When I first gazed eyes on the Dodge Viper back in 1992 I didn't know what to think. I immediately knew it was something special. That flared nose, that wide body and slithery front end were something out a adolescent's wet dream. If you wanted a unique look and V-10 engine, you couldn't go wrong. Hell, even Jay Leno fell in love with the Viper adding a few to his immense garage. There's only one problem with all this praise, the car sucks. I know, you're probably outraged...but the truth hurts. Even the most recent model, especially the most recent model, is a disappointment on many levels.
Let's get the cool stuff out of the way first. Yes, it does have a very powerful engine and yes, it is a pretty sweet looking ride. Dodge was able to keep the angry, aggressive "Viper" look and yet still restyle the whole beast for modernity's sake. Ok so now the crap stuff. It is not as much of a drivers' car as you might think. The shifter is high effort and not at all refined. The footwells get so hot that drivers are instructed to wear socks to prevent burns. The same goes with the door sills...and the shifter. The Viper, which starts at $90,000, has no cruise control or traction control, the latter being a necessity when trying to put 500 hp to the ground. The suspension is very firm. Overly firm. Knock your fillings out firm. Driving around town the panels squeak like little birds all around the cabin even during the slightest of potholes.
In this modern world of technological advances and improved materials, the Dodge Viper is a paria. The SRT-10's engine is a fantastic power plant, but the car that comes wrapped around it was never designed to be anything more than a halo car. Impressive in certain areas, yes, but exceptionally deficient in many others. Maybe on the track the Dodge Viper is a master of all tasks, I recommend keeping it there.
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