It is an aspirational vehicle for sports car enthusiasts of all ages.
Whether moving or standing still, it is one of the few vehicles that command attention. In Dodge circles, it has often been said there are only two types of people: those who own a Viper, and those who want to own a Viper.
After having spent a week behind the wheel of the new 2008 Viper SRT10, I have to say thereís at least a bit of truth to that statement.
I have literally been inundated with requests to take people for a ride ó with every one adding, ďIf I win the lottery, thatís my car!Ē
While there is no denying the appeal factor, make no mistake; the new 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 is not for the faint of heart.
Dodge added another 90 horsepower to the Ď08 model, thanks in part to larger displacement and new computer numerically controlled combustion chambers.
The new Viper is coiled to strike with a revised 600-horsepower V-10 engine under the hood (560 lbs.-ft. torque) that takes off like a rocket.
Without question, this car is more suited for the racetrack than a drive around town.
While perfectly street legal to drive on any road, I need to point out you really, really, really need to keep one eye on the speedometer at all times.
It has a 0-60 mph time of less than 4 seconds and 0-100-0 mph time right at 12 seconds.
The new Viper is fast ó super fast. And it likes to run.
The Viper is so quick, itís not uncommon to up shift, glance down at the speedometer and notice youíve easily exceeded the posted speed limit ó without intending to or even trying to, for that matter.
This is one of the fastest cars Iíve ever driven in my nearly 20-year tenure of covering the automotive industry.
The V-10 is mated to a Tremec T56 six-speed manual transmission featuring 10 percent wider gears for higher torque capacity. A new shifter system has also shorter shifter travel and improved performance.
Dodge also loaded the new Viper with a number of standard safety features, including: advanced multistage front airbags, ABS, constant force retractor seat belts, interior head-impact protection, knee bolsters and tire-pressure monitoring system.
Available in Roadster and Coupe body styles, Dodge also offers an ACR street-legal track version.
For those looking for a vehicle to take out on the track, the Viper is ideal, as this car handles like a dream and is as fast as lightening.
On a closed course or on the open road when you can open it up a little, the Viper is pure exhilaration.
That said, driving around town and trying to keep those 600 horses in check wasnít exactly what I would call fun.
With a base price starting at $83,145 for the Roadster, while popular to all, the Viperís consumer pool is somewhat limited.
In addition to an $850 destination and delivery charge, you also have to factor in a $1,700 gas guzzler tax (in addition to sales tax).
But it sure is fast.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 15 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Comments may be sent to Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE NUTS AND BOLTS
2008 Dodge Viper
2-seat sports car †
8.4-L V-10 (600 hp/560 torque)
EPA: 13 mpg city, 22 mpg highway
FUEL: Premium unleaded
SUSPENSION:† Cast-aluminum unequal-length upper and lower ĎAí arms, coil springs, low-pressure gas-charged rebound-adjustable shocks, stabilizer bar (front); toe-control links (rear).
BRAKES: Vented disc with ABS
LENGTH: 175.6 inches
WHEELBASE: 98.8 inches
WIDTH: 75.2 inches
HEIGHT: 47.6 inches
WEIGHT: 3,440-3,450 lbs.
FUEL TANK: 16 gallons
TIRES: 18X10-inch front; 19X13-inch rear
MADE AT: Chryslerís Conner Avenue Assembly Plant (Detroit).