the Mopar Stage 3R turbo kit that brings the engine output to 310 hp and 325 lb-ft on 93 octane fuel.

Track day SRT4 Side

Track Day SRT4

ACR seats

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      The srt-4 has an impressive engine platform. My friend has 300WHP and he didn't even change the turbo yet. Needless to say that potent engine was put into a neon with a much more agressive fascia/body and a big ass wing similar to the 2nd gen eclipse GS-t/GSX wing. I think they should've came out with another body that could compliment AWD(caliber idea doesn't look too great)? Besides the point, I give the srt-4 2 thumbs up for cheap reliable speed in a straight line. I just wish it came in awd, speaking of AWD You cannot compare this car to an evo or a wrx/sti, They are sheerly rally-bred street trim cars. When was the last time you saw a FWD srt-4 at a rally event? Bottom-line this car is the best bang for your buck if you are mod-prone and on a budget and always looking to make your car go fast, if you get bad weather in your area like me in jersey throw on some snow tires or save the extra few thousand and buy yourself an evo/wrx/STi. Or keep it garaged and buy a winter beater =]!
      • 10 Years Ago
      i own a 2005 srt4 acr and believe me this car is no joke. i also got a lot of "you own a neon, hahaha!" type comments from my friends. until, i handed them the keys. as soon as they returned with that familiar smirk on their faces, i knew i had changed their minds on it. haven't heard one joke on it since then. one of my friends is actually going to trade in his subaru wrx for an srt4. moral of story? please don't flame it until you've at least driven it because i know that at least 3/4 of the people flaming the car would change their minds. and that the other 1/4 would keep their comments just because they would have too much "pride" to say that the srt4 is actually a pretty damn awesome car.
      • 10 Years Ago
      i've never been a fan of neon's, but this car has been catching my eye lately. i have noticed quite a few of them in my neck of the woods, and have talked to a few of the owners now. they ranged from rice boy racer, to a 38 year old accountant who did buy it for the track. they all purchased this car for performance, period. who can blame them really? it's a great bargain. it might "still be a neon", but for those out there who really don't care about image and are into driving for a thrill; it just doesn't matter. i don't understand why you would hate on such a well executed product.
      • 10 Years Ago
      some get their fun with lots of power through the front wheels... some get their fun through four wheel drive glue to the road. i still remember the good times with a 120bhp front drive uno turbo back in europe (tin box with way too much going through the front wheel) and i look on to the neon with fond memories. i think it is rather brave of chrysler to put it out there in 2005. i might buy one... even though i am 36 now... cheers from grandpa.
      • 10 Years Ago
      I love my 04 E-blue pearl. I had a 95 neon for about 3 or 4 years and I loved that little car. Not much for power, but handling and mileage were pretty good. When I heard that Crystler was coming out with a neon that had a turbo charged 2.4l with intercooler pushing 13 psi. and 230 hp/250 tq out of the box, I drooled. Talked the wife into trading in the old for the new, and after a year and a half and 16000 miles I'm still not tired of it. I don't care when people say it's just a neon. I just laugh when all they end up seeing is my tail lights. The basket handle wing? It's just part of what makes it what it is. The engine noise in the cock pit? I turn the radio off and just listen to that sometimes. Rough ride? What do you expect with a sport tuned suspension. The snug fit of the seats borrowed from big daddy Viper? If you can't fit them, you can have them changed to the normal seats with the side impact airbags. I love the car. It's a blast to drive, and I love the looks I get from people. The respectful nods and raised eyebrows when they see the 2.4l turbo imprinted on the hood scoop insert. The shocked/pissed off looks of mustang drivers and honda ricers when they catch up to me. The only problem I have with this car is that the tires don't last long enough. It's too much fun taking exit ramps at high speeds. It's almost time for a new set of sneakers on mine just because of that. I haven't done anything other than add a Mopar BOV and a K&N air filter, but that WILL change with time. The critical bunch here, or anywhere else for that matter, can pick it apart all they want becuase you know what? I don't really care. Keep right on picking it apart, I'll keep on loving it.
