Motor Trend: New Viper
Dodge set the bar high when the original Viper SRT/10 hit the decks in 1992 packing 400 horses. Over the last decade-and-a-half, its displacement and power output have grown by ladder steps to the current car's 506 cubic inches and 510 horsepower.
Since then, however, Chevy's Corvette Z06 and Ford's supercharged Shelby GT500 -- each ripped with a minimum of 500 horsepower -- have arrived at the burnout contest.
The basis of the 2008 Viper (the 2006 model gets an extended run, and there is no 2007) is a powerplant that, short of its layout and basic architecture, is all new.
There were numerous reasons for this substantive overhaul. The first was to upgrade emissions compliance. Another was to quell the engine's rough and tumble nature at idle. The team also wanted to clean up the engine-bay packaging. And, of course, add more horsepower and torque.
It's still an overhead-valve, aluminum V-10 -- now at 8.4 liters by virtue of a 1mm bore increase -- yet no area of the engine's makeup or ancillary systems has gone untouched. And, most importantly, it now packs a 600 horsepower punch.
In keeping with the notion that form follows function, SRT focused most of its effort and product-development dollars into stuff that'll make the Viper go faster and run better. But a few pennies were spent on things that you can see.
The biggest visual clue to the power that lies beneath is a new louvered hood, which looks aggressive and increases engine bay airflow.
There's also a new optional wheel design called Razor and available colors are increased to eight; among the new ones are Shakespeare Green, Viper Violet, and Bright Orange. Body styles are unchanged from the current coupe and roadster configurations.
The Viper remains a halo car for Dodge; more about bragging rights and magazine covers than big volumes. Sales have loped along at an average of around 1,700 units a year for the last half-decade. One wonders how long the car will remain viable and in demand without a major reinvention. But SRT insists there's a business case to support it; hence, the substantive engineering investment made in the 2008 models.
Posted by Angus MacKenzie, Motor Trend 8:52 AM 4 Comments | Add a Comment
Is now a wannabe American Icon to guys like myself who grew up in the 50's and 60's who now have the resources to build and buy the "hot rods" they idolized in their youth. Nothing will ever replace the real American Icon of Hot Rods; the Corvette, but many today Corvette owners also buy Vipers. Just gotta have it all!!!!!! Check it out.
I have been a Viper enthusiast since I first saw a picture of the RT/10 back in 1992. Fortunately I have been in a position to act on my enthusiasm and currently own three of them, a '96 GTS, an '02 GTS Final Edition and an '06 First Edition SRT/10 Coupe. The '08 Viper promises to be a beast based on the information currently available. According to a reliable source there will be more to it than the press has been privy to. We will find out on 1/9/07! There could be a 4th Viper in my future.
i am seeing new cars coming out that are better on gas but i see dodge has a long way to go with the price of fuel they need to produce a truck or car that gets at least 30mpg or better
Congratulations Dodge! Once again, you have THE answer to a question no one asked. How do I waste as much fuel as possible, seat two people under 600hp and out run every soccer mom in town in a Porche Cayenne? I'm a baby boomer too, 50+, had my Roadrunner, gas was $.50 a gallon, but it's a different world. Time to grow up and think social responsiblity and beyond the next gas pump. It's not just about "You" anymore. What if all the engineers and designers of the Viper worked on smaller, higher MPG cars-Wow, what a concept, auto exec's with a conscience! So, think about the future and your children's future. See Al Gore's movie, talk to some poor kids about their dreams and act like an adult!
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