YSE Car of the Week: 1997 Dodge Viper GTS
This week’s YSE (Your Shitty Economy) Car of the Week: the 1997 Dodge Viper GTS. The recently reprieved snake is the epitome of unrefined excess. From the moment you turn the key, you know the folks in the NVH department were banned from the building. Starter button? Ha! Enter “Viper interior” on Google and the word “upgrades” appears automatically. And no wonder. For north of $80,000, Viper buyers are immersed in a sea of plastic fantastic—minus the fantastic. Even so, the cabin’s simplicity reflects the Viper’s sole purpose: to smoke enough rubber to make Corvette drivers limp with envy. With its V10 engine, harsh ride, gas-gulping fuel economy (10 mpg), hot exhaust and luke-warm A/C, the Viper is about as much of a daily driver as a cement mixer (to which the idling engine offers more than a passing aural similarity). Something for the weekend? In this economy, this 450hp, brake-challenged (upgrade that!), V-10 powered monster is yours for only $29,000.
1.) If you think the GTR is only 'fractions' slower than an ACR on track, I've got some land in Florida to sell you.... You've been drinking the Nissan cool-aid, bigtime. Oh yeah, what were those non-Nissan driven 'Ring times again? Hmmm... No ones been able to come close to Nissan's time, have they? As for the LP560, regardless of what 'one' magazine (that is notoriously bias towards American cars) says, they are not even close. 2.) Also notice how the ACR was 6 seconds faster than a Ferrari 430 Scuderia. Per lap!!! Hmmm... What's the excuse for that car? It's not AWD? It's even got those simple paddle shifter + auto heal/toe downshift those non-skilled 'journalist' love. Oh, shucks, must have been different drivers. 3.) Donkervoort D8 GT??? LOL LOL LOL... Please spare me the 90,000 Euro, Caterham/Lotus 7 wanna-be, 1,400 pound kit car that could NEVER pass any type of real crash testing. Why don't you bring up the Radical SR8 while your at it? Oh, never mind, I forgot... 4.) Dodge never intended the Viper to sell more than 2000 units a year. The facility could not even handle that kind of volume. They are hand built at the Conner Assembly plant. No other car is built in this plant. It IS and always WAS a truly limited production car. 5.) The entire aero kit IS street legal, minus the small front splitter extention (as you know). Two minutes and eight bolts and it's off. I highly doubt this would affect 'street' performance. And I have yet to hear of one ACR owner that's actually taken it off, as they know policeman/inspection stations have no clue. But anyway, it's really irrelevant on the street anyway... But let's look at what is relevant on the street. The GTR's launch control. But wait, sign off first. Only a $20,000 dollar repair if you dare. Without using the 'you better not use' launch control, its 0-60 and 1/4 mile times drop to that of a base Corvette. In closing, I dig the GTR (except the LC BS) and Lambo. Great cars, with negatives like any other car. Now the 90G's Euro Donkeybutt kit car, that's another story. I could see a case being made for any of these cars (minus the Donkeybutt). It all depends on what the owner wants. But here's what I know that you guys seem to deny. The ACR will run circles around either on the track. Not even close. Seconds per lap. Seen it first hand, more than once... As more and more test are done on these cars, this will become painfully apparent. Better hold on to that Road & Track issue. The ACR is a FANTASTIC BULLET PROOF track car that will not cost you a fortune to maintain. Tires, inexpensive brake pads, and inexpensive rotors (inexpensive compared to others) is all you need for years and years of weekend track use. It can easily and 'safely' be used on the street in decent weather conditions. For someone who likes to do track days on the weekend, doesn't want to spend a fortune on maintanence, demands a bulletproof car that can take abuse, and likes to 'street drive' a few times a week (or cruise a bit), the ACR is an EXCELLENT choice.
BTW, a tip for armchair drivers: I wouldn't brag about how hard you are to drive fast cars without any traction aid on normal roads. Anyone who's actually done such things knows and has a good laugh at this kind of claim. Around real roads like the ring, it's well known the best drivers often go in less assuming cars to embarrass the posers.
a) Harley Davidsons are AWESOME, Especially the V-Rod, Rocker C, XR1200 and Nightster. Any biker who can't appreciate them for what they are isn't a biker imo, and i'm an insane nutter trackday refugee b) Vipers are awesome - they have insane visual drama and a great sound c) So are GTRs. But they just dont have the visual drama of Vipers but are lots more useable. I know this is the internets and you can't like 2 "opposing" things but TRY ppl!