The 2002 Dodge Viper comes from a model that debuted in 1989 at the North American International Auto Show. People wrote in to request street versions of the show car. The automaker soon set plans in motion to produce this dashing roadster. The Dodge Viper went on sale in 1992. It enjoyed instant success with the media and stars such as Kelsey Grammer and Jay Leno.
The Viper’s success revitalized the company. It prepared the way for other models including the Chrysler PT Cruiser and the Plymouth Prowler. Halfway through 1996, Dodge launched the GTS coupe. The revamped V-10 features new heads, new block, revised sump, and shorter jackets.
Body Styles: coupe, convertible, ACR
Engines: 8.0-liter V-10
Models: Dodge Viper RT/10, Dodge Viper GTS, Dodge Viper ACR
The only new offering for 2002, a color scheme for the GTS, paints silver stripes on graphite metallic paint.
Recalling the Shelby Cobra to mind, the Viper enters on the scene. The Cobra ran on racetracks and American roads in the 1960s. This sporty car uses a simple design. Both coupe and convertible trim levels share features such as a wide, long hood; side fender scoops; and a crossbar grille. A folding soft-top comes standard on the Viper V10. A removable hardtop provides an option. Vipers sit on P275/35ZR18 tires in front and larger P335/30ZR18 tires in the rear. They feature alloy wheels with a racing-inspired suspension. The 2002 Dodge Viper has a wheelbase of 96.2 inches and measures 176 inches long. The GTS coupe stands 47 inches tall, and the convertible measures three inches shorter.
In the Viper’s interior, dual airbags and analog gauges greet drivers, who have an option of pedals that adjust. Door locks and power windows come standard. The 2002 Dodge Viper’s seats do not adjust, and the interior uses a lot of plastic. Many find it difficult to get in and out of the Viper.
Two passengers can occupy reclining, low, bucket seats. They offer lumbar adjustment and fixed position. Pedals adjust to compensate for seat adjustment. Standard features include keyless entry, air-conditioning, a tilting wheel, a theft-deterrent system, and power door locks and windows. The Viper GTS adds a trunk light and overhead storage pouches. A Comfort Group and ACR package provides an option for the GTS coupe.
Performance & Handling
The V-10 represents the most powerful and largest engine in production. For individuals requiring more horsepower, an ACR coupe provides an option. The ACR comes with Michelin tires, 18-inch wheels, and an upgraded suspension. This special Viper reaches a top speed of 190 mph. It goes from zero to 60 mph in four seconds. Perhaps this Viper better suits the track than public highways.
A six-speed manual gearbox provides the only transmission option for the 2002 Dodge Viper. Whether on open highway, in urban traffic, or on a racecourse, driving a Viper is memorable. It is hard to ignore the pounding exhaust of the V-10 engine and its response to the throttle foot. It takes practice to shift the six-speed properly. Once under way, the Dodge Viper makes enough noise and has a heavy feel. Steering takes more than a small effort. With many horses under the hood, pushing hard on the pedal could cause trouble if the road gets slick.
Anti-lock brakes and front airbags come standard on the 2002 Dodge Viper. Traction control and side airbags remain unavailable.
EPA Fuel Economy
Dodge Viper RT/10: 10/19 mpg city/highway
Dodge Viper GTS: 10/19 mpg city/highway
Dodge Viper ACR: 10/19 mpg city/highway
- Priced for value
- Attractive looks
- Exotic performance
You Won't Like
- Easy to spin out
- Lacks refinement
- Aged tech design
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