By on June 18, 2009

Let us drive then, you and I, while the morning is spread out against the sky like a crash victim autopsied upon a table. Let us drive, up winding rain-slicked streets, the chattering traction control and sideways exits in too-narrow lanes . . . All apologies to T.S. Eliot, but what you are about to read can only be characterized as “The Love Song of a Supercharged Viper.” I was a fan of the 500-horsepower new-generation SRT-10 when it arrived in 2003, fell in love with the variable-cam 600-horsepower variant in 2008, and was utterly smitten by the final Viper ACR when I drove it at Chrysler’s proving grounds last year. With this 750-horsepower, ACR-inspired droptop, however, PRI has created the fastest rental car available in the United States, and that means it is interesting.

What’s it like to drive a car with this kind of power? Let’s look at the average freeway on-ramp: it’s a little less than a quarter-mile long. You and I both make a rolling left turn onto the ramp at about 20mph. You’re in a BMW 328i, not a bad little car. I’m in this supercharged Viper. We both floor it. If you give it your all, you will be driving at about a hundred miles per hour when it’s time to merge. Better hit the brakes, friend.

Meanwhile, I will have cleared one hundred and sixty miles per hour by the time I swing to the left and enter the freeway. I’m six seconds down the road from you, and by the time you merge in after me I am knocking on the door of 186 miles per hour, already nearly a half-mile away. In moments, I will be out of your visual range on most American Interstates. On what Jethro Tull called “a machine-born six lanes” this Viper bends time and space in a way only the Suzuki Hayabusa and similar motorcycles can.

Too bad I don’t have a freeway. Instead, I’m lowering myself into the Viper’s seat by the side of a wet mountain road. PRI’s equipped the car with RaceLogic traction control to operate the StopTech brakes. I check to see that it’s set to “Wet” instead of “Off”. Even on dry pavement, this snake will spin its Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s at 100+; on slick roads, each corner exit produces an opportunity for a humiliating accident.

Much has been written about the Viper’s size, its plainly awful cockpit, the bizarre relationship of its controls. It’s all true, and it all fades away in the first few miles. I’m light on the throttle, rarely using more than half its travel as we climb a long, twisty road full of blind corners marked “25mph” or lower. The infamous V-10 “UPS truck” exhaust note is a dull roar as I short-shift again and again, tentative on the brakes, careful through the midcorner, bending the long nose in and avoiding the road imperfections which can shake the car off-line in a heartbeat.

Up, up we climb, and then I see that a dry line is starting to appear. At the next corner I wait, brushing the StopTechs lightly before touching the clipping point to the inside of the turn and then simply pinning the throttle to the floor. The response is instantaneous, brutal, far beyond what any motorcycle can deliver. The V-10 barks and I am pressed backwards with a force normally reserved for braking maneuvers. Now there’s a harsh series of kicks in the back as the RaceLogic boots me up the long straight, cutting and releasing power in staccato bursts quite unlike any factory-tamed traction control, accompanied by the drumbeat shriek of the V-10 running around the tach at a speed seemingly beyond real-world physics.

Shift to third. The traction control is now a discreet series of knocks against my spine. Fourth. The trees a blur beside me, eyes wide, fully focused, light fingers on the wheel as the nose darts left and right with every bump. Now there’s a turn and I engage the ABS with a single solid shove, shedding over a hundred miles per hour of velocity and fighting the overactive tail which shimmies in rhythm with the calipers’ action. Look, turn, release the wheel to fight the slide, point, exit. And do it again, and again, and again.

We live in an age of bicycle helmets for children, twelve-airbag family sedans, initiatives against childhood bullying, and Antioch College’s guides for consensual sex. If you like that stuff, you’ll hate this car. This Viper is unrestricted power and untrammeled speed, unrepentant American bad-assed masculinity. It could kill you in a heartbeat, but I tell you this: it is a straight shot of heroin to the veins, a sledgehammer to the forehead, and I love it as I have never loved another street car.

[Performance Rentals Inc. provided the vehicle reviewed, insurance and a tank of gas.]

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52 Comments on “Review: 2006 Dodge Viper, Paxton Novi Supercharged...”


  • avatar

    Now that you’re hooked, what will you do?

