The Dodge/Plymouth Neon was a compact sedan from Chrysler, sold from 1995 through 2005 before it was replaced by the hideous and horrible-to-drive Dodge Caliber. It is easy to dismiss the Neon as another crappy econobox, but the boys from Chrysler put out a few interesting models in the first generation, starting with the Neon ACR. Find this 1999 Plymouth Neon ACR for sale in Norwalk for $2300, CT via craigslist. Thanks to seller submission from Cory.
The Neon ACR was introduced in 1995 as a competition package offered only to SCCA members featuring stiffer shocks/springs, a high 3.94 final drive ratio, thick anti-roll bars and fast-ratio steering. Future versions were available to the public and featured Koni adjustable dampers, and adjustable camber. The ACR was offered with additional weight savings such as fog light delete (notice the empty fog light sockets in the bumper) and roll-up windows, and as such only tips the scales at 2350 lbs.
The ACR engine was only available with the 2.0 liter Chrysler dual-over-head-cam inline-4 putting 150 horsepower and 133 ft-lbs of torque into an ACR & R/T only 5-speed transmission. Expect the ACR to do 0-60mph in around 7.5 seconds, not bad performance for a late 90s economy car, but the torquey engine and fancy suspension made it extremely successful in SCCA stock class autocross competition.
The inside of this ACR doesn’t look too bad for 113k miles as cheap cloth seats will often look better than cheap leather after a few years. Our only complaint about this car is that the ACR Koni shocks/springs have been replaced with softer base parts to make it a better commuter, but this could be solved easily on a weekend with the help of a friend and a few hundred dollars in parts.
A Neon ACR won’t be a good replacement for your BMW M5, but if you are shopping for a used Civic Si, Integra GSR, Sentra SE-R or SVT Focus, perhaps you’ll find the Neon ACR provides comparable performance for a much lower price.
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