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PERFORMANCE | 10 out of 10
brakes are upgraded as well, with slotted two-piece StopTech 14-inch rotors
the added engine power puts the Viper further into motorcycle territory
clutch and gearshift demand deliberate action but are not taxing
TheCarConnection.com editors are fans of the 2009 Dodge Viper for one big reason: performance. This is a true sportscar by any definition, and it's the fastest street-legal car you're likely to find from a new-car dealership—exotic marques aside.
In 2008, the Dodge Viper netted an "8.4-liter V10 that sends no less than 600 hp to the Viper's steamroller rear tires," according to Edmunds. The same engine is part of the 2009 Dodge Viper. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com are unanimously impressed by the strength of the V-10. Cars.com contends, "the added engine power puts the Viper further into motorcycle territory." ConsumerGuide calls the acceleration on the Dodge Viper "explosive, even at part-throttle, and from modest rpm." Car and Driver declares 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." Motor Trend points out that "most of the time, effort, and development dollars have been spent on stuff that makes [the Dodge Viper] go faster."
The 2009 Dodge Viper offers 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 2009's transmission. ConsumerGuide explains that the "clutch and gearshift demand deliberate action but are not taxing," and Cars.com attests that the "much shorter throws and clearly defined gates" make the Dodge Viper "a pleasure to operate."
The Dodge Viper 2009 edition isn't eco-friendly, but it also isn't quite as thirsty as its predecessors. Cars.com concedes that the fuel economy is "not great, but an improvement over the previous generation's 11/19 mpg." 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.
The 2009 Dodge Viper is iffy on handling, so drivers should know what they're doing. Cars.com attests that "the Viper has more lift-throttle oversteer than any production car I've driven, which creates a trap into which countless drivers have fallen." Though the new Viper is better than former models, 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."
On the 2009 Dodge Viper ACR, Motor Trend states 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." The combination of performance tires and "massive four-wheel antilock disc brakes" can stop the car "from 60 mph in just 104 feet," according to Edmunds.
The 2009 Dodge Viper won't disappoint on performance. This is what it is built to do—and it does it with aplomb.