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2008 Dodge Viper

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2008 Dodge Viper Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


Six-hundred horsepower, zero-to-60 miles-per-hour acceleration in less than four seconds, a reported top speed of more than 200 miles per hour, an improved highway ride and exemplary race-track behavior are all available for a starting price of about $86,000. That's the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10. ("SRT" stands for "Street and Racing Technology" Engineering, while "10" represents the number of cylinders in its engine.) This fourth-generation Viper comes in two body styles: A fixed-roof Coupe and the convertible Roadster. For now, the SRT10 stands alone atop the U.S. ultra-high-performance-car mountain, but expect a quick response from Chevrolet, at least.

You'll Like This Car If...

New body colors, striping options and interior choices mean 2008 Viper SRT10 owners will be able to personalize their vehicles. Better ride comfort, reduced clutch-pedal effort and shorter gearshift lever movements make driving easier. Track-day participants will appreciate the Viper's forgiving handling.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2008 Viper SRT10's small, offset speedometer is difficult to read. With the top down, the Roadster's high seating position provides too much of the wind-in-the-hair experience. With more power than many race cars, throttle applications must be smooth and judicious. Neither an automatic transmission nor stability control is offered.

What's Significant About This Car?

For 2008, the Viper STR10 gets 90 additional horsepower over the 2006 version (there was no 2007 model). Now at 8.4 liters (up from 8.3), its V10 is coupled to a stronger six-speed manual transmission with a racing-style twin-disc clutch. The latter two combine to both handle the additional power and reduce shifting effort. There are also new front fenders, while a revised hood features a larger intake scoop and functional air-exhaust vents.

Driving It Driving Impressions

Viper engineers have notably improved ride comfort with the 2008 Viper SRT10; switching away from stiff-sidewall run-flat tires helped. While still harsher than an average sedan, the Viper's ride is now comparable with the Corvette Z06. Steering is race-car precise without being darty, which is a way a race-car driver might describe steering that feels "too quick." The combination of the new easier-to-depress twin-disc clutch and the shorter distance required to move the shift lever reduces driver effort. The Viper's Brembo brakes have excellent feel and incredible stopping power. Even when the driver is wearing a helmet the Coupe still offers plenty of head room, but in the Roadster with the top down, a person of average height may likely have his or her hair well up in the windstream. Special Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires employ tread rubber nearly identical to the company's Pilot Sport Cup club-racing tires; it's unlikely anything this side of full-on race tires provides more grip.

Favorite Features

600 Horsepower
Many race-car drivers have never sampled as much horsepower as offered by the 2008 Viper SRT10. Any attempt to describe the sensation a driver feels the first time the gas pedal is held all the way to the floor will almost certainly fall far short of the exhilarating reality.

Improved Road Manners
Enhanced ride comfort, reduced effort needed to push the clutch and a shorter movement of the shift lever make the 2008 Viper SRT10 much more enjoyable on the highway.

Vehicle Details Interior

SRT overdid its self-proclaimed race-inspired image with the 2008 SRT10's large, center-mounted tachometer. The much-smaller speedometer is difficult to read, and the oil-pressure, oil-temperature and water-temperature gauges are hidden behind the steering wheel. Seats are designed like those in a race car, to hold occupants snugly during aggressive maneuvers, but will be a tight fit for many. The Coupe's trunk room falls far short of the Corvette's and the Roadster has even less space.

Exterior   photo

The 2008 SRT10's more angular front end is highlighted by a large, functional air-intake scoop. Also on the hood are a half-dozen vents that let air out of the engine compartment to reduce aerodynamic lift at high speed and help keep the V-10 cool. From the doors forward, the Coupe and Roadster are nearly identical (except for the Coupe's roof), and the Coupe's revised deck-lid spoiler enhances high-speed stability.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2008 Viper SRT10 comes in two body styles: The fixed-top Coupe and the convertible Roadster. Unlike early Vipers, anti-lock brakes are standard. Adjustable-position pedals and a speedometer that reads up to 220 miles per hour come on every car.

Notable Optional Equipment

Now available on SRT10s is a navigation system combined with SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Other options allow 2008 Viper SRT10 owners to personalize their vehicles. Any of eight exterior colors can be combined with any of five racing-stripe colors. In addition, five interior colors are offered, along with a choice of bezel finishes and three wheel styles.

Under the Hood

To increase horsepower from the 510 of the previous Viper to the 600 of the 2008 SRT10 demanded a long list of improvements. These include increased engine speed, higher compression ratio, freer-breathing cylinder heads with larger valves and a more-open intake manifold. Electronically controlled variable exhaust-valve timing adds power and also helps the engine meet stricter emissions requirements. Separate ignition coils are connected directly to each spark plug, rather than relying on a single coil. To maintain oil pressure during hard cornering, the SRT10 employs an oil pickup that swings to stay with the oil. The V10 is mated to a racing-style twin-disc clutch, which helps reduce pedal effort and enhances performance by reducing inertia compared to the previous single-disc arrangement. A new speed-sensing limited-slip differential helps put all that power to the ground.

8.4-liter V10
600 horsepower at 6100 rpm
560 lb.-ft. of torque at 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is about $86,000 for the Viper Roadster, with the Coupe starting around $1,000 higher. With every available option, the total price will reach about $94,000. In comparison, the MSRP for a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is about $71,000, with fully optioned versions topping out around $82,000. Be sure to check Fair Purchase Prices to see what buyers are actually paying in your area for the Viper SRT10. Due to low sales volume, Kelley Blue Book does not publish any resale values for this vehicle.

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