KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
- Updated Date: 8/6/2013
Between minivans, hybrids and the intensifying domestication of sports cars, one might suppose the automotive industry has gone soft. Enter the 2014 SRT Viper, the antithesis of well-mannered automobiles. On public roads, the Viper's raucous nature and lack of creature comforts make it one of the least refined supercars on the market, but in a way, that's part of the appeal. The Viper's main attraction is its 640-horsepower naturally aspirated V10, which, combined with wide gear ratios and wind-cheating bodywork, enables a dash to 60 mph in about three seconds and a top speed of 206 mph. Although slightly more livable than previous iterations, the 2014 Viper is not for everyone. That said, the similarly priced Corvette ZR1, Nissan GT-R and Aston Martin Vantage deserve a look.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're willing to give up sophistication and prestige for raw performance in your next supercar, the 2014 SRT Viper is worth a test drive. Louder than a jackhammer, unforgiving as a hangman's knot, and armed with the most powerful naturally aspirated engine in the world, the SRT Viper is also a compelling proposition for those who believe too much is never enough.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Most modern supercars now come standard with an automatic gearbox or offer one as an option. Apparently the SRT Viper didn't get the memo. What's more, the supercharged Ford GT500 produces more horsepower than the Viper and costs roughly half the price.
What's New for 2014
For 2014, a new limited-edition Viper TA joins the lineup as the most intense street-legal Viper ever produced. SRT plans to build only 33 examples of the TA – which stands for Time Attack – all done in Crusher Orange paint and optimized to showcase the car's formidable potential on a racetrack.
This 2nd-generation Viper is meant to be more civilized, and it is. But that's only relative to its past incarnations, the first of which didn't even have side windows. The 2014 Viper is indeed more comfortable and amenity-laden than its predecessors, but it's still basically a street-legal racecar. And what makes it work as a track car hinders it as an ordinary one. The interior is tight, visibility is limited, the ride is rough, and there's the constant roar of the engine and tires. Cargo space, too, is stingy, so you'll have to plan your shopping trip accordingly.
But the Viper's performance is simply exhilarating. That massive, naturally aspirated engine just gives and gives, and those wide tires help the Viper cling to the road. We found the 6-speed manual transmission a bit notchy but enjoyed its short throws. And the stability-control system works just as intended, letting you enjoy a slide before it kicks in to tame the tail. As a daily driver the Viper is a compromise, but for jaunts on winding roads or at the track, it's a blast. Be forewarned, though: The Viper's violent power delivery and quick steering ratio can make it handful to drive – even for experienced drivers.
The Viper's heart is also its headline. As it should be. This is what enables the Viper to rocket from 0 to 60 mph in the low 3-second range and propels it to a top speed of 206 mph. More than an engine, this is an adrenaline factory – and its product output corresponds with your right-foot travel.
The SRT Viper is meant for driving, not fidgeting with electronics. Fortunately, the Viper's Uconnect system is perhaps the most user-friendly infotainment platform available. From its massive 8.4-inch touch screen to its conversational voice-recognition software, Uconnect is the new standard in vehicle connectivity.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…