Dodge Viper First Year
Guide Viper – The beast from the Wild West
Dodge Viper Generation I © press-inform – das Pressebuero Hardly any production sports car of the past 40 years has been as martial, as rugged and as unashamedly American as the Viper, which has been sold under the Chrysler and Dodge brands since the early 1990s. Slowly, the spectacular US sports car is becoming a sought-after classic. Is there a more American sports car than the legendary Corvette or the Ford Mustang that has impressed for decades? Both have unique histories and a fan base that could hardly be more American. But no US sports car is as scary as the Dodge Viper. Not a car for boys or even women, but for supposedly tough guys who have their Western boots and denim frock in the closet. Let’s go wild! At the end of the 1980s, hardly anyone thought that the Viper RT/10 Concept study would ever become reality on public roads – especially in Europe. The beefy sports car design with piercing slit eyes was simply unique, and the drive concept with the massive naturally aspirated V10 engine was hardly inferior to its looks. A racing car for the road, which carried its name Viper rightly, because this Viper already made a lot of fear in the standstill. A car that, apart from its never-ending hood, consisted of little more than a V10 engine, steering wheel, a gigantic exhaust system and two only moderately comfortable seats that felt like they were attached to the rear axle.
The behemoth from the Wild West
It’s no wonder that the Viper, especially in its first generation, drove like what a naked ride on a cannonball must have felt like. ABS, ESP or traction control? No way! The 1992 production model hardly looked any different from the 1989 study – the new American muscle car was born and eclipsed everything that had gone before. The contrast to the Japanese sedans from Toyota, Mazda or Nissan that invaded the United States from the mid-1980s could hardly be greater. It was precisely as a GTS Coupé that it made the leap to the international racetracks, was used in Indy-Pacecar and in some GT racing series, where the competition was mostly lacking, because hardly any other bolide had so much power. The tubular steel construction with fiberglass-reinforced plastic made the body comparatively easy to renew and resharpen, especially for racing and any foreign contacts.
Stronger and stronger – faster and faster
Over the years, the brute Dodge Viper, which was sometimes offered in Europe as the Chrysler Viper RT/10, became stronger and faster. From the initial 290 kW / 394 hp, the eight-liter ten-cylinder brute of a behemoth first produced 420 and then up to 456 hp. The top speed rose over the years from just under 270 to almost 300 km/h. It certainly takes courage to race the American thunderbird on highways or even race tracks. Obligatory remained thanks to the shameless V10 engine, the roaring sound and a bony six-speed manual transmission on the almost indecently wide center tunnel. The Targa or Roadster version is good to drive with the roof down. The cap construction itself is usually anything but tight in used cars after all these years and mutates into a buzzkill at higher speeds. You can leave the roof open and let it blow dry. For many fans, only the first Viper generation, produced from 1992 to 1998 at the Conner Avenue Assembly plant, is the real Viper. On the other hand, the raging snake made a huge leap from 2003 in the second edition, in which the quality was significantly improved, the handling became easier to calculate and the engine power increased to 372 kW / 506 hp and a massive 711 Nm thanks to the increase in displacement to 8.3 liters. The open roadster version managed a top speed of almost 310 km/h despite its tight cloth cap; the GTS coupe version with its 8.4-liter V10 engine, which was only offered in the U.S., later even reached more than 320 km/h thanks to 612 hp. The third-generation Viper SRT, available from the beginning of 2013, has no market relevance in Europe; its 8.4-liter V10 produced 477 kW / 649 hp and was discontinued in 2017 due to low demand.
Whichever variant it is – the propulsion of the V-10 unit is brutal. Omnipotently, the Dodge presses its maximum of two occupants into the seats and facial features seem to slip when accelerating. The speed can’t be judged by cars, flowers or rows of houses flying by alone. Once the power unit revs above the 3,500 rpm mark, you can hardly understand your words in the roadster. You can safely turn off the sound system. Powerful explosions under the hood press the 1.6 ton Viper relentlessly forward. The ill-fitting convertible roof whistles annoyingly in the background even in the second generation Viper. The supply on the European used car market has been exceedingly thin for years. Most of the cars on offer are the Dodge Viper II, available from 2003 onwards, which starts at around 50,000 euros with manageable mileages, in some cases well below 60,000 km. Some models have been imported from the USA or painfully tuned. Especially here, you should be careful when looking for your own dream car. In the U.S., models can be had from around 35,000 euros – plus the corresponding customs, transport and conversion costs. Parts supply is better than many people think – the U.S. exchanges supply most parts without any problems, and maintenance is hardly more expensive than for mass-market cars like the Corvette or Ford Mustang. Particularly coveted throughout Europe are the GTS coupe variants of the Viper, which quickly cost over 75,000 euros depending on mileage, condition and engine. If you’re a fan of US cars, love roaring sound and want to stand out at all costs, the Chrysler / Dodge Viper is the right choice. pressinform #themes
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All information about the generation: Viper SRT I
The first generation Dodge Viper (GTS) was launched in 1992. The Dodge Viper was available as a two-seater coupe and convertible. In Europe, the Viper was distributed by Chrysler. The Viper was offered with an 8.0 liter gasoline engine with 384 to 456 horsepower. The last Dodge Viper GTS rolled off the production line in 2002. More information, tests, driving reports and used car tips can be found here.
Data at a glance
|Last new price||90,294 EUR|
|0-100 km/h||from 4,6 – 4,6 seconds|
|CO2 emission||from 480 – 480 (g/km)|
All data and variants
In cooperation with Schwacke Viper SRT I Coupe
|Dimensions (L/W/H)||448/193/122 – 448/193/122 cm|
Viper SRT I Coupe Petrol
|Type designation (availability)||kW (HP)||0-100 km/h||Consumption (CO2)||Price from (€)||Cyl.||Gearbox||Displacement (ccm)||Seats/Doors|
|Viper (1998 – 2001)||282 (384)||4.6 sec.||20.2 l comb. (480 g/km)||90.294||12, V-shape||6 speed manual transmission||7,990 cc||2 / 2|
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