The 2004 Dodge Viper holds the title as the most powerful, fastest car in American production. It comes as a coupe and as a convertible. It gets produced in limited quantities, and many people enjoy the exclusivity of owning a Dodge Viper. The Viper finds inspiration in the classic AC Cobra. It first appeared as a concept car in 1989 at the North American International Auto Show. The public instantly fell in love with it, and the designers were inspired by that interest to bring it to production. After a few years of redesigning and retesting, the Viper went into production in 1992.
The first generation, which ran from 1992 to 1995, offered power under the hood, but had a generic interior. It lacked exterior door handles, windows, and a roof. The second generation welcomed the introduction of the 1996 Viper GTS model, which featured a roof with two raised sections to facilitate the use of helmets. It uses a more powerful engine and a redesigned chassis, suspension, and braking system. The third generation began in 2003 with a major redesign of the body and powertrain. The body looks more sculpted and sleek. Dodge makes the chassis stiffer and lighter.
In 2003, the Dodge Viper gained an improved suspension system, a more powerful engine, and a convertible model. In 2004, Dodge introduced the very limited Mamba Edition, which features a black interior with red stitching, red trim, and a higher price.
Body Styles: coupe, sedan
Engines: 8.3-liter overhead valves (OHV) V-10
Transmissions: six-speed manual
Models: Dodge Viper coupe, Dodge Viper convertible
The Dodge Viper got completely redesigned in 2003. For 2004, Dodge adds a new paint color to the pallet, trunk carpeting, red brake calipers, and a folding Tonneau cover.
The standard exterior features of the 2004 Dodge Viper include 19-inch alloy wheels in the rear and 18-inch alloy wheels in the front, run-flat tires, power mirrors, variable intermittent windshield wipers, remote power door locks, remote trunk release, a rear defogger, and the convertible version gets a manual convertible roof. The exterior of the Dodge Viper looks sexy and sleek. The sloping body lines give it a sculpted appearance.
The standard interior features for the 2004 Dodge Viper include leather and suede bucket front seats, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, leather and alloy trim on the shift knob, air-conditioning, a five-speaker 300-watt stereo system with an in-dash six-CD changer, power steering, 12V front power outlets, and adjustable pedals. It also has keyless entry.
The instrument panel in the Viper looks plain, with white faces and black markings. The view of the fuel gauge and speedometer gets hampered by the reflection of the sunlight. The leather and suede interior feels supple and comfortable and the seats remain firm and supportive, but some find it difficult to get into and out of them. The exhaust panels tend to heat the door sills and the heat from the engine overheats the foot wells. The cargo space measures 8.4 cubic feet.
Performance & Handling
The 2004 Dodge Viper draws power from an 8.3-liter, overhead valve, V-10 engine that produces 500 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque. The only available transmission remains a six-speed manual. It has a four-wheel independent suspension system that consists of short and long arm front and rear suspensions.
Acceleration for the Viper feels explosive, averaging a sprint speed from zero to 60 mph in less than four seconds with a top speed of over 190 mph. The gearshift and clutch require that you be deliberate when shifting gears. The tight suspension makes the ride quality firm and jarring at times. The steering seems nicely weighted, sure, and accurate. The car measures exceptionally wide, but its wide tires have a firm grip on the ground at all times. The engine remains rather quiet, even at higher speeds, but wind and road noise remains prominent.
The standard safety features on the 2004 Dodge Viper include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, a remote anti-theft alarm system, an engine immobilizer, vented front and rear brakes, xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, driver and passenger airbags, electronic brake force distribution, fog lights, and an emergency interior trunk release.
EPA Fuel Economy
Dodge Viper Coupe: 12/20 mpg city/highway
Dodge Viper Convertible: 12/20 mpg city/highway
- Fun to drive
- Superior acceleration
- Exclusivity of ownership
- Decent ergonomics
- Track-ready suspension
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- Too extreme for daily driving
- No side airbags or traction control
The sports car to own if you plan to drive it on the racetrack.
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