2009 Dodge Viper

Written By Tony Tran on Thursday, June 23, 2011 | 11:06 AM


When it comes to super cars, European automakers typically represents refinement, couture style and technological development, to the point of sterility. Here in the States, super cars is relatively raw, visceral and robust to the point of brutality. We are the ankle to their scalpel, that bucking Bronco to show their horse and Bourne for their Bond. For better or worse, this is how we roll.

The current third-generation Viper maintains tension and soul in 1989, Carroll Shelby-inspired concept, with the required low-slung body, long hood houses a massive V10, comically wide tires and gruff side exhaust pipes. The Dodge Viper not ask for permission and makes no excuses. Despite the technological advances in the last two decades, the Viper has just enough safety to make it legal to delegate the remaining responsibilities to the hands and feet of the driver. If efficiency is in itself not enough to cause palpitations, believes that traction and stability control are not available, and circumstances can go from exhilarating to terrifying in short order.

It is this unfiltered, uncomplicated character, which makes the Viper so attractive to enthusiasts, hearkening back to epochs when the driver was heroic, rugged and based on the seats of their pants instead of electronic aids. For those seeking more comfort, refinement and everyday driving manners, there is always the Corvette Z06, various European offerings such as the Audi R8 and Porsche 911, and even Nissan's new GT-R. But the 2009 Dodge Viper best the Z06 in almost every relevant performance metric and is significantly cheaper than something similar from the old world. Ultimately it comes down to what you're willing to compromise - performance or finesse.

Body style, trim levels, and Options

2009 Dodge Viper SRT-10 is offered as either a two-seat coupe or a soft-top roadster. For the standard price of admission, you get huge forged-aluminum wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires measure 275/35R18 front and 345/30R19 in back. Inside, the Viper comes with race-inspired seats, power-adjustable pedals, full power accessories, a tilting steering wheel, keyless entry and an in-dash six-disc CD changer mated to a seven-speaker, 300-watt audio system. Since the Viper is more show than go, cosmetics and convenience options are scarce. Racing stripes, paint and wheel options, instrument-panel trim, a two-tone interior, navigation and satellite radio are all on offer.

The high performance-enhancing opportunity Viper is American Club Racer (ACR) package, which is only available for the Coupe variant. Although street legal, ACR is clearly intended for track use. The package adds carbon fiber aerodynamic devices, including a massive wing mounted high above the tail, a front splitter, Fender-mounted dive planes and further body treatments. All this Aero work resulting in a claimed 1000 pounds of down force at 150 km / h. Lighter wheels shodě with stickier tires (both slightly wider in front), lighter brake rotors, a stiffer suspension with 14-way adjustable shocks and deleted foglamps round of the ACR package. Ultimately, the ACR weighs in 46 pounds lighter than the standard Coupe.

In the spirit of "you can never go too far," ACR package can be further strengthened with the hard core of the package. In general, expect an extra performance to cost more, but the hard core option is free - primarily because the package eliminates opportunities that are not trail-essential. Delete Inger includes radio, speakers, amplifier, trunk upholstery, hood pad and tire inflation. Weight savings amount to an additional 42 pounds - not a lot, but every ounces counts on the track.

Power Trains and Performance

During the Viper's Louverne cap is an imposing 8.4-liter V10 engine that thunder out 600 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. It is enough to propel the sleek snake from zero to 60 km / h in 3.7 seconds. Quarter-mile is a memory in a simple 11.8 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 200 mph. All this merriment is funneled to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, which is the only transmission available.

Fuel economy - though obviously a reflection of exotic sports - registers an EPA-rated city / country of 13/22 mpg and 16 mpg in combined driving.


The best security for the 2009 Dodge Viper is not included in the car. It is a driver with great skill, preferably with a racing pedigree. What is included, however, are anti-lock brakes with huge 14-inch rotors that can stop the Viper from 60 km / h on an eye-bulging 104 feet. Thus, absent the side airbags, traction and stability control - and it makes skills in the aforementioned driver even more critical

Interior design and special features

Getting may also be a challenge. Because of the trademark side exhaust, since thresholds can get hot enough to burn your calves, and more drivers will find that the little door opening inhibit entry and exit.

The overall design of the Viper's interior is a little sad, but it can be livened up a bit with the optional two-tone color schemes and dash panel inserts. The black-on-white-faced gauges are easy to read and well equipped. The large tachometer is mounted centrally in the instrument pod, next to 220-mph speedometer, max. Amid console can accommodate additional gauges, audio system with six-CD changer, climate and a lush red engine start button to fire up the V10.

Driving Impressions

2009 Dodge Viper is raw, raw, loud and unrefined compared with other sports, and therein lies much of its appeal. As with previous generations, when you pin the gas pedal, you will be attached to the backs. Jam on the brakes, and you can feel your internal organs Slam against your rib cage. Novices can appreciate the Viper's straight-line power and anger, but only advanced drivers should examine its cornering limits.

The control is precise and offers enough feedback to throw the Viper deep into turns, while judicious amount of throttle from a deft right foot can pass his nose with smart-bomb accuracy. But the sniper-like accuracy can be achieved with a sharper, brighter artists like Z06 or range-topping Porsche. Get it right in a Viper and the payoff is immediate and plentiful. Get it wrong and you will be dependent on every car-control skills you've ever learned. Barring shocks or damage, either outcome is the game entertaining and rewarding.


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