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After 25 Years, Dodge Pulls the Plug (a Second Time) on the Viper

Posted June 27, 2016 10:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: dodge supercar viper

It began as a design exercise by Chrysler’s Advance Design Studios in 1988, and would have ended there if not for Bob Lutz’s crazy idea to build a Shelby Cobra for the modern age. Put into production for the 1992 model year, the Dodge (and later SRT) Viper soldiered on, gaining a coupe and adding horsepower, until its first execution in July of 2010. Reborn for the 2013 model year, the much-improved Viper failed to charm consumers, and a quarter-century after its debut, Dodge has once again announced the end of Viper production, this time in 2017.

The Viper has long been proof that “because you can” can sometimes be sufficient justification for building a halo sports car. From its very inception, the Viper was a single-digit salute to the automotive norm, featuring styling and colors as outlandish as the performance served up by its 8.0-liter V-10 engine. In 1992, when a base Corvette served up 300 horsepower and the ZR1 made 375 horsepower, the Viper rounded up to 400 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel the roadster from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 165 MPH. Though not specifically built for drag racing, the Viper was no slouch here, either, getting through the quarter-mile in the high 12s at a trap speed approaching 114 MPH.

The Viper leaves behind an underrated legacy.

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#1

Re: After 25 Years, Dodge Pulls the Plug (a Second Time) on the Viper

06/27/2016 5:19 PM

Almost as quick as a $6,000 motorcycle.

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#2
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Re: After 25 Years, Dodge Pulls the Plug (a Second Time) on the Viper

06/28/2016 2:12 PM

Yes, but you can survive a car accident and still be okay. I've known too many people who have permanent damage from a bike accident.

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Re: After 25 Years, Dodge Pulls the Plug (a Second Time) on the Viper

06/28/2016 6:33 PM

Everybody dies. Not everyone lives.

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Re: After 25 Years, Dodge Pulls the Plug (a Second Time) on the Viper

06/29/2016 10:48 AM

That's the motorcyclist's choice. Few motorcycle accidents kill other people.

I'm all for safety. There are also many people out there that love the thrills so much that they are not being rational about the dangers. I prefer those people would only put themselves at risk.

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Re: After 25 Years, Dodge Pulls the Plug (a Second Time) on the Viper

06/29/2016 3:28 AM

AKA "donormobile".

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Re: After 25 Years, Dodge Pulls the Plug (a Second Time) on the Viper

06/29/2016 2:30 PM

Like I said, not everyone lives.

I've been riding motorcycles on and off road for over thirty six years. I love the thrills but I understand and mitigate the risks. I've crashed, but I have never been involved in a crash with another vehicle. (1st was a dog running out from behind a car('78), 2nd was being cocky pulling a U-turn so sharply that the alternator cover ground into the pavement levering the front wheel off the road ('82) and the 3rd was a diesel spill on a dark roadway on the Presidio of San Francisco('87). My hyper-attention to the road and other vehicles has carried over into the four-wheeled world and in more than 600,000 road miles, I have not been involved in an accident. Not one. I am always scanning left and right, the road ahead, and my mirrors. I have learned to expect stupidity and be prepared to avoid it.

This is my latest ride when I picked it up at the dealer in 2007.

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Re: After 25 Years, Dodge Pulls the Plug (a Second Time) on the Viper

06/28/2016 3:06 PM

I come close enough to killing myself on a bicycle...

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Re: After 25 Years, Dodge Pulls the Plug (a Second Time) on the Viper

07/15/2016 5:52 PM

On a motorcycle, ultimately, safety is out of your hands. Its in the hands of other drivers. And in the hands of the road surface.

Yes, the Viper was greatly underrated. Just never drew the attention of the Vette. Rarely did reviewers pick it over the Corvette in one-on-one comparisons, even though the Viper had all the stats to take it over the top. Reviewers kept coming back to the "intangibles" of the Corvette. How do you top that?

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