Every year, Road & Track magazine puts out a list of finalists they intend to consider for their annual Performance Car of the Year award, and this time around we were very pleased here at Vicksburg Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM to see that the new 2016 Dodge Viper ACR made the list of nominees.

The way that Road & Track goes about judging these finalists actually is a pretty cool experience. They put together a convoy of the eight nominated vehicles and then drive the living daylights out of them on actual American roads. While specs and advertised performance numbers obviously matter in the judging process, these test drives are even more integral in giving judges a true sense of how the vehicle performs. That should make a lot of sense considering the accolade itself is awarding performance.

As for the beautiful and talented Viper ACR, its numbers and its driving experience both showed well. How does 645 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque from an 8.4-liter V10 engine sound, for example?

In driving the vehicle itself, R&T found that the roads they were driving on were instantly transformed into race courses, which isn’t surprising for a track-ready speedster like this one. The magazine’s editor, Joe DeMatio, had this to say about the Viper: “Quite the roller-coaster ride. Second or third gear, 4,000 to 6,000 rpm was my sweet spot… Wow, the sound, the grip, the way I was able to devour that section of the road. That will stay with me.”

It stays with a lot of consumers, and while the Viper didn’t actually win the award this year, being nominated is an honor in and of itself. And let’s face it: in a competition like this, any of those eight finalists could have won, including the beloved Dodge Viper.