The Dodge Challenger has burned plenty of rubber, and in the process created a one of a kind legacy. It first appeared back in 2008, and it has soldiered on largely unchanged since then. While this means that the Challenger is truly ancient as far as automobiles are concerned, the muscle bound two door is also a modern success story of versatility, with the LY platform being perhaps one of the most versatile and adaptable platforms that we have ever seen in a FCA product. But while models like the SRT Hellcat, Demon (pictured,) and even the current Hellcat Redeye are some of the more potent examples of this jack of all trades theme, numerous other special edition Challengers have come and gone over the years to help maintain its popularity with buyers. But rather than being out of tricks, a new report appears to indicate that one final rabbit is about to be pulled out for all the the world to see.
According to a new report released by Allpar the next Challenger model in the pipeline will revive the ACR moniker. ACR (Amercian Club Racer) should be very familiar to Mopar loyalists, with the three letters making regular appearances on the Viper for decades. The ACR badge was also used on the spunky Neon compact sedan, and it helped make the Neon (especially later SRT-4 variants) the must have track weapon for young buyers. The appearance of an ACR badged Challenger (if confirmed) would be huge for the iconic moniker. Not only would it be a very subtle nod to the AAR badged Challengers of the 1970s, but it would also be the first Challenger derivative to have a very strong focus on handling versus straight line performance. Rumblings of such a model reverberated through the air last year, but little information has emerged since. According to Allpar, FCA engineers are allegedly considering two versions of the model. One would be equipped with the 485 horsepower 6.4 liter Hemi V8, and the other would be exclusive to the 797 horsepower Hellcat Redeye. While both of these are very solid options, we suspect that if things go according to the report’s timeline, the 6.4 liter would get the nod since many racing associations are still not welcoming to supercharged powerplants.
But as mentioned, the bulk of the transformation here would be focused on handling, with a radical crash diet on hand to help bring the portly two door below 4,000 lbs. Numerous carbon fiber components would be used throughout the car, and the Viper’s legacy DNA would be prevalent in the numerous aero add-ons that would be bolted on (including the massive rear wing.) Adjustable suspension and beefy Brembo brakes would also be offered to help balance things out further. The report even reveals that rarity will continue to be a part of the ACR script, with the purported Challenger being a limited production offering, much like how the old Dodge Demon was a rare beast designed for the drag strip.
While FCA representatives have so far maintained radio silence when it comes to the validity of this new report, it would not be unreasonable to assume that with the Mustang GT500 and the Camaro ZL1 1LE roaming the landscape, there are perhaps a few souls in Auburn Hills that would love to turn that one on one match up into a very potent triple threat for true bragging rights in the muscle car segment. The report unfortunately does not offer a rudimentary timeline on when we could see it, but the rumor mill last year claimed that it would perhaps appear sometime this year as a 2021 model. While COVID-19 has eliminated a wide swath of venues that it could’ve made its debut in this year, there is still time to speculate and wait.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.