From 1987 to 1994, Lamborghini was owned by the Chrysler Corporation. During that time, Lamborghini and Chrysler worked on developing a high performing front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car for Dodge, a car brand under the Chrysler marque. The result is the Dodge Viper, a car that can go head-to-head with the Chevrolet Corvette. The Viper was first put into production in 1991 and production continued until 2010, when Dodge stopped production to make the Viper meet new automotive standards. Production for the Viper will continue in 2012, when the Viper gets new safety technology that was not present in previous Vipers.

I see the Dodge Viper everywhere. People drive them as their everyday car in Houston. There are several Vipers at Houston Cars and Coffee events. This car has a huge following. The Viper comes in either a coupe or roadster variant. The Viper has a huge hood for the massive engine that powers the Viper. It looks fast.

The current generation of the Dodge Viper is powered by a 8.4L V10 engine, paired with a six-speed manual transmission, that produces 600 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque. The Viper goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 202 mph. Prices for the Viper start at $90,255. That is cheap for a car with a 0-60 mph time under 3.5 seconds and a top speed over 200 mph. Not even the Corvette ZR1 can match that price.

Jay Leno showed off his 1993 Viper R/10 and a 1996 Viper GTS coupe. Top Gear USA’s first ever segment featured Tanner Faust driving a Dodge Viper SRT-10 while trying to evade a Cobra Helicopter. The Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR went around the Top Gear USA test track in 1:22.0, the fastest lap of the season. Jeremy Clarkson reviewed the Dodge VIper SRT-10 during Series 5, Episode 3. The Viper went around a very wet Top Gear UK test track in 1:28.5, the 107th fastest lap. The Dodge Viper is playable in almost every major racing game. It is playable in the Need For Speed games, Forza games, Gran Turismo games,

Blur, Test Drive games, Project Gotham Racing games, Burnout games, Grand Theft Auto games, Twisted Metal 3, Moscow Racer, Road To Fame, and many, many other racing games.

Final Thoughts: The Dodge Viper is for those who can drive without electronic driving aides. Only the bravest and experienced drivers should own the Viper. I am not the biggest Chrysler/Dodge fan, but I know a great performing car and the Dodge Viper can compete with the Lexus LFA, Corvette ZR1, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Ferrari 458 Italia. Dodge has stopped production for a year to add electronic driving aides to the Viper to comply with new automotive standards. The next generations of the Viper will not have the same driving experience as previous Vipers.


Photos taken from a digital camera and a camera phone

Originally written on July 3, 2011

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