Shopping for a new Dodge SRT Viper?
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STYLING | 10 out of 10
not exactly unobtrusive
angular front end
Kelley Blue Book
hard to read" gauges
much cleaner...than the previous model
The 2010 Dodge Viper is one of the unforgettables; a late entry into the world of supercars, the Viper's taken its place among Chevy Corvettes and Porsche 911s in the history and racing books, though it's only been on the market since 1993. Built in Detroit as a two-seat coupe or convertible-or a club racer, straight from the factory-the 2010 Viper stickers just under $90,000 and competes directly with the 911 and the 'Vette, though penny savers might also compare it to Ford's Shelby Mustang GT500.
The Viper's been a brashly styled supercar from the moment it was born. Only two generations old, the Viper's been offered in the original, more cartoonish body style from the 1990s (which also came, briefly, as a roofed coupe), and in today's composite-fabricated shape, which is significantly cleaner, more streamlined, and maybe a little less outrageous than before. The shape bowed in 2003, and it's still the stuff of dreams for countless teenagers over the years. Its long, curvy hood and bubble-shaped roofline continue to look the part. Cars.com sums it up nicely: "Look at this thing. It's not exactly unobtrusive." A slight redesign in 2008 brought it a bigger hood scoop and more louvers for cooling its big engine and brakes, and nothing's changed for 2010. Kelley Blue Book points out that the 2010 Dodge Viper's "more angular front end is highlighted by a large, functional air-intake scoop," and "on the hood are a half-dozen vents that let air out of the engine compartment." And while "some observers dismiss the Viper's styling as the stuff of grade-school boys' daydreams," Cars.com says, it's an icon to others, too. For even more boy-racer appeal, there's the Viper ACR, which adds "a number of aero elements," including "front 'dive planes' on either side of the front fascia, a variable geometry 'fanged' front spoiler," and an "adjustable rear wing," Motor Trend observes.
The Viper's interior begs for change-but like the body panels, it's also unchanged. The tight two-seat cockpit remains a mishmash of pieces from the Dodge parts bin, all cloaked in varying qualities of black plastic. The white-faced gauges are big and clear, though, and the ancillary gauges arc down the center console, dead-ending in a big red Stop button. It's so simple a child could run the Viper-though that's obviously not a great idea-but the layout means "the oil-pressure, oil-temperature and water-temperature gauges are hidden behind the steering wheel," according to Kelley Blue Book. For its money, The Detroit News feels that the Dodge Viper's interior is "much cleaner and better made than the previous model," and "it's more refined."
The 2010 Dodge Viper has achieved icon status in record time, though its slapdash cockpit isn't nearly as fascinating as its vented, scooped, and wedged body.