Dodge debuted the Viper in 1989 as their answer to the modern American muscle car. The public absolutely loved this car with all of its “big” qualities. To start, the engine is a V10 which is almost never found in a car. The rear tires are larger than the front tires, just as American muscle cars of the 1970’s were.
Viper was introduced as one of Dodge’s production vehicles in the 1993 model year. Only minor improvements were seen from 1993 to the complete remodel in 2003. One of the most significant upgrades in the second-generation Viper was real glass windows to replace the plexiglass side windows in the original Viper. The second-generation SRT-10 roadster became a true convertible that had a folding top.
The V10 found in Vipers puts out a whopping 600 horsepower with 560 foot pounds of torque. In order to control all of the power, the transmission and braking systems have been “beefed up.” The transmission is a manual six-speed that has a limited-slip differential. All of this power is transferred to the rear wheels, making the Viper a rear-wheel drive only vehicle.
The Viper has been one of the fastest production cars since its introduction to the world. The production Viper with no upgrades can go from 0 to 60 in only 3.7 seconds. Seasoned drivers can push the 8.4 liter engine to its limits and get from 0 to triple digits in only seconds.
One would think that all of this power would be protected with the latest in high-tech safety gear, but this is not the case. The Viper has no side airbags, no traction control and an absence of stability control. Although the seats are extremely comfortable racing seats, the dash is comprised of a variety of knobs and switches and is a hard molded resin.