  • avatar
    Wolven

    Another great article Jack.

    By the way, You and Farago should just jump straight to the end game and start the “America Death Watch” series now. When it happens TTAC will once again be hailed as the great prophetic voice crying out in the wilderness… and it probably won’t take any longer than the GM Death Watch to reach its fullfillment.

  • avatar
    ajla

    My only problem with this car is that they went with the roadster instead of the coupe. I guess it helps the tall people out.

    Also, I would assume that the supercharger noise helps out the V10 exhaust note.

  • avatar
    magicboy2

    Those who understand cars like this will never need it explained to them.

    Those who needs cars like this explained to them will never understand them.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    This shows the 1/4 at 10.6@130.

    http://houstonperformancedriving.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28130

    This is about equivalent to a 600cc supersport. VERY fast…for a car. Now can it beat a 600 on the track? I’d risk going faster around corners in this than my 600.. I guess my huevos aren’t big enough.

    IIRC from my last 2009 600cc shootout, I think the kawasaki 2009 600cc does 10.7@133 or something similar.

    My wife doesn’t like the STi. I told her my sportbike is so much faster it’s not even funny and she
    1) doesn’t believe me.
    2) Can’t imagine anything faster.

    Edit: My bad, above link is for a 2004 viper…
    Edit2: Indeed, opening up the throttle on my (older 2005) gsx-r 600 from a roll INDEED makes everything blur in your peripheral vision.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    Mr. Baruth, awesome story. Two things:

    First, they only got 750hp with a supercharger? I remember 90′s era Vipers pusing 900 horse with super/turbocharging.

    Second, yes it’s fast, but not superbike fast. A literbike, with the proper rider, will cream this thing. I’m not that guy, but I was interested to read a recent CycleWorld article that pitted a 1000hp blown Ford GT against the literbikes. Basically, by the time the Ford GT hit 100mph, the bikes were clearing 150mph.

    Years ago, I owned a 600cc sportbike. At the same time, I got to drive the 450 horse Viper GTS on track. It felt fast, but not sportbike fast. And my comparison was to a 600cc bike, not a literbike…

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    @ajla: “My only problem with this car is that they went with the roadster instead of the coupe.”

    Coupes are for girls.

  • avatar
    roadscholar

    Favorite line: “Antioch College’s guides for consensual sex.” I HAVE to look that one up.
    PS: I think I’m addicted to TTAC. What do I do now?

  • avatar

    Basically, by the time the Ford GT hit 100mph, the bikes were clearing 150mph.

    That’s because with 1000HP, the Ford GT was just getting traction at 100MPH!

    Anyhow, severalof the high-high-high performance bikes trap nearly 150MPH, and a 1000HP sports car should be doing the same. Lots of numbers all over the internet are easy to find that can be verified on youtube, etc.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    “I think I’m addicted to TTAC. What do I do now?”

    You sit back, relax, open up a bottle of beer, and enjoy the show…

  • avatar
    derek533

    Just reading your review got my heart beating faster by the second. I’ve always loved Vipers (every iteration) and will someday have one in my garage.

    The other poster above me is right. Those that understand this car don’t need justification for it. Those that need it explained will never get it.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    Yea! A real man’s car for the fast and the furious.

    What else can you ask side by side with a Ford Cobra Mustang so sweet!

    Actually a car can beat a bike just find it on You Tube to believe.

    Robert S roadster is for girls the coupe is for Men. you had it the other way around.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Seems to me that public roads (albeit mountain ones) are for public use at normal speeds. To do otherwise is to jeopardize people and animal creatures who are entitled to a reasonable degree of protection from such antics. Your child, my brother. Perhaps even a turtle. The Viper, at serious speed, belongs only on a track. Jack, you might want to give your Eliot another look. At the end, Prufrock still doesn’t have a clue.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    The response is instantaneous, brutal, far beyond what any motorcycle can deliver.

    Jack, you’ve never piloted a literbike, correct?

    What is the power to weight ratio for this car?

    Wiki has weight at 3,400 lbs /750 hp= 4.5 Lbs per hp. Rental place mentioned in article has 0-60 time at 3.1 seconds. No quarter mile mentioned.

