- Automotive Makes & Models
SRT Viper Review
Old to new
The SRT has been renamed and remodeled although the car has been around for some time now with the first model out since 1992. The car was formally known as the Dodge Viper and as the car was almost scraped in 2009. Brought back from the dead by the chief executive of Chrysler with the new name SRT Viper the car has rekindled its old glory buy bringing back the old viper magic.
Initially designed in 1988 by Tom Gale, the car was clay modeled and made an appearance as a concept car at the North American International Auto Show the year later. The first prototype was made in 1989 with its debut coming in 1991 coming out as the RT/10 roadster.
As with most American sports cars the main component of the car was its engine which was an in house design. The engine its self was a truck engine which was in its crude state to heavy to run in a sports car chassis. The in house company (at that time) known to us as Lamborghini revamped the engine putting a all new aluminium block that would run the v10. The outcome was was a monster of an engine which produced about 400bhp and produced about 465 lb-ft of torque. Needless to stay that the car was very uneconomical with fuel , you would be very lucky to get 20mpg on the highway and 12mpg in the city.
This car was known as a novice killer with its very primitive suspension it was not hard to crash this car or to lose control especially at high speed. The car lacked many of the driver aids which were available in those days with no anti-lock brakes or traction control. The car could reach 164mph on the top end and did 0-60 in around 4.6 seconds. The huge rear tires give the car great grip in the corners however with the amount of power that is also sent to those tires it is easy to spin them and lose grip especially when experiencing high levels of lateral G.
In 1996 a new model was introduced to the production line it was called the GTS and it was nicknamed the double bubble, due to the roof having a bubble shaped structure to it. This was to allow driver and passenger to fit in the car with a helmet. Going back to the roots of the car was the main reason for this as it had been meant for participation in drag racing and road racing. Like the old Viper this car also featured in the Indy 500 as the pace car.
Although not much had changed body wise , this car was still classed as a new model. Where the car had really changed was the a new revamped engine which weighed less than the previous model. The chassis was also completely redesigned with the whole thing becoming lighter and tougher than before. New suspension and constant computer simulation aided designed had improved handling drastically. Unfortunately the car still lack with ABS brakes and this failed the car in many comparisons to other supercars of the time including Chevy's ,Porscher's and Ferrari's. Regardless of this the car was still a better car than it had been in the year of old with 0-60mph time clocked in at 4.0 seconds and the top speed increased drastically to 185mph. With its 6 speed manual and 8 liter V10 you could definitely have a lot of fun with this car.
After a couple of new models and the car trying to keep up with the times , age, company finances and new players in the game almost killed the car off. However in 2010 at a conference in the last quarter of the Dodge came out with news of unveiling a new Viper prototype. The car was truly new as was seen at the unveiling with a new body and new mechanics. There where still some hints of the old car in the new viper , the low slung shape and its long front end.
At the unveiling of the car we learnt the car would feature a 8.4 liter v10 which would pump out 640 horses with 600lbs of torque. The car wold come with a six speed next gen gear box which was tuned specifically to this engine. The car would feature a better chassis than previous models and with Chrysler moving with the times , some driver aids such as traction control , electronic stability control and ABS.