While it was offered, there wasn’t any argument that the Dodge Viper could hold its own against high-priced European exotics.
When you mention the name Viper, our thoughts instantly go to everything this amazing American supercar brought to the market. This car could be hard for novices to drive, it tested your metal and skill in the driver’s seat, and it could hit some serious power and speed numbers. The Viper is one of the most successful names in the world of racing and was only slightly tamed to be a road-going car that should only be shown off while driving from one track to the next.
Several Years of Powerful Success
How long was the Viper in production? The first model, SR 1, arrived in 1991, and it survived until the VX 1, which was produced until 2017. This gave the supercar a long-running history which makes it a staple of the American supercar market. The first prototype was tested in January 1989, prior to two pre-production models acting as pace cars for the Indianapolis 500.
The RT/10 Roadster was the most road-focused model. The Viper didn’t originally have exterior-mounted door handles, key cylinders, or air conditioning until these items were added as options for the 1994-95 models. This gives you a good idea of where Dodge thought the Viper should be, which is on the track.
The Viper Was One of Few American Supercars
America is an amazing place for cars. We have some of the most iconic muscle cars in the world but fall behind Europe in terms of supercars. The Dodge Viper was one of the few real American supercars. This list is pretty short, including the Ford GT, C8 Corvette, Hennessey Venom, SSC Tuatara, and Saleen S7. The Viper grabbed a huge part of this market while it was produced.
That Signature Look is Incredible
The Viper brought the perfect application of what makes an incredibly attractive and impressive supercar. This car delivers a long body, roadster-like shape, and aggressive appearance package. In nearly every version, it’s easy to recognize the Viper and what it offers. This car has had some legendary racing stripes and a gorgeous low profile, giving this car the striking style we expect to see.
Francois Castaing Wouldn’t Allow Basic in the Viper
Rather than pushing a basic sports car from Dodge, the Engineering Vice President of the Dodge Viper Team, Francois Castaing ensured this car had everything to make it a true supercar. It wasn’t enough to be extremely aggressive and stylish; this car had to include some amazing power, which it did. Castaing helped develop the amazing V10 engine found under the hood of this high-performance machine, which has become an iconic part of this car’s history.
The Final Version Was the Most Impressive
Dodge has a history of bidding farewell to its vehicles the right way. The final version of the Dodge Viper was the most impressive model ever offered. This incredible machine for 2017 used an amazing 8.4-liter V10 engine that produced 645 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.
This engine only came with a six-speed manual transmission to make this car a lot more exciting to drive. This amazing powertrain brings a top speed of 206 mph for the Viper, along with a sprint time of 60 mph of 3.4 seconds. This car delivered the quickness and fun expected of such an amazing supercar.
Some Versions Could Really Grab the Tarmac
The Viper is well-known for straight-line speed, but some versions also offer amazing lateral grip on the track. The GT and GTS models include an electronically adjustable two-mode suspension system with Street and Race settings. The ACR model added a manually adjustable suspension with ten settings. These features allowed this Dodge supercar to hold and sustain a 1.5 g lateral force during high-speed cornering. This is incredible, especially when you consider this car was never made to hold curves in this manner.
Extreme Downforce for this Incredible Dodge Supercar
The Dodge Viper ACR comes with an Extreme Aero Package that produces more downforce than any other production car. When this version is running at its top speed, the force can be 1770 pounds, keeping this car stuck to the track.
The downforce of this amazing machine is achieved using a front splitter, dive planes, carbon fiber rear diffuser, and a massive dual-element carbon fiber rear wing. These items produce more than enough downforce at every speed to keep this car on the tarmac.
The Viper Won in the Le Mans Class
No, the Viper did not win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but when it was racing in the Le Mans class across Europe, this car had three wins in this class. It also earned several championships, which gained the attention of many European racing programs. Chrysler worked with Oreca, a French racing team, to create the Viper that took the European racing circuit by storm.
Lamborghini Developed the Viper V10 Engine
The engine of the Dodge Viper sounds a little strange. Why would Dodge want a V10 in a world where V8s and V12s were so popular? As the story goes, Chrysler owned Lamborghini at the time and tasked the Lamborghini team to turn the 8.0-liter V10 engine made for trucks into an engine worthy of a supercar. The result is the iconic engine that is two liters larger than the Diablo’s engine while being built at a quarter of the price of the iconic Lamborghini.
The Viper Was Priced the American Way
European supercars have been too expensive for most people for a long time, but not American supercars. The Dodge Viper, much like the Chevrolet Corvette, was priced reasonably to ensure it was an attainable supercar that most Americans could eventually afford and own. The value of this car has risen dramatically over the years, making the Viper one of the best investments that car collectors have made. Now that this car is no longer built, its value has only gone up exponentially.
Why was the Dodge Viper so successful? This car hit all the right marks with its performance, build, driving personality, price, and racing pedigree. The Viper has always been a driver-focused machine that tests the metal and skills of anyone willing to get behind the wheel.
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