2009 Dodge Viper SRT-10: Minus One, Plus One.
August 23, 2010
The Viper purists are going to hate this one. Our 2009 Dodge Viper needs to have one button removed and one button added.
Removed? The Engine Start button. We're well past the day where this is a cool feature. After the third time you press the button it's just old. After you've dealt with a car with a keyless push button start, the "oh man I'm in a racecar!" push start feel is gone and you just want the Viper to start like a real car. Either keyless button or key-only. This halfsies stuff is irritating.
The other button I'm suggesting is the onethat'll really steam theVipernauts: A 'Sport" button. It can go right there where the Engine Start button used to be and it'll go a long way to make this 8.4-liter V10 feel more like the engine of a sports car and not like a massive V10 that got lost on its way to the Ram factory.
It's not that the Viper's motor doesn't have pull-- it does-- it's just that below about 3,000 rpm, the engine is a dog. You've gotta kick the gas hard and then wait before releasing the clutch. It's actually easier to bog the Viper than to spin the tires. A sport mode would tighten this up making the Viper more driveable at low speeds and moreappealing at high speeds.
Adding an electronic sport mode to the Viper is like adding low-end torque to an M3: Nobody will admit it would be better, but making it happen would make everyone happy.
Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Inside Line @ 15,258 miles.