“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” That’s the kind of quote we could use when talking about the legendary Dodge Viper. Back in 2016, the nearly 30 year-old sports car was finally being put to rest to downsize the Dodge lineup a bit, along with the discontinued Dodge Dart. Let us tell you, it didn’t quite stick. It first started with some going away Dodge Viper special editions that sold out quick. A second round of more special editions were produced and and then brought back a second time for collectors that got the memo a little late. Then we thought the Dodge Viper said its goodbyes when Pennzoil made a Last Viper tribute video. We thought it was done for … But Dodge has other plans.
The Dodge Viper
If it wasn’t for the Dodge Viper sports car, the high performance automobile group, SRT, may have never come to be. Originally called “Team Viper”, the “Street and Racing Technology” (SRT) group was put in charge of designing and developing the legendary Dodge Viper. The model went through various names – the Dodge Viper SRT-10 in 2008, then the SRT Viper in 2013, and then the latest model, Phase VX (later simply called “Dodge Viper”) that lasted from 2013 to 2017.
Under the hood of the Dodge Viper was a hand-built 8.4-liter V10 engine. Designed with ten cylinders in two banks of five, this engine was rated at 645 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque – the most torque of any naturally aspirated sports-car engine in the world. With that kind of power, the Dodge Viper had some impressive track times. In 2016, the Dodge Viper, ACR (American Club Racer) was named the “ultimate street-legal race car”, having held more track records than any production car in the world (a total of 13 road course lap records as certified by the Sports Car Club of America), and a recorded time of accelerating from 0-60 mph in 3 seconds flat. However, one would argue the 2003 Dodge Viper Hennessey Venom 650R was better, with a recorded acceleration time of 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, and able to run a quarter mile in 10.7 seconds.