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1998 Dodge Viper

  • 1998 Dodge Viper GTS Coupe

    GTS Coupe

    • MAX MPG
      21
    • SEATS
      2
    • HP/TORQUE
      450/490
    • ENGINE
      8.0L V10
    • MSRP
      $66,500
  • 1998 Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster

    RT/10 Roadster

    • MAX MPG
      21
    • SEATS
      2
    • HP/TORQUE
      450/490
    • ENGINE
      8.0L V10
    • MSRP
      $64,000
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  • Review

1998 Dodge Viper Review

Not for the faint of heart—a powerful icon.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 1998 Dodge Viper provides a V-10 powered sports car manufactured by Chrysler and sold under its Dodge division. The Viper’s design comes from the Chrysler Advanced Design Studio, which created the concept in 1988, and the first prototype underwent testing in 1989.

The Viper launched in 1991 as a pace car for the Indianapolis 500, and it went on sale to the general public in January 1992. The popularity of the Viper results from its engine, a truck engine based on the Chrysler LA design. The use of lightweight aluminum alloy for the engine comes from the input from Lamborghini, which used to be owned by Chrysler as well.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door coupe, two-door convertible
Engines: 8.0-liter V-10
Transmissions: six-speed manual
Models: Dodge Viper GTS, Dodge Viper RT/10

What's New

The 1998 Dodge Viper features a new stainless steel tubular exhaust manifold, which reduces emissions and the curb weight of the car. Dodge offers a new exterior color option, and the Viper also gets a cutoff switch for the passenger airbag. Both front airbags now come from the second-generation with lower deploying power.

Exterior

The Viper offers a modern interpretation of the Cobra, and its exterior design clearly shows off certain styling elements reminiscent of the Cobra. The Viper’s raw and untamed appearance gets augmented by its exposed exhaust pipes along the rocker panels. Constructed from fiberglass-like composite materials, its body comes together in a rigid tubular steel frame.

Both the coupe and the convertible have iconic designs that cannot be confused with any other sports car in the market at present, especially with the convertible design that has been dubbed the ?double bubble? by the automotive industry.

Interior

The Dodge Viper has a low seating position, which causes three problems. Firstly, it makes entry and exit a little uncomfortable for the driver and passenger. Secondly, it limits visibility for the driver, but well-placed mirrors balance this. Thirdly, the interior of the car suffers from a cramped feel even though the seats feel supportive. The dashboard has a very basic layout of controls, and the analog controls lay out in a very simple manner.

The worst part about sitting inside the 1998 Dodge Viper results from the incredible amount of heat generated by the side exhausts, which heats up the doorsill, and sometimes the seat itself. In fact, a helpful sticker warns occupants about coming in contact with the doorsills after driving the Viper for a while.

The steel structure of the 1998 Dodge Viper looks quite rigid, so there are no structural flexing problems when the car goes over uneven pavements. However, the hood tends to shudder, and the plastic panels within the car tend to squeak in such instances.

Performance & Handling

The Dodge Viper draws power from its popular eight-liter V-10 that delivers 450 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque when combined with a six-speed manual transmission. With such awe-inducing figures, the 1998 Dodge Viper delivers a brutal amount of power from under its enormous hood.

The Viper has a colossal amount of torque as well, allowing it to shoot off from any speed in any gear. The gearshifts feel quick and direct, and the clutch does not require too much effort to be engaged. The wide tires may seem a bit cartoonish, but they keep this road rocket firmly on the ground. Like other Vipers before it, the 1998 remains one of the fastest and best-handling sports cars on the market.

Safety

Crash test data remains unavailable for the 1998 Dodge Viper.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Viper eight-liter V-10, manual: 12/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful performance
  • Amazing steering and handling
  • Distinctive looks

You Won't Like

  • Loud engine
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Lacks safety features

Sum Up

Not for the faint of heart—a powerful icon.

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