The 2003 Dodge Viper is the next in a line of proud American muscle cars. The Viper debuted in 1992, and while the classic side pipes are gone, it is still a unique and stylish beast of a performer. The coupe model does not appear this year, making the Viper a roadster only. With a 500 horsepower engine, fine handling, and a respectably appointed cabin, the SRT-10 Viper is sure to please any sports car enthusiast.
Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 8.3-liter V-10
Transmissions: six-speed manual
Models: Viper SRT-10
The 2003 Dodge Viper gets a genuine roadster body, serious power in the way of an upgraded power plant producing 500 horsepower, and improvements in the build quality.
The 2003 Dodge Viper two-seat convertible roadster comes in just one trim: SRT-10. It comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, a manual convertible roof, power door mirrors, intermittent wipers, rear defogger, dual stainless steel exhaust, sport suspension, front and rear anti-roll bar, and Brembo four-wheel disc brakes. It has always had one of the toughest, meanest exteriors of any car on the road, and this model continues that appearance ethos. If one names a car after a fear-inspiring and lethal reptile, it’s a good idea to make sure it looks the part. But the body design is more than eye-catching American muscle car splendor. The low, wide stance combined with the sleek and aerodynamic lines not only look great, they help the car achieve its high level of performance.
The 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 isn’t just a pure sports car with the traditional approach of forgoing amenities to save weight and improve performance. The SRT-10 has standard cabin fare, including four-way leather seats, adjustable lumbar support for driver seat, power windows, power locks, tilt and adjustable power steering wheel, adjustable pedals, air-conditioning, leather trim on steering wheel and shift knob, and a 310-watt audio system with AM/FM, in-dash six-CD player and six speakers, including a subwoofer. Despite having some amenities, luxuries, and appointments, the cockpit is still racing inspired. The ergonomics are decent, and the comfort is more than acceptable for a sports car.
Performance & Handling
The 2003 Dodge Viper is powered by an amazing 8.3-liter, V-10 engine that cranks out an impressive 500 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed-manual gearbox is the only transmission available. The Viper is predictably rear drive and makes use of a limited-slip differential. With this setup, it runs the zero-to-60-mph sprint in under four seconds and the quarter mile in 12.6 seconds. Top speed exceeds 190 mph. One should have no difficulties in acceleration based traffic situations while driving a Viper. It handles like a sports car/roadster with its performance-tuned suspension, low-to-the ground, and aerodynamic body and sports car attributes. It lacks stability control and traction control, which means things could get dicey. It also means that this roadster is for skilled drivers only. The response is like a racecar thanks to the wide stance, huge tires, and low center of gravity. It inspires confidence with its handling, the steering feels great and responsive, and the braking power is more than enough to stop a beast like this without nosedive. The ride is as taut, firm, and choppy as one would expect from a performance tuned American muscle car. The goal wasn’t to make a European sedan-like ride. It won’t beat up occupants with its ride, but it’s not exactly smooth, either. Noise levels are at expected amounts for wind and road varieties, the engine gets gloriously loud.
The 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 comes equipped with standard safety gear that includes all-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, side-impact bars, dual front impact airbags with passenger airbag deactivation switch, Electronic brake force distribution and seatbelt pretensioners. Side-impact airbags, stability control and traction control are not available. The NHTSA has not performed crash safety tests. The IIHS only conducted its rear crash protection/head restraint test. It receives the highest rating of ""good"" in that test.
EPA Fuel Economy
Dodge Viper SRT-10: 11/20 mpg city/highway
- Serious power
- Excellent handling
- Eye-catching style
- Cockpit improvements
- Limited production/collectability
You Won't Like
- Fuel economy
- Can be hard to get one
- No side airbags
- Oddly, no traction control
American made super-sports car for performance enthusiasts and collectors.
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