High-end sports car introduced by Chrysler in 1992. Very popular road course car.

Engine Specifications

1992-1995 Models
8.0-Liter, OHV, SMPI V-10
Displacement : 488 cu. in. (7990 cc)
Bore x Stroke : 4.00 x 3.88 (101.6 x 98.5)
OHV, 20 valves, roller-type hydraulic lifters
Sequential, multi-port electronic fuel injection
Aluminum alloy block w/ cast iron liners, aluminum alloy heads
Compression Ratio : 9.1:1
Power (SAE net) : 400 bhp @ 4600 rpm
Torque (SAE net) : 465 lb-ft (664 Nm) @ 3600 rpm
Max. Engine Speed : 6000 rpm
Transmission : 6-Speed Manual

1996-1999 Models (changes)
Compression Ratio : 9.6:1
Power (SAE net) : 450 bhp @ 4600 rpm
Torque (SAE net) : 495 lb-ft (664 Nm) @ 3600 rpm

The tires are 275/40/17 front, 335/35/17 rear. Even the huge rear contact patch is barely enough to handle the gobs of torque at such low RPMs. Definitely not a car to take out for a spin in the rain.

Hennessey Motorsports touts a twin turbo upgrade path for the Viper called the Venom 800, which supposedly ups the potential horsepower to 830. Motor Trend magazine ran a 10.1 @ 137 mph in the 1/4 mile with this car. Only costs you $55,000 + your viper. I think I'll look around for some loose change in the couch ....

I have to disagree with the quote "popular road course car" when refering to the Dodge Viper. Just the sheer construction and power of this vehicle tells us that this car was meant to be a wannabe race car, or a drag strip car, but not a track car. Why do I say this?

First of all, you may have read about how the Viper has excellent roadhandling and how it can pull over 1.0g lateral acceleration. This is fine and all, but lets not get the terms handling and roadhandling confused. Roadhandling refers to how well a car can grip onto the road without breaking traction at all. With this in mind, roadhandling now means about jack on a track. Handling refers to a car's ability to maintain control when turning, traction or not. The Dodge Viper has so much oversteer and negative camber, that when traction breaks, there is only a small yaw degree given before the car spins out uncontrollably. Most definately not good when on the track. And let's not get started on aerodynamics and drag coefficients... at least these problems are fixed in the 2003 Viper. In the comparison test by Motorweek between the 2001 Dodge Viper ACR, 2001 Cheverolet Corvette Z06, and 2000 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra R, The Viper was truly beaten on the track, despite it's unfair amount of horsepower and torque in relation to the other two vehicles, and its $30 grand more expensive price. The Mustang beat the Viper by about a second and the Corvette beat the Viper by a full two seconds! According to the show, the Viper's: "handling was quite unpredictable;... steering became light and vague."

So then, what's that reason this car is great on the drag strip: There's no turns. The huge and wide tires give incredible grip as the horsepower transfers to them from the flywheel. The weight to power ratio lets this car fly down a straight line with ease. The roaring V10 outputs serious low end torque and hauls the vehicle for a great 0-60 time

I've also heard that the Viper has made some interesting appearences in some Le Mans races. This is true, adding the Viper into the American Legacy at the Le Mans. The Viper recieved the first win at Le Mans from an American company after 29 years of no wins. At professional races like the Le Mans, breaking traction, uncontrollable drifting, and interaction with other cars rarely occurs. However, the Viper has not won any of the 24 hour Le Mans races. The Porche 911 GT1 won in 1998, not the Viper, then the BMW V12 LMR in 1999 then an Audi sweep from then untill 2002 (and beyond?). So yes, the Dodge Viper can be a race car in the hands of true professionals (i.e. Viper Team ORECA) but otherwise, it basically means "deathmobile."

I respect the fact that Dodge has added this 1992 legacy into the American history books as one of the greatest American cars ever made, but I probably would not trust my own life in one of these vehicles. I'm sure in later years, the Viper will be a classic muscle car, envoking lots of nostalgia into the hearts of many proud Americans. Sure they look nice, and finally began to care about technological advancements (Praise the Viper now! w00t, look at the wonderful advancements on my Viper! It is far superior now! 2001: anti lock brakes; 2003: aerodynamics, etc.) but I still wouldn't want to be in one or drive one, in fear of my own safety. Chevrolet Corvette, Ford GT40 or Nissan Skyline for me!

Source: eBayMotors.com, Motorweek

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