Dodge will reportedly celebrate the Challenger's 50th birthday by introducing a track-focused variant of the coupe that will resurrect the American Club Racer (ACR) nameplate. It will arrive as a cocktail of the automaker's best race-bred parts, including bits and pieces sourced from the defunct Viper.
The Challenger ACR will be presented as a follow-up to the sold-out Challenger Demon available during the 2018 model year. While Dodge developed the 840-horsepower Demon for drag racing, it's designing the ACR to tackle America's windiest road courses, according to anonymous sources who spoke to website Mopar Insiders. It will need to take a turn, not just go really fast in a straight line.
To that end, Dodge will give its popular muscle car more downforce by adding a full body kit that will include a huge adjustable rear wing shaped like the one fitted to the Viper ACR. The racer will be based on the Widebody variant of the Challenger, which handles considerably better than its narrow-bodied sibling, and it will rely on composite materials like carbon fiber to keep weight in check. In other words, it will receive more extreme modifications than the Challenger SRT8 ACR that Dodge introduced during the 2011 SEMA show but never approved for production.
If this configuration sounds familiar, it's likely because the carmaker sponsors an independent team named Wesley Motorsports, which races a Hellcat Redeye all over America. It features an adjustable suspension provided by Blistein, slick Toyo tires, and a supercharged, 797-horsepower V8. The Challenger ACR described by Mopar Insiders sounds a lot like the one Wesley Motorsports regularly enters in hill climbs and time attack competitions (pictured). Coincidence? It's too early to tell for sure.
Dodge hasn't commented on the report, and it hasn't announced what it has in store for the Challenger's 50th anniversary. The original Challenger made its debut in late 1969, and it arrived in showrooms during the 1970 model year, so Dodge will need to unwrap its surprise before the start of the 2021 model year to keep it timely. Expect an announcement during the first half of 2020.
While pricing information remains a mystery, Mopar Insiders added the Challenger ACR will come standard with only a driver's sat. Buyers will be able to add a passenger seat for $1.