The Viper sometimes gets derided for being crude and low-tech, which may well be true. Its engine sounds like a tractor and cabin ergonomics leave much to be desired. Still, those brave enough to pilot the beast are rewarded with remarkable performance. And, when fitted with ACR trim and the Extreme Aero package, the Viper drives—according to Randy Pobst—like a race car. But sadly, this Viper ACR Extreme Aero, headed to auction at Barrett-Jackson, has never seen a racetrack.
This example was built in 2017, the Viper’s final year of production. It’s fitted with the signature 8.4-liter V-10, making 645 hp and 600 lb-ft. Behind that block is an old-school six-speed manual, which, in today’s world of dual-clutch gearboxes, makes the ACR’s portfolio of racetrack lap records all the more impressive. Those include at Laguna Seca, with a time of 1:28.65 set by none other than our man Randy.
Exclusive to 2017 was available paint-to-sample finishing, a $2,000 option in which a buyer could select nearly any conceivable color for their Viper’s exterior. This one wears Mexico Blue, a saturated azure tone more commonly seen on Porsches. The car has also been covered by full paint protection film since new.
ACR (an abbreviation for American Club Racing) was a $19,000 package which increased the Viper’s racetrack readiness. It added carbon ceramic brakes—15.4-inch, six-piston front and 14.2-inch, four-piston rear—to better handle repeated braking zones. Its 295- front and 355-wide rear Kumho Ecsta V720 tires are near-slicks developed specially for the car, and at the time provided the widest total footprint of any production vehicle. Ten-way adjustable Bilstein coilovers doubled the spring rates of lesser Vipers and raised the ACR’s limits of grip.
Still not enough? The $6,900 Extreme Aero package made the Viper ACR even racier—just look at that wing. It’s absolutely gigantic, among the largest ever fitted to a production car. The wing worked with an adjustable front splitter, carbon-fiber dive planes, and six-strake extended rear diffuser to provide over 1,500 pounds of downforce at 150 mph. Genuine competition-developed stuff, meant only for serious track day enthusiasts.
Despite all it’s capable of on the track, this example presumably acquired its 2,890 miles on the road, and was otherwise stored in a temperature-controlled garage. There’s major collectability potential here, given its final-year build and fully-optioned spec sheet. It’s possible the seller will see a return on investment at this year’s Barrett-Jackson auction. Still, we lament the waste of potential. The Viper ACR Extreme Aero provides one of the closest race car analogues of any road car, but behind the wheel of this particular vehicle, no one might ever find out.
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