The Dodge Viper made its debut in 1989 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The model was intended to be a kind of modern incarnation of the famous Ford Cobra. The Viper was a big hit at the show, and three years later, it was introduced as a commercial model.
The 1999 Viper features a powerful eight-liter, V-10 engine that’s been reworked to feature a new block, new heads, shorter cooling jackets, and revised sump. These revisions have given the Viper’s power plant a horsepower increase of 35, and it is now rated at 450 horses. It’s also some 85 pounds lighter than the previous Viper engine was.
While it comes up spades in terms of looks and performance, it’s true that the 1999 Viper’s interior leaves something to be desired. The plastics are cheap, the ergonomics are poor, and the car’s low-to-the-ground stature makes climbing in and out of it something of a challenge. The Viper is also perhaps not as technologically savvy as expected.
Body Styles: coupe, convertible
Engines: 8.0-liter V-10
Transmissions: six-speed manual
Models: Dodge Viper GTS, Dodge Viper RT/10
Dodge makes a number of changes to the Viper for 1999. These include the introduction of power mirrors, aluminum interior accents, a new shift knob, a remote release for the gas hatch on the GTS model, and refined Connolly leather for certain interior surfaces. The Viper has also been fitted with new 18-inch aluminum wheels that sport the Viper logo on the caps. Also, black has been reintroduced as an exterior color option.
With its striking low profile, the 1999 Dodge Viper epitomizes the modern sports car in every way. Both the GTS coupe and the RT/10 convertible sport elements of classic European and domestic sport models like the Ferrari Dino or the Corvette Stingray. Additional exterior features include body-colored bumpers, monotone paint, and dual power remote exterior mirrors. On the downside, the Viper’s interior makes use of low-grade plastics, and the seats are difficult to adjust. Standard features for the GST include foglights, 18-inch alloy wheels, tinted glass, and power exterior mirrors. With such a generous list of standard features, there are very few additional available options save special factory paint.
The compact interior offers seating for two in its well-sculpted bucket seats. Front headrests are fixed and there are four-way controls for both driver’s and passenger’s seat. Seat trim is leather while both the door trim and floor trim are carpet. Standard features for the GST include bucket seats, keyless entry, a rear window defroster, leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power windows, and power door locks. The standard audio system consists of an AM/FM stereo with CD player.
Performance & Handling
With its formidable eight-liter, V-10 engine, the 1999 Dodge Viper offers plenty of get-up-and-go. The Viper’s sport-tuned suspension allows it to absorb road irregularities at speed. The fact that the Viper isn’t equipped with features such as ABS, traction control, stability control, or paddle shifters means it is truly a driver’s car. Standard features for the GST include limited slip differential, sport-tuned suspension, anti-theft alarm system, power steering, and tilt steering wheel.
Standard safety features for the 1999 Dodge Viper include driver and passenger front-impact airbags, center high mounted stop light, ignition immobilizers, panic alarm, and a security system. Crash test results for the 1999 Viper are not available from either the NHTSA or the IIHS. Standard features for the GST include power brakes and driver and passenger front airbags.
EPA Fuel Economy
Dodge Viper: 10/19 mpg city/highway
- Impressive speed
- Excellent handling
- Classic sports car looks
You Won't Like
- City gas mileage is poor
- Lacks practicality
- Easy to attract speeding tickets
A formidable modern sports car in the classic mode.
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