    2009 ZX14 (~$12k, or the cost of renting the viper for 1200 miles) weighs 485 lbs & makes 190 hp=2.6 lbs per HP. STOCK 0-60 in 2.5 (half a second faster!) and the quarter in ~9.8 at 148.

    Oh, but wait, the viper had mods…put some of those on the ZX14 or Busa….

    http://performancerentals.us/cars.cfm?carid=2
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki_Ninja_ZX-14#cite_note-2
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_Viper

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    186 MPG and counting . . .

    Oh, look, a deer . . .

  • avatar
    dolo54

    I find it incredibly boring to hear stats and figures brought to PROVE that a bike cannot be beaten. The guy is writing a damn good story and deserves the artistic license to make a perhaps less than scientifically verifiable anecdote. So you could mod a superbike to beat this Viper? And??? Who cares? Anyhow, great review.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    BEAT>

    I think the discussion is comparing *this* car to a motorcycle, not *a* (random youtube) car to a motorcycle.

    Conslaw:
    186 MPG MPH and counting…
    Oh, look, a …splat

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    I have to admit, the motorbikers are right on this one…no car I’ve seen can touch a liter-bike, those things are SO FAST. I’ve ridden a buddy’s Hayabusa twice, once around my neighborhood and once about five miles on the freeway. No street-legal car could touch it. That was about two months ago.

    Three weeks after I last drove the Busa, my buddy managed to try being an airplane in his Busa on a state highway after hitting a pothole at 140+ and will get the pins out of his legs, collarbone, and neck in about two more months. He had owned that Busa for less than a year. (P.S., his Busa’s still at the bottom of the ravine where the bike landed, my friend landed elsewhere).

    I’d own one, but for a guy like me, a Busa isn’t 0-60 in under 3, its 0-dead within a couple weeks of starting to drive one. Those things are just too dangerous (at least for me), frankly.

    On Youtube are a couple Ultimate Sleepers where the owners shoehorned a Busa motor in a Smartcar. Talk about surprising some schmuck in a Mustang at a red-light, AWESOME!

  • avatar
    h82w8

    Great read! Now I can’t concentrate on work anymore today.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    I’m sure with their stellar reputation, before they ceased to exist, Kee-rist-ler made this convertible hella safe, and there would have been no issues if the author had boo-booed at 100+per into trees on that mountain road.

    Dead is dead, an outcome only moments away when dealing with motorcycles (140 on the freeway?) and 750HP cars on mountain roads. You wanna “warp space and time”? Its risky. You can also die of cancer (takes a lot longer than a busa or viper piloting error) after sitting on your couch drinking diet soda. You pays your money and takes your choice & chances.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    Whats with all these “a liter bike is faster” comments? So what? The article isn’t about whether the car or a liter bike is faster… it’s about the thrill of driving a truly powerful exhilarating car.

    I don’t think most of us really give a damn that it may not be as quick as a liter bike. And if you really do… well, a top fuel dragster is faster than the liter bike. What does that prove? Nothing, just like the statements that a liter bike is quicker than this Viper.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    Whats with all these “a liter bike is faster” comments? So what? The article isn’t about whether the car or a liter bike is faster… it’s about the thrill of driving a truly powerful exhilarating car.

    I think the liter-bike comments are valid, the author invited the comments by making the comparison himself. To be sure, that kind of comparison is appropriate rhetoric here. I’ve got a Mitsu VR4 with big injectors, its fast but I don’t have any illusions – a car with performance that motivates you to make comparisons with superbike speeds and such must be a helluva fast car.

    But saying the car goes like no motorcycle can, well, that’s going to invite some refutations of that statement’s veracity, even if it is just literary license.

    And to Fellswoop, you’re totally right that dead is dead. People die in the minivan after a bad turn every day.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Nice article…but no underhood pics? C’mon Jack!

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    Wolven:

    Here is the problem: “The response is instantaneous, brutal, far beyond what any motorcycle can deliver.”

    It’s not true. That’s a problem with a website called “The Truth About Cars”.

