- Bold, brash styling
- Formidable power
- Buttoned-down handling
- Doesn't like driving slowly
- It's loud and rough
The 2008 Dodge Viper is a stunning performer, a great-looking sportscar in any body form, and still a handful on public roads.
The 2008 Dodge Viper, Chrysler's brash V-10-powered sportscar, is significantly more venomous for '08. The underlying look inside and out is familiar, but the big changes are under the hood, where the V-10 engine has been pushed out to a super-sized 8.4 liters, for 600 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque and a 0-60-mph time of well under 4 seconds.
To match the engine improvements, the 2008 Dodge Viper gets a new six-speed manual with a wider range of ratios, improved synchros, and reduced shift-knob travel. In addition, the Dana rear axle picks up a new speed-sensing, limited-slip differential for better traction.
While the gearbox feels stiff and somewhat clunky on the street, the effort is just right when you're powershifting at the drag strip or quickly downshifting into a corner at a road course. The ratios of the gearbox are also tall, meaning that when you're driving around your neighborhood, you'll probably be in second gear as opposed to trolling streets in fourth as you might in more mundane cars. This highway-type gear helps the 2008 Dodge Viper achieve its 200-mph-plus top speed.
Thanks to Brembo dual opposing-piston calipers front and back, the 2008 Dodge Viper can now brake from 60 mph to a stop in less than 100 feet, and go from zero to 100 and back to zero in just over 12 seconds.
On the street, the Viper's suspension feels stiff and bouncy, but at the track, these settings enable the chassis to put all of the Viper's power to the pavement.
Changes to the Viper's outward appearance are minor overall, but in front the '08's differences are most pronounced, with a hood that's been redesigned with a larger scoop for better induction and aggressive-looking louvers for improved cooling.
Previously, Vipers came in little more than basic-black inside, with a kit-car feel brought on by parts-bin components and nonmatching surfaces. The '07 Viper was a big step up in civility, but for 2008, the Dodge Viper advances further with more than a few interior choices. It will be available in five different interior colors and a choice of bezel finishes, along with other customization options.
Assembly continues at the Chrysler Group's Conner Avenue assembly plant, appropriately located in the heart of Detroit. The plant builds three versions of the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10: a convertible roadster, a coupe, and a fully track-ready ACR Coupe edition that is race prepared.
The Porsche 911 Turbo is an amazing vehicle and considerably more expensive than the 2008 Dodge Viper. The personalities of these two vehicles are so different that we can't imagine a buyer ever making a choice between the two.