When a Dodge Viper drives by, all heads most likely will turn in its direction. The Viper has been with Dodge for a long time, and it is hotter than ever. More than any other model on the market, this sports car is built for explicit power and few frills are present. The driver of this vehicle will experience the ultimate driving enjoyment. The 2005 model is strictly made for two passengers. Although there are few frills, it does include the convenience and comfort features that are both expected and unexpected. The price tag is hefty while the car is unpractical. However, serious buyers will probably not look for those attributes.
Body Styles: Convertible Sport Car Roadster
Engines: 8.3-liter V-10
Transmissions: Six-speed manual
Models: Dodge Viper SRT-10
The previous Viper came with an eight-liter, V-10 engine with 450 horsepower, which almost seems meager compared with the 8.3-liter, V-10, 500-horsepower engine of this year's version. All that power is sent to the 19-inch rear tires with a six-speed transmission. The racing chassis integrates an independent suspension, and the brakes are enormous. Another one of the numerous improvements is a belly pan in order to improve aerodynamics.
Two new outrageous colors are new for 2005, which are called Race Yellow and Copperhead Orange. Those are complemented by a special interior package that has black leather seats and contrasting orange stitching. The convertible is improved from the previous soft cloth top. Now a true convertible top folds down into the trunk. Enough room remains in the trunk for a couple of suitcases.
The Viper is designed after the Viper GTS/R concept car that was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in 2000. As with the original Viper, the 2005 car has deep side scallops, lower hood lines, and swept back fenders. The top is fabric and has a single center latch. The front tires are 18 inches on forged aluminum wheels, and the rear are 19 inches and 13 inches wide.
The measurements are 175.6 inches long, it has a 98.9-inch wheelbase, and it is 47.6 inches tall, making this a long and sleek machine.
When sitting in the cockpit, the driver will feel like the pilot of a jet fighter aircraft. The massive engine is started with the push of a button. The speedometer reaches 220 mph with a center-mounted tachometer.
The Viper represents power and speed therefore the standard interior features are sparse; however, it does have the necessary power, convenience, and comfort features that are expected plus a few more. They include racing-style seats, power adjustable pedals, and power locks, windows, and mirrors. In addition are a tilt steering wheel, keyless entry, and a 300-watt audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer and seven speakers. There are even more features such as one-touch power windows, a console with storage, a remote trunk release, front reading lights, and alloy and leather trim on the shift knob and steering wheel.
Performance & Handling
The obvious thing to describe the performance is its ability to go from zero to 60 in four seconds and run a quarter mile in 12 seconds. The ride can be bumpy due to the short distance to the pavement, but this car is not built for the average daily driver. It would probably not be the car for grocery shopping or running errands. This car has head-whipping acceleration, and it will get to its destination very quickly.
No one would expect good gas mileage with this car, but the buyer of a this sport car knows that and expects frequent fill-ups. The fuel economy is not as bad as expected when keeping the car at a cruise, but cruising is not the usual reason why it's purchased.
The shifter takes some getting used to. It has an annoying first to fourth forced shift pattern under leisurely driving acceleration, which is sometimes used to improve the EPA fuel mileage. When shifting from first to second, it sometimes slides over to fourth.
The steering is very quick and the huge tires will follow any depression in the pavement. As with any powerful sport car, when driving in the city it is sometimes difficult to keep the car aligned where it should be on the road.
The safety equipment included are four wheel anti-lock brakes, front and rear ventilated disc brakes, and electronic brakeforce distribution. A remote anti-theft alarm system, fog lights, engine immobilizer, and a tire pressure monitor are also included. Also installed is a front and rear anti-roll bar.
EPA Fuel Economy
Dodge Viper SRT-10: 11/19 mpg city/highway
- Extreme acceleration
- Track ready suspension
- Race caliber brakes
- Good ergonomics
- Limited production
You Won't Like
- No traction control or side airbags
- Awkward shifting
- Too much car for a daily driver
- Driver skills needed to experience the full driving potential
Powerful and speedy without the frills and comfort of a sedan.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Jaguar XK Series
- Chevrolet Corvette
- Ford GT
- Cadillac XLR
- Porsche 911
- Mercedes-Benz SL Class