Why The CFRP Wing On a Dodge Viper ACR Is Awesome

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Standing on ACR Dodge Viper CFRP WingI’m all for flying cars, but one day in the future after there have been years of testing. Car manufacturers continually strive to make cars faster and faster than they already are, but this poses the problem of ensuring the vehicle remains on the ground. Chrysler’s SRT Performance team began working on the American Club Racing (ACR) model, to design a high performance rear wing for the Dodge Viper. Now if you are not the car connoisseur like I am (this is when a ‘sarcasm’ font would be beneficial…lol), the ACR was created in 1999 to fashion a street legal version of the Viper with increased suspension and engine enhancements. A rear wing is designed to counter lift, or to push air downward on the rear of the car in order to keep the vehicle on the ground as it gains speed. Rear wings also assist to stabilize the vehicle and to increase its grip on the road.

Chrysler’s SRT Performance group and ACR were not only able to create a highly functional elephantine rear wing, but the first mass-produced carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) wing for a production car. The wing is only 7.5 lbs., which averages 50 to 80 percent less than the standard aluminum or thermoplastic equivalent. The wing, which is 72 inches wide, is comprised of four layers of an epoxy/carbon fiber weave with a outer layer of UV-resistant clearcoat.

ACR Dodge Viper

With extensive testing, the final product achieves the desired 1,000 lbs of downforce at 150mph and that’s enough to aid the vehicle a corning load of 1.50 Gs at turns over 140mph. The wing also accommodates various driving styles and track conditions with a two-piece stanchion with pivot and a few sets of hole which allows the wing to be adjusted. As a complete package, the Viper ACR turned out some of the fastest numbers in 2008 at Nürburgring for lap times. The Viper beat out (in order of their finish) just a few other cars that may be on your wish list, a Maserati MC12 (MSRP $974,800), a Pagani Zonda (MSRP $741,000) and a Ferrari Enzo (MSRP $643,330). The most impressive part of this? The Viper ACR costs just MSRP $98,110! Performance and price, thanks Dodge and Chrysler!

[Sources: Composite World, Autoblog]

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  • Chris

    Your description of “the final product” needs a bit of disambiguation. It implies that the rear wing achieves 1,000 pounds of downforce. If that wing alone generated that much force, the front wheels would likely come off the ground.

    The car’s entire aero package, of which the wing is not an inconsequential component, is alleged to generate 1,000 pounds of downforce.

    • Sam

      Hi,

      Not to be too picky, but if you’re going to go so far as to describe the forces acting on the wing, and how they affect the car, your description needs some help.

      The wing works in exactly the opposite way that an airplane wing works. On a plane, the win is shaped to create lower pressure above the wing, and higher pressure underneath, thus providing upward lift.

      On the car, the wing is “upside down” compared to an airplane wing, thus pushing down on the car by way of the mounting supports, increasing the pressure placed on the rear tires, which increases their grip on the pavement.

      The wing pushes air UP, not down onto the car…

  • Ross

    That’s great and all, but would just like to mention that the the C6 Corvette Z06 turned out faster lap times at Nürburgring in ’08, and the ZR1 in ’09. Both have car bodies made almost completely of Carbon fiber, as the Viper.