It’s something the internets have been hurling at us as of recent: is the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR a track-packed sucker-punch to the 2016 Corvette Z06? A bit of background is in order.
FCA, or Fiat Chrysler Autos, recently surprised the automotive world with the latest iteration of its hardcore snake bite. Based on the same Dodge Viper as we know it, the Viper ACR adds five additional horsepower to the naturally-aspirated 8.4-liter V10 engine, bringing the running total to 645 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque.
In comparison, the 2016 Corvette Z06 employs the LT4 small-block supercharged 6.2-liter V8, inching the 2016 Viper ACR by five horsepower at 650, but provides 50 more lb-ft of torque.
On paper, these care are very well matched, but very different takes on American performance. The Viper has always been a chore. But, a chore you love to complete.
The Dodge Viper ACR offers no automatic option, making this truly an in-your-face offering. Handling the massive 8.4-liter V10 through a six-speed manual can be the most rewarding feeling in the world, but you have to work at it. On the contrary, the 2016 Z06 offers a rifle-quick eight-speed automatic for lightening-fast response times. Of course, the seven-speed manual can step in should you prefer to row your own.
While the 2016 Viper ACR is street legal, it’s not much of a daily driver. But if you’re buying either a C7 Corvette Z06 or Viper ACR, do you really plan on daily driving it? Probably not.
And that’s why we’re looking at both of these cars today. Dodge fired a shot into the supercar ring, and it’s pointed square at the 2016 Corvette Z06. Driving impressions will ultimately be the ultimate teller, but looking at what both of these cars accomplish can say just as much.
As the supercar ring becomes more crowded than ever including vehicles like the upcoming Ford GT, Acura NSX and other established players, FCA wants a piece. Running parallel, the Corvette team knows the 2016 C7 Z06 does supercar things without the price tag, but the Viper has always been its closest domestic rival.
The C7 Z06 is an incredible car, but Dodge’s revamping of the Viper program, including the latest ACR, may be enough to sway a few buyers. We won’t know for some time.
But FCA has to be pondering their next move once a mid-engine Corvette decides to show face.