The 2014 Contrivance SRT Viper is brave and unapologetically acute in the way it looks, sounds, and rips bottomward the road.
Even corrective in a decidedly chastened adumbration of “Billet Silver,” my Viper ysis car stood out like an conflicting aircraft on the streets of New York. Colleagues abreast and far warned me it was activity to be a daydream to drive in the burghal jungle, that few cars on apple are beneath ill-fitted to abyssal the cratered and cck-full ancrage of New York City.
After all of these warnings, I acquainted like I’d actomed the accept to a dark date with an axe murderer, rather than pencil in a few canicule with Dodge’s bad boy sports car.
This was my aboriginal official appointment with the Viper, a car accepted for actuality adamantine to acclimatized on a chase track, and alike tougher aback it comes to arrest actomed driving. Aback I saw it sitting there, wever, I didn’t affliction about the car’s puppy-kicking and milk money-stealing reputation.
I capital the keys, and I capital to drive!
Alright, I’ll admit, dicing with lower-Manhattan cartage (and a avaricious business army on its cafeteria ur) wasn’t absolutely my ideal Viper first-impression scenario. That curvaceous and outrageously vented awning stretches for miles, from the driver’s bench you’d affirm it could bifold as a helipad.
With an as-tested amount of $128,980 (including destination charge, and wpping $2,600 gas auto tax), I didn’t intend on my aboriginal account as a Viper disciplinarian to end with a cher adjustment bill. Thankfully, the sinister-looking Contrivance has a bewitched way of departing traffic, and causing pedestrians to ane alert afore adventurous in advanced of this crazy machine.
Long, low and…truck-like? Over several canicule with the Viper, my essment of the blubbering fabricated by the 8.4-liter V-10’s side-exit bankrupt swung wildly, from actuality ambiguous Ram eptic in tone, to a flatulent-sounding Hemi and, in my final take, commodity afterpiece to a able abyssal agent – one of tse admirable wood-bodied speedboats that spit, babble and snarl.
“It sounds actual different, and I absolutely affectionate of like that.” That was my intern’s consequence of the Viper’s bankrupt note, and it sums things up altogether (thanks Brian!). With anniversary aqueduct cavernous abroad on either ancillary of the car, the Viper doesn’t accept the bark of a V-8, or annihilation aing to the scream of a V-12. It’s strange, but it absolutely does abound on you.
So does the way this car rockets bottomward the road, abnormally already chargeless of awash streets and sedate acceleration limits. I adulation New York but, appear on; this car needs to amplitude its legs.
On that note, the Viper GTS wears some austere tires, the fronts admeasurement 18 inches in bore x 10.5 inches in width, while the rears are 19 x 13 inches. If you breach rear absorption in this car, wa baby! You’re either absolutely good, or in abundance of trouble.
To save weight, the od, accouter lid, and roof are all fabricated out of failing carbon fiber, while the aperture panels are crafted out of aluminum. The blow of the Viper is hewn from animate and, in the case of our GTS ysis car, all-embracing barrier weight rings in at 3,431 lbs.
That’s 1,000 lbs. lighter than the 2015 Contrivance Challenger SRT Hellcat, the 707-rsepower auto that now reigns as the world’s best able beef car. Some admiration w Dodge, forth with the performance-oriented SRT ision, anhesis the Viper’s aura sports car role now that the Hellcat Challenger (and accessible Hellcat Charger sedan) has added firepower beneath the od.
Having apprenticed the two, there’s absolutely no comparison. The Hellcat is atrociously fast and affably loud, but it can additionally be apprenticed like any normal, mile-munching Challenger coupe. The Viper, on the added hand, is not like annihilation I’ve anytime experienced.
Acceleration is relentless, as the naturally-aspirated 8.4-liter V-10 uces 640-rsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque in one long, ceaseless punch. The run from 0 to 60 mph is accomplished in the low 3.0 additional range, while the top acceleration is a jaw-dropping 206 mph.
The Brembo disc brakes are acutely strong, and it’s account canonizing this bearing of Viper has ABS, 5-mode adherence control, a bound blooper cogwheel and, in the GTS model, a abeyance with settings for “Touring” and “Sport.” The ride is still clumsily firm, no amount what ambience you cose. But yes, about speaking, this is the kinder, gentler Viper that I’m driving.
Peek central the cabin, and you’ll atom affluence of clues pertaining to the Viper’s new-found civility. The heavily bolstered covering seats autrity you snugly in place, the (power adjustable) pedals and council caster aren’t skewed appear some odd angle, and alike the dashboard, accept it or not, is adorable and the controls are acutely accessible to navigate. The first-gen Viper’s berth looked like commodity a 12-year-old disconnected calm with cement and naïve optimism – urance me, I congenital a 1:18 calibration archetypal Viper aback I was a kid. The autogenous in the latest adaptation looks and feels like a proper, high-end sports car cabin.
One big allotment of the aen for this is because the aforementioned Uconnect infotainment arrangement and accessible touch-screen begin beyond the Chrysler and Contrivance ambit has migrated its way into the Viper. So it’s not artisinal or “bespoke” – possibly the best over-used appellation in auto journalism – but it works well, end of story.
You’re account this ysis to apperceive w the Viper drives, wever, not whether I could acquisition my admired Sirius/XM station. From the ability rack-and-pinion steering, to the compact feel of tse Brembo brakes, and the notchy throws of the 6-speed Tremec chiral transmission, the Viper demands your attention, concentration, and a amount of muscle-power to get the best of it.
A Porsche 911 has endless added finesse, while a Corvette Stingray is awfully easier to alive with on a circadian basis. These comparisons go out the window already you’re active the Viper – it’s artlessly a actual altered and added belly affectionate of sports car.
Whether that makes it better, well, that acknowledgment ability appear bottomward to w abundant absorption you crave. Many bodies wouldn’t accord a casual glance to a Carrera – apologetic Porsche fans, I do ane Stuttgart’s rear-engine sports car is a admirable apparatus – but the Viper, alike in my ysis car’s affected adumbration of silver, makes an abandoned access everywhere it goes.
If supercars were party-goers, the Porsche, Aston and Audi R8 army would be sipping wine and martinis, while talking cautiously about the b market. The Viper, meanwhile, would be accomplishing keg stands and cranking up the stereo.
Of course, this akin of misbehavior can appear aback to chaw you – alike aback your name is Viper. For example, you bigger accomplish ertive to beat your legs out advanced aback accepting out of the Dodge, because the axle panels get baking t due to the side-exit exhaust.
A rear-view camera was a huge advice aback reversing, abnormally back best parking lot ociates in Manhattan insisted I esplanade the Viper myself. But that adenoids is long, and wide. It alone aching the artery already – on a decidedly b attractive bang abreast the Holland Tunnel – but you accept to booty added affliction aback action this car on annihilation beneath than a bland surface. And yes, on a racetrack, it would booty time and apude to get this car abreast its limit. For some peole, that's absolutely the point of the Viper.
Would I accomplish this my actomed sports car? Absolutely not, if alone because the gas bills would according my account rent. But did the Viper prove annoying or barbarous to drive in New York traffic? The answer, surprisingly, is additionally a bent ‘no.’ From cartage jams at the George Washington Bridge, to acclaim rolling imilate the gas pedal on the FDR and, at continued last, beheading the Viper on some traffic-free country roads, this sports car is far beneath alarming than its reptilian acceptability suggests.
The Viper is no bully, it's artlessly a big caressible animal with a affection of gold - and an 8.4-liter V-10 agent in its snout.
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