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2015 Dodge Viper

Overview
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2015 Dodge Viper Review

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The 2015 Dodge Viper is America's lone exotic car, distinct from the everyday-drivable Chevrolet Corvette Z06 thanks to its unparalleled wildness. But the Viper's raw, untamed nature adds to its appeal while simultaneously preventing it from ever being as widely adopted as its Chevrolet competitor. The 645-horsepower V10 engine displacing a whopping 8.4 liters is part of the mystique as it thrums and spits under the long hood, routing its exhaust through side pipes ready to singe your pants as you exit. Compared to the original, sure, the Viper's been tamed, but it remains the antithesis of a well-mannered automobile. If you're looking for livability, get the Corvette, Aston Martin Vantage or Nissan GT-R. If you're looking for pure, unadulterated insanity, then here you go.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you consider engine vibration a gentle massage, if you want a soundtrack dominated by the roar of a powerful engine, and if you want to generate envy and anger from passersby all at the same time, then the 2015 Dodge Viper SRT is exactly what you need.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite its braggadocio, the Viper is actually handily out-performed by a wide variety of other cars, and not all of them are hyper-expensive Italian exotics. The new Chevrolet Corvette Z06, for example, costs a little less than a Viper, but is faster, handles better and is far more civilized.

What's New for 2015

The biggest news for the 2015 Dodge Viper is the reintroduction of the "Dodge" label itself. Additionally, a new mid-priced GT model offers nicer interior appointments, and the track-ready Time Attack model returns with more available colors. On top of that, Dodge reduced the starting price by $15,000.

Driving the Viper
Driving Impressions

Driving the 2015 Dodge Viper quickly is like running with the bulls at Pamplona, Spain: frantic, exhilarating, loud and with the ever-present possibility of slipping up and getting gored. You...

... adrenaline junkies get it. The big V10 engine throws its power to the rear tires with glee, and the 6-speed manual transmission features a tight, notchy action that demands a deliberate hand. The adjustable suspension settings do help, but even at their softest you'll never mistake this for a luxury cruiser, even with the interior's higher-end materials, including available Alcantara seating upholstery, carbon-fiber accents and soft-touch surfaces. But while it's fun when you're driving it like a bank-robbery getaway car, the Viper grates on you when you treat it like a normal ol' car. The engine noise becomes an unsexy groan, and the climate control can't counter the heat from the engine and side-exhaust pipes.

8.4-LITER V10
That long hood on the Dodge Viper hides its heart and headline: an 8.4-liter V10 engine that's responsible for the car's low 3-second 0-to-60-mph time and 206-mph top speed. It's one of those rare engines that just pours out more and more power, seemingly without end.

UCONNECT INFOTAINMENT
One nod to civility in the Dodge Viper is the inclusion of Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment system. Similar to what you'll find in a wide variety of Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles, the Viper's Uconnect system's 8.4-inch touch screen offers big icons, making it easy to tap your way around the system.

2015 Dodge Viper Details
Interior

Opt for a 2015 Dodge Viper GT or GTS model and you get Alcantara upholstery, soft-touch surfaces and extra sound deadening. The long hood seems to extend to the horizon, the seats hug you like a long-lost friend, and Uconnect is state-of-the-art. But just getting into the Viper over the wide sills requires surprising dexterity, even if they haven't been heated to cooking temperatures by the side-mounted exhaust pipes. The grippy seats are great in corners, but get downright uncomfortable on longer stretches. And even with the added sound deadening, the Viper's interior is a noisy place to conduct business.

Exterior

The Dodge Viper's long, curved nose sports six vents on the hood – think of them as a "six-pack" – and the hood shakes just a bit as the car's V10 engine idles. The fastback shape looks fast, the huge scoops behind the front fenders are big enough to stick your arm through, and the twin-bubble dome over the cockpit is a throwback to race cars of days past. Yet, despite its apparent length, the Viper is smaller than you think; at 175.7 inches, the Viper is actually an inch shorter than a Porsche 911.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The roughly $86,000 you'll play for a base Dodge Viper is a big sum, and mostly goes toward the big engine and other performance hardware. Base models get automatic climate control, vinyl padding on the interior trim, leather on the shift knob, parking-brake handle and steering-wheel rim, and cloth seats. A 12-speaker harman/kardon surround-sound audio system comes standard, as does the Uconnect media center with its USB input, which includes the Dodge/SRT performance pages app. Also included is a day at the SRT Track Experience, giving SRT owners the chance to experience high-performance machinery on the track.

Optional Equipment

If you're getting the base Dodge Viper, the most important upgrade is the TA 2.0 package, which essentially turns your Viper into a race car with special tires, suspension upgrades and a host of other components. Viper GT buyers get leather seats with Alcantara inserts, or they can upgrade to sport bucket seats. GT models also get a 2-mode suspension. Go for the Dodge Viper GTS and you'll get special "Venom" polished aluminum wheels and a standard 18-speaker audio system. You can also order the Ceramic Blue package, which adds special paint, carbon-fiber brake ducts and other upscale trim.

Under the Hood

There's only one engine for the 2015 Dodge Viper SRT: an 8.4-liter V10 pumping out a whopping 645 horsepower to the rear wheels. There's no supercharger, no turbocharger, just 10 pistons pumping up and down furiously. It sends that power, along with the 600 lb-ft of torque, to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission. That's it. No automatic, no all-wheel drive, and the only reason stability control even exists is because it's the law (the old Viper didn't have it). Despite the huge torque loads, the Viper's clutch is surprisingly light and progressive. While the shifter isn't smooth, it's easy enough to use once you get used to its notchy engagement. However, the Viper drinks premium gasoline with a seemingly unquenchable thirst.

8.4-liter V10
645 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
600 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/20 mpg

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