    Almost nobody can get their hands on a top-fuel dragster to experience that thrill, and if you could, you couldn’t drive it on the street.This article is about *renting* a modded $70k car, for $1k a day, which normal folks can do, if so inclined. Or they could buy & ride a modern literbike. We’re not even talking about taking corners here, folks. Almost any monkey can pull 3 second 0-60 times on a straight road on a modern sportbike.

    People keep talking about “poetic license” and “who cares if literbikes are faster” but there certainly should be nothing wrong with comments from folks that have experience that directly contradicts what was written, with pointing out some of what is said in the article (“far beyond what any motorcycle can deliver”) is bullshit.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    comments:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvaQdoOLyS8

  • avatar
    stevenm

    @fellswoop:

    In fact it is true. Bikes, even very fast ones, do not respond anything like a Viper, much less a supercharged one. They have small, short-stroke, rev happy engines, and rolling on the throttle at two or three thousand revs does little more than produce more noise. Drop a gear (or two) and get it into the power band, and yes, you go fast. However, the experience is entirely different from mashing on the loud pedal of something with an engine that is eight times larger than your average bike. That, I believe, was the point.

    I’ve been riding bikes for a decade and a half. Quick ones. The suggestion that “any monkey” can properly launch a “modern sport bike” and achieve a 3-second 0-60 is patently nonsense, unless “any monkey” is taken to mean “any monkey who has spent several years drag racing bikes and learning how to launch one”. Not that it has any direct correlation to the subject matter at hand.

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    All apologies to T.S. Eliot,

    I grew bold, I grew bold
    I drove my Viper faster and faster till it rolled…

    http://www.bartelby.net/198/1.html

  • avatar

    Stevenm is pretty much spot on. Ridiculous torque makes a fast car feel even faster than it actually is. Instant shove and massive roll-on power.

    Most four-cyl sportbikes nowadays are tuned almost exclusively for top end power (horsepower wars have been waged for decades, with the big four Japanese manufacturers touting single-digit one-upsmanship).

    But there are some bikes that have the any-gear-any-revs shove that rivals a tuned car. Just not all of them. The torque/power masters are generally the supersporttouring rides (Busa, ZX12/14 for example. Big bikes with big engines and big power figures, not lithe full on sport bikes). And in high speed roll-ons, bikes usually lose to big-power cars – they have poor aerodynamics and narrow power bands working against them.

    But do no be deceived. Any sporty bike is mind-alteringly fast to the average car driver. Your perception of “fast” and “the time space continuum” is seriously altered when you ride sport bikes.

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    When it comes to comparing bikes and cars, there’s no straight answer. Uneven or wet pavement, gravel, or just about anything else short of smooth, dry pavement will give the bike a serious handicap. At near-legal speeds, a liter bike probably will accelerate harder in a straight line than this Viper, but coming out of a turn, I’ll bet that the snake can get on the power earlier, and it can definitely come in harder on the brakes. 0-60, quarter-mile… a bike is hard to beat. If you compare top speeds, though, power-to-weight becomes much less important than power-to-drag, and a bike with rider has a drag coefficient comparable to a school bus, and nowhere near the horsepower of a big, blown V-8.

    My Suzuki TL1000S (arguably the Viper of the sport bike world – at least one journalist died when reviewing it upon its release in 1997), can pull off mid-high 10′s in the quarter and 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds. Top speed, on the other hand, at 160 MPH is not exactly exotic by sports car standards.

    The driving experience – and skill required, IMHO – are apples to oranges. Whereas in a car your wallet is usually the limiting factor to how fast you can go, on a bike it’s your skills. A bike involves you more physically: no power assist on anything, shifting your ass around on the bike to redistribute weight. Personally, I think I could get around a road course faster in a stock Miata than a top-tier sportbike. And have a grin on my face after doing either.

  • avatar

    Hey guys,

    For the record, I’m happy to have the bike-v-car discussion… as was noted above, I invited it.

    JEC and stevenm are saying about what I’m saying. The Viper pulls hard from anywhere on the dial, period, point blank, and it doesn’t face an aero wall the way bikes do.

    In the infamous “80-150 roll”, both Viper and bike would be in the proper gear and the acceleration would be similar. The difference is that the Viper delivers big pull at all times. Thus my comment, which I will stand behind. There is no production sportbike that will deliver twist from middle revs like this Viper.

