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PERFORMANCE | 10 out of 10
Unquestioned king of speed in the under-$100K supercar segment
Monstrously fast from a standing start
Car and Driver
Sticks to the road and handles remarkably better than the 2006 model
The Detroit News
The 2008 Dodge Viper was designed with one thing in mind: performance. With the Dodge Viper, Dodge engineers have succeeded in creating a sportscar with uncompromised performance.
For the Dodge Viper, 2008 brings a new and obscenely powerful "8.4-liter V10 that sends no less than 600 hp to the Viper's steamroller rear tires," according to Edmunds. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com are unanimously impressed by the strength of the V-10 in the Dodge Viper. Car and Driver writes that the coupe they tested is "monstrously fast from a standing start, blasting to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and to 100 mph in 7.6 seconds." The convertible is also amazingly quick, with Car and Driver finding that it "managed 197 in Dodge's testing with the top down, which is pretty impressive." ConsumerGuide calls the acceleration on the Dodge Viper "explosive, even at part-throttle, and from modest rpm."
The only available transmission on the 2008 Dodge Viper is a "six-speed Tremec manual transmission" paired with "a twin-plate clutch" that Car and Driver says is "an industry first." Reviewers are equally impressed with the Dodge Viper 2008's transmission, and Cars.com writes that the "much shorter throws and clearly defined gates" make the Dodge Viper "a pleasure to operate." ConsumerGuide adds that the "clutch and gearshift demand deliberate action but are not taxing."
Previous versions of the Dodge Viper were notorious for their dismal fuel economy, but the Dodge Viper 2008 edition isn't quite as thirsty as its predecessors. The EPA estimates that the big V-10 will get 13 mpg in city driving and an impressive 22 mpg on the highway, when it can cruise along in higher gears with little effort. Cars.com writes that the fuel economy is "not great, but an improvement over the previous generation's 11/19 mpg."
Another area where older Dodge Vipers were criticized was handling, as they could be quite squirrelly when driven hard. Once again, Dodge has taken steps to address this, though Cars.com says that it's still easy to "go sideways at every opportunity, in almost any gear, sometimes even when going straight." Reviewers at The Detroit News appreciate the improvements, finding that "the Viper sticks to the road and handles remarkably better than the 2006 model it replaces," thanks to the "fully independent four-wheel suspension, as well as the new extra wide Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 high-performance tires." Those tires offer tremendous grip and, when combined with the "massive four-wheel antilock disc brakes," can stop the car "from 60 mph in just 104 feet," according to Edmunds. On the 2008 Dodge Viper ACR, Motor Trend writes that the "brakes are upgraded as well, with slotted two-piece StopTech 14-inch rotors providing enough stopping power to bring the Viper ACR to a halt from 60 mph in less than 100 feet." On the ride side, Kelley Blue Book says that Dodge Viper "engineers have notably improved ride comfort," and while "still harsher than an average sedan, the Viper's ride is now comparable with the Corvette Z06."
The 2008 Dodge Viper is one of the fastest and most capable street-legal racers on the planet.