Welcome back, Dodge! The 2008 Dodge Viper

In my overview of the 2006 Dodge Viper SRT10, I asked the question “Is there no limit to the amount of horsepower that Dodge can cram into the Viper?” And after taking a year off from the Viper to go take a look at the drawing board see what they could erase, rethink, and redesign, Dodge gave me an answer. “No!” Viper enthusiasts have always demanded more power from their vehicular idol. Dodge has always delivered, this time by adding a staggering 90 horsepower to the Viper’s now 8.4-liter V-10 engine, for a total of 600. This throws the gauntlet back at Chevy, whose Corvette (which the Viper has been competing with for years), only has a measly 505hp.

Having that many horses galloping under one hood produces a lot of residual heat, and the hood was redesigned with larger scoops to remove this excess heat. Quite a bit in the Viper changed to make the engine more efficient, while improving the performance. The 2008 Dodge Viper SRT actually meets California’s Low Emission Vehicle Standards, a huge step for those of us who are environmentally minded. Introduced to the Viper line is a twin-disc clutch, replacing the older single disc, which makes the clutch actually easier to use and feel. The new TR6060 transmission also brings more torque to the Viper, and creates less shifter movement, again, making driving this monster easier.

So what exactly does 600hp give you? Well, I think it is rather obvious to say that the 0-60mph time is a ways under 4 seconds, perhaps even in the mid-3s. The 0-100-0mph is under 12 seconds and (I like this one), the 60-0mph stop distance is under 100 feet. A top speed doesn’t seem to have been released, but honestly, can close to 200mph really be improved on that much by an internal combustion engine?

Scheduled for release in the summer of this year (2007), the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 will be available both as the Coupe and as the Roadster Convertible. The Coupe, because of its more rigid body, will function better at the high speeds were not allowed to reach on the road in the new (or any) Viper. It also has a little more than 6 cubic feet more trunk space than the Roadster (for a grand total of 14.65), a nice bonus, though in the grand scheme of the Viper, probably not high on a priority list for a potential buyer. Which I am not, both because I couldn’t afford the hefty price tag (hey, I write for a living) and because I am quite certain that 600hp is too much car for me to handle. As Dodge keeps making this beast more and more powerful, they should seriously start thinking about classes for future owners, to learn how to control 600hp.

Check out some of these links:

A video from Motortrend Magazine about the 2008 Dodge Viper at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show

A press release from Dodge about the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10

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