    For the record, I’ve had an “M” endorsement since 1994 and have ridden many of the big-hitter bikes, including the first-gen Hayabusa and the old ZX-11 but not the current ZX-14. I am not a motorcycle racer, although I’d like to be, so I don’t review bikes for TTAC or anywhere else, but I can ride them and I can wave a knee in the general direction of the pavement.

    Another thing that makes a difference: It’s possible to explore a major portion of the Viper’s performance envelope with a passenger aboard, in the rain, under varying conditions, and so on. Modern sportbikes are single-purpose machines.

    As always, thanks to everybody for reading.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    Take it from a Viper guy and the ‘hundreds’ of videos I’ve watched. A properly tuned SC or TT Viper will smoke a stock liter bike. Period. It’s not even close, especially from a roll. Matter of fact, there’s plenty of videos floating around where turbo Huyabusa’s lose to TT Vipers. The record for a street legal/full weight/independent suspension Viper in the 1/4 mile is approx. 7.7 at 185MPH (give or take). This was with a street legal Twin Turbo car. To think that liter bikes are faster than any street car is ignorant.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0P6JaDlXXk&feature=related

    *No longer the record (I don’t think), but cool vid:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBEeo6l3a6s&NR=1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvikm7S1ouI

    After this car destroyed many stock Busa’s it raced a Turbo Busa:

    http://www.streetcarforums.com/videos/JUDGEMENT%20DAY%202HR.wmv

  • avatar
    Robstar

    I would imagine a litrebike at 80 (1st gear) would pull quite well to 150…

    I’ve only rode a zx-9 once and my daily rider is a gsx-r 600.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    BTW – Great review. It’s VERY VERY VERY rare that a reviewer ‘gets’ the Viper. Its performance is astounding, and is only limited by the driver’s ability.

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    Another thing that makes a difference: It’s possible to explore a major portion of the Viper’s performance envelope with a passenger aboard, in the rain, under varying conditions, and so on. Modern sportbikes are single-purpose machines.

    That’s a very good point. A lot of what these cars are about is showing them off, obviously. You can take a date out on the town or a country-drive in a Busa to be sure, but its gonna be a certain type of girl…definitely not an experience for everyone. I think that’s one of the reasons you don’t see the Ferrari Enzo being a single-seater for instance, or with in-line seating, even though the drag coefficient would improve dramatically from such a design. The “no holds barred” philosophy stops when compromising the ability to pick up the ladies is involved.

    I think also that’s one of the reasons the McLaren F1 is remembered fondly by gearheads, but isn’t so much of a pin-up car like Ferraris or Lambos. Sitting in the center, with a date stuffed in one of the side-seats, not quite as sexy (now driving in the center with TWO dates – one on either side – P-Diddy video in there somewheres!).

  • avatar
    Robstar

    onerareviper>

    Again, you are going outside the context of the review. I think most people with motorcycle experience are comparing it to THIS viper, not some/random/pimped/out/viper.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    “The response is instantaneous, brutal, far beyond what any motorcycle can deliver.”

    Why do you compare this tuned car to a stock motorcycle?
    Compare it to this:

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    Why do you compare this tuned car to a stock motorcycle? Compare it to this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iNJMlFnZTo

    I agree with your assessment. For power-to-weight ratios, I can’t think of a car that comes close to a 500hp Hayabusa. To get a McLaren F1 to a similiar p/w ratio, it would have in excess of 2000hp!

    There are some caveats at work though. The big barrier for bikes to go faster isn’t power, its keeping the front wheel down and the back wheel from just spinning out. Note the Busa driver popping wheelies accelerating through 150MPH; pretty cool, but also a waste of power, frankly.

    Torque does make things feel faster. Diesels are weird that way…its like they can idle out to sixty faster than if you try to step on the gas. I remember having a rental Prius in Colorado once, and that car actually felt kinda quick up to thirty or so, purely because electric motors have so much twist.

  • avatar
    crazybob

    Buckshot: you seriously think a 1.3 liter engine with 18 pounds of turbocharged boost has more instantaneous, brutal response than an 8.3 liter supercharged engine? No question the bike is ultimately faster, and it also seems to build boost surprisingly well, but I seriously doubt it kicks quite as hard the instant you lay into the throttle.

