Flash Drive: 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10
This 2008 review is representative of model years 2008 to 2010.
By Staff of MSN Autos
At 35 degrees with summer performance tires, the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 is a real handful — rain or shine. With 600 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque on tap from the 8.4-liter V10, it takes a light touch with the right foot to not spin the tires at every stoplight. Ironically the new engine was developed to meet EPA emission regulations but the end result is more horsepower, a smoother idle and a quieter, cooler exhaust that makes the Viper easier to live with day-to-day. As much of a handful as the Viper is on the street, it’s a total blast on the track. At tire-warming temperatures the Viper feels like a 600-horsepower Miata if treated with the proper level of respect. Careful throttle inputs are still required, but the brakes are awesome, the steering is direct and the throttle can be used to steer the car. My recommendation: Park the Viper on cold winter days and head straight to the track in the spring. — Mike Meredith
If ever a car was named correctly, this one is it. The Viper is scary, temperamental, and if you don’t pay attention, it will bite. The interior is very basic —a radio, air conditioning, power windows and that’s about it. But that’s not why you buy a Viper. The reward for this purchase starts with the sound that emanates from those big, side-mounted pipes when you push the start button. The eruption is enough to scare small children. And that’s nothing compared to the fury of full-throttle driving. With 600 horses on tap, acceleration is ferocious — and with no electronic safety nets, driving a Viper requires your full attention. This is not a car for the timid or inexperienced, but there is certainly nothing like it on the road today. — Perry Stern
In the flesh, the Viper looks insanely low, wide and menacing, with hood creases so sharp you’ll think twice before leaning on it. The steering is razor sharp and provides stellar feedback. The obscenely wide rear tires tramline at the slightest invitation, and this expanse of rubber makes for rattled nerves on mottled pavement. Once you get some heat into those massive Michelins, on a smooth stretch of (preferably deserted) pavement the grip and thrust levels of the Viper are astounding. Acceleration is brutal, and does not let up even when leagues north of posted limits. With a muscle-building clutch and shifter, the Viper is a no frills machine (Heated seats? Cruise control? Go cry to your mama...). The form-fitting buckets grab you, the top is easy to drop, it makes great bellowing noises, and you’ve the power of a hydroelectric dam under your right foot. The Viper is hardly for anyone, but those few will love it. — Paul Seredynski