Intro: There are few modern cars that evoke the image of a true American exotic sports car like the Dodge Viper.
The original Viper was developed with the help of the legendary sports car builder Carroll Shelby in the late 1980's and went on sale in January 1992. The 2010 Viper again builds on its true performance characteristics and is the last year of this model generation. The Vipers front-mounted engine sits slightly behind the front wheels for better weight distribution. The rear diffuser works with the rear deck lid spoiler to keep the rear end planted in tight turns. Even the plastic hood improves airflow to the engine with its added gills and front hood scoop. Nearly every detail of this car has been meticulously developed with optimal performance in mind.
Performance: The Vipers 8.4-liter push-rod V-10, with variable valve timing on the exhaust side, produces an immense 600 horsepower and 560 pound feet of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a twin-disc clutch and a beefed-up Tremec 6-speed manual transmission, operated via a classic 8-ball style shifter and power adjustable stainless steel pedals. This powertrain drives all three versions of the Viper; the SRT-10 Coupe, the track-oriented ACR, and the SRT-10 convertible, like the one we drove.
Fuel Economy: Fuel economy for the Viper is as follows:
Features: Being a performance-focused machine, doesn't mean that the Viper is devoid of modern luxury amenities. Once available only as options, features such as air conditioning and a 7-speaker sound system are now offered as standard equipment.
The cockpit is driver-centric, with the center stack tilted toward the driver and dominated by a row of engine readout instruments on the left and the red start button at the bottom.
Safety: While the Viper is all about performance and lacking driver aids like traction control, it does give a nod to safety with advanced multi-stage airbags and antilock 14-inch brake rotors with Brembo calipers.
Pricing/Warranty: Base MSRP for the 2010 Dodge Viper is $90,225 for the convertible. The Coupe starts at $91,055. The Viper is backed by a 3-year, 36,000-mile Basic Warranty.
Summary: In performance and in appearance, the 2010 Dodge Viper delivers pure, primitive power and speed to the driving experience while adding a new measure of luxury, comfort and convenience.