  • avatar

    CarnotCycle : I have to admit, the motorbikers are right on this one…no car I’ve seen can touch a liter-bike, those things are SO FAST. I’ve ridden a buddy’s Hayabusa twice, once around my neighborhood and once about five miles on the freeway. No street-legal car could touch it.

    Supra guys would probably beg to differ. Course, they are Supra guys, hence they might actually be right.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    If you guys really think a bike doesn’t kick w/o torque, go rent this:

    http://www.werentmotorcycles.com/Site/502_Boss_Hoss_Motorcycle_Rental.html

    8.3L, 502hp, 567 lb-ft of torque in 1100 pound vehicle.

    http://hubpages.com/hub/_Nothing_Exceeds_Like_Excess_Boss_Hoss

    I don’t think they make the 502 anymore but they still make bikes w/ 445 lb-ft of torque…

    http://www.bosshoss.com/products.asp

    http://www.bosshoss.com/view_bike.asp?x=BHC3LS3SS

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    Talk about “Going outside the context of this review.” ;) A Frankenstein bike with a car motor.

    What’s ironic is the ultimate bike (of this sort) housed a Viper motor. We’ve come full circle:

  • avatar
    mkirk

    “no car I’ve seen can touch a liter-bike, those things are SO FAST. I’ve ridden a buddy’s Hayabusa…”

    So what, I can sit on a skateboard with a Saturn V rocket up my ass and…

  • avatar
    Robstar

    I don’t think it’s a Frankenstein. I think it’s actually a production bike, onerareviper. It’s also street legal.

  • avatar
    geggamoya

    mkirk-> :)

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    Define ‘production’? They do have a small dealership network (shrug shoulders)… I’d still consider it a custom bike, but not claiming to know what qualifies custom/production when it comes to motorcycles. I’m a car guy…

    From the little reseach I did (basically just looking on their site), they fabricate the frame, and then piece the bike together using aftermarket parts or outsource custom fabrication. The engine is ordered directly from the GM performance parts catalogue. A custom 2-speed tranny is used, which I believe another shop assembles. The rear-end is a 7.5 inch Ford. Custom frame, Chevy V8 car engine, remanufactured custom GM tranny, Ford 7.5 rear/used housing, misc. parts from aftermarket catalogues or custom fabricators. ‘Franken-bike’? You decide…. I don’t think BossHoss would take offense to that name. Actually, I think that’s part of the charm.

    I must admit the final product is pretty impressive. I’ve seen a few at Bike Week (Daytona Beach mid 90′s), so I know they’re street legal. Basically a rocket sled… Hold on for dear life!!! Heck, your talking +/- 500HP at a little over 1000 pounds! That’s insane! BTW – These things are not cheap. $40,000 – $60,000++ from what I remember…

  • avatar
    agenthex


    Those who understand cars like this will never need it explained to them.

    Those who needs cars like this explained to them will never understand them.

    On the other hand, some things are just dumb. A viper, never mind a TT one, as a street car is essentially worthless except for highway racing. For a pure adrenaline rush, many extreme “sports” are far more stimulating for much less cost. It’s not really an exotic, and you can get a more elemental drive in a roadster or any motorcycle, not to mention look less like a jerkoff highway racer to people who know better.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    On the other hand, some things are just dumb. A viper, never mind a TT one, as a street car is essentially worthless except for highway racing.

    Huh??? Have you ever driven a Viper? My guess is no… Otherwise you would know they are MUCH MORE than just ‘highway racers’? The new ACR set the WORLD RECORD for a production car at the ‘Ring. IN FOUR LAPS AND ONE AFTERNOON!!! And the base model isn’t far behind. INCREDIBLE brakes & traction are standard issue. Even TT cars are very streetable if tuned properly. There is ZERO lag with any proper FI Viper, so it’s just a matter of ‘tuning the boost’ to suit your situation. That’s the beauty of high-displacement TT engines. You can go from ‘mild’ low boost streetable car, to ‘crazy’ high boost levels for straight line events. When I say crazy, some are known to approach 2,000 HP. Yes, that’s a two.

