One wonders just how much Dodge has any intention of ever actually changing the Viper.
The new Viper GTC, once again sporting the Dodge brand, is pretty much more of the same. It has an unnecessarily huge V-10 engine that makes 645hp, has an option list that will run you up well over $120,000 and it looks like it wants to eat your children.
It’s also fast. Very, very fast.
Journalists have reported it accelerating through a quarter mile in 11.5, and producing 1.03 g worth of grip in a 300-foot circle.
So it’s as beastly and track-ready as any Viper has ever been. And sure, the new interior and electronic nannies make this latest snake a luxury item compared to the lean Vipers of old.
But does it have to be so obtuse? I get that what people like about the Viper is its general F-U attitude. They like the side-pipe exhausts, they like that it has the biggest engine of any car coming out of Detroit and that it eats amateur drivers for breakfast.
It’s a badass alternative to the Corvette and a fashion statement that’s not for everybody. Fair enough.
But do we really need that V-10 just for nostalgia sake?
Sure it makes 645 hp… but that’s not really all that much out of an 8.3 L V-10. The last Shelby GT500 made 662 hp out of its 5.8 L V-8. And sure it was supercharged, but still.
There are plenty of other examples of newer cars making huge power with far less displacement. The Nissan GTR’s 3.8 L V-6 produces roughly 600hp and even Dodge’s spectacular Hellcats are making 707 hp out of 6.2 L.
So why the antiquated V-10? What’s the point of it? Would enthusiast really be upset with a supercharged Hemi that made more horsepower?
Next time there’s a new Viper, let’s hope it’s actually new.