      • 10 Years Ago
      As for a stock civic being faster than a regular SXT Neon. Haha, thats funny. A stock neon has at least 130hp & 130lb/ft torque. And a civic has what? Ummm....130hp and about 100lb/ft of torque!!....Ya, all it really comes down to is whoever is a better shifter. I have alot of friends that can shift awesome in their SXT's, and they whoop those ricey civics riding on doughnuts. Haha. And Civics exhaust note blows. It needs to grow some balls.
      • 10 Years Ago
      i feel the need comment... lester, what type of crack are you somoking? the civic and the acr neon are not even the same thing. the acr is a track rdy car sold to a limited audience. this does not appeal to the demo-graphic you so eloquently place it in. no one is going to buy this car instead of a new civic, or a 99 civic. this is not a car aimed at the you professional black american male. this is a car aimed at late 20's to mid 40's amature racers. someone that will take it out on a track. as for potential... well lets look at what you get in a 20k civic... not raceing seats, not a torquy rwd, no adjustible shocks... get the idea. besides fwd(not awd) are fairly worthless on the track. dragging maybe but not a track. hence the only "rice cars" you see racing are z's, rx-7's, miata's, and s2000's. (ok b210, rx-3's too) never a civic on the track. very few people will buy this car for the image or "street cred/potential" i would wager that daily driving this car would be tiresome, with the raceing tranny, and stiff springs and seats.
      • 10 Years Ago
      proud owner of a 2004 srt-4! love the car and at $19400 when i got mine, nothing at this price can touch its performance (230bhp + factory lsd). a lot of people seem to hate this car so much and trashing it cause it is domestic and based on a neon. to be honest, i don't really care what other people thinks.
      • 10 Years Ago
      i'll tell ya what. there are only two words to describe this little car... absolutely amazing!!! if you ever look close at one of these little beauties, you won't even see a glimps of the word neon anywhere on the car, and there is good reason for it. this is as far from a neon as humanly possible while still borrowing the body. i own a 2003 srt-4 that i use as my daily driver. i also just recently purchased a 2004 dodge ram srt-10. i absolutely love them both. the srt-4 is an absolute blast to drive, and when you are only paying a little over 20k for one, there is absoultely nothing to complain about. all i had to do was drive this little beauty once, and i was hooked. the only ride that i would rather be driving when i'm in my srt-4 is his big viper powered brother that is sits in the garage resting. sorry chevy and ford lovers.... you guys have a long way to go to catch up with the wonderful technology and raw power that dodge puts into their srt lineup!!!!
      • 10 Years Ago
      I bought a 2005 Orange Blast SRT-4 this past April. I'm 32 years old and I've owned quite a few cars in my life time. 70 SS Chevelle with worked 454 and 4:11 gears, Corvettes, Mustang GT, Z28 IROC just to name a few. I pretty much always been a "car guy". When I needed a new car this was the best overall value IN IT'S CLASS. Sure there are many faster cars on the road. But for the $23K (I got the sun roof and Kicker system)I had in my wallet it was hands down the best performer and best looker available. I get compliments and questions about the car from total strangers all the time. So the reaction is overwhelmingly positive. As for the FWD comments, this car consistently pulls faster times in acceration, slalom and roadcourses than the AWD Subaru WRX. A few stop light wars have confirmed this to me personally. Either way, I'm pleased with my purchase and I have fun everytime I have to drive somewhere. And to me, that's the bottom line. Jim
      • 10 Years Ago
      Are you kidding you might say that my civic si '04 is faster than my si because it has 19 pounds of boost , when i only need 8 to beat you, and still a neon yes, engine from mexico transmission from usa ,, nice waste of money, no way it's gonna last like a japanese car
      • 10 Years Ago
      The SRT-4 is definitely an impressive machine, but it does indeed look far too boy-racerish (especially with the limited and mostly flashy color options) for a daily driver. Still, I've gotta give them points for effort. The SRT-4 would make a fun track-only car since looks don't really matter and not being able to get the side airbags also becomes a non-issue.
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