    As far as any car I’ve driven, and I’ve driven a lot, no car gets the adrenaline pumping like the Viper. Does it compare to base jumping off Sears Tower? I suspect not. You’d probably need a Pro Modified car to pull that off. On the other hand, a Top Fuel car makes base jumping look like checkers.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    You forgot these words: “as a street car”.

    There’s a reason why even that lowly M in bmw’s stand for motorsport. These cars simply cannot be driven appropriately on surface streets. What do you think those idiots in the videos you linked above were doing?

    Then, if you’re going to buy a race car, why not just buy a real race car with that kind of money. The only honest answer is that these bozos can’t drive worth a damn, but desire expensive male enhancement.

    Ok, to be fair, I like hooning as much as the next guy, but proper hooning comes from attitude instead of equipment.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    I disagree. There are many places (where I live) that you can push the Viper 7/10′ths, have a blast doing it, and not endanger anyone. Sure, if you want 10/10′ths, you need a track/helmet/safety gear, etc… But that’s true for all but the slowest cars. It’s not like we’re talking about F1 cars here… Afterall, wouldn’t it be a boring World if a Miata was the highest performance car ‘for the street’? Or a standard 3 series? Great cars, but after one day of use I’d crave for more HP/Torque. And have. Owned a 325, and rented a Miata.

    BTW #1 – I agree with your point if you live in a congested city. I don’t.

    BTW #2 – The only reason I linked ‘those’ videos is because we were debating straight line acceleration. There’s plenty of videos out there with Viper taking corners, etc…

  • avatar
    agenthex

    There are many places (where I live) that you can push the Viper 7/10′ths, have a blast doing it,

    7/10 in a viper is crazy fast. The natural tendency of roads is that they’re only curvy around obstacles like trees or edges of cliffs, with plenty of blind corners. These are not great areas to be going much faster than 60-70mph given normal human reaction times, and especially without electronic aids.

    Also, assuming sane non-r tires, more power only becomes useful around higher speeds, 100+, where any kind of incident becomes potentially deadly without a roll cage, etc.

    -

    Afterall, wouldn’t it be a boring World if a Miata was the highest performance car ‘for the street’?

    Somewhat sad, but true. The reason is that car performance keeps evolving, but the average driver has not. Even the base miata nowadays is quite fast, and it hasn’t even gone berzerk like 250+ hp family saloon v6′s.

  • avatar

    Just wanted to say that this is a great review and good attempt to explain the
    “Viper Experience!” I personally own a 1994 first gen Viper. And I know it’s not as strong as it’s newer generations. But even though it’s not supercharge, the experience is almost the same and the expressions you get are the same. There’s nothing comparable. I could never put it to words to describe the feeling as well as the writter of this article and review. I do find it funny that people respond to the comparison to a bike. By justifying by using specs vs videos and so on. I driven bikes and can’t compare the exeperience with driving a bike vs a Viper. They are both in two different worlds. And both have unique experiences generated from them. No way will I ever diss a bike. But all i will say is that out o all the vehicles I have ever owned, I love the feeling and the experience I get from my Viper!! She might be older but she had such a raw power and demands a respect to earn the privledge to drive. I have race a few cars and driven in few events and never have I ever felt car so raw and harsh. But every time getting out of it my adrenaline is running. It’s exciting. And formthose who are
    lucky enough to ride with me are left speechless and excitied afterwards. Like gettig off a roller coaster ride. Like he mentioned in the article or made the reference to. As soon as you start the car it’s like your inserting the needle in your skin and knowing the excitment is about to fill your veins. It’s surprizing. And you just want more and more! Lol that is my take and opinions. Love cars and bikes guys! Just appreciate anything than we can create that can get you a rush. There’s nothing better besides sex! Lol and this comes really damn close! Lol

  • avatar
    viper10

    I have both a SMS Viper and a Honda 1000. Just to keep things fair, i think that the Viper motorcycle should race any 1000. Will that make everyone happy? To tell you the truth, my Viper will do about 180mph for as longs as you like, will you ride that 1000 at any speed above 150mph for as long as you like? And if you ask me, I really think the SMS Challeneger SRT is better then the viper, as far as getting it…. Dyno at 244MPH…….


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