2009 Dodge Viper SRT10: Viperoadtrip Wrap-up
July 19, 2010
Screw freeways. I wanted tohave some fun in the 2009 Dodge Viper during the long haul back to Los Angeles.
Highway 24,a long, straight stetch off I-70 about 12 miles west of Green River, UT, was the first leg in this side journey. Be aware that the Viper trulyhas a hunger for triple digits. Its high-speed stability and loafing engine makes 100 feel like 40, 120 like 60. On this road,the Viperfound speed of its ownaccord. I swear, officer.
In Torrey, UT, we took Highway 12 south. Now this is what we're after -- the tedium of Hwy 24 makes this car guy's paradise that much more welcome, and it's the the kind of place to which you vow to return. Sinuous bends and turns and rises and dips etched through aspen woods and brutal rock outcroppings made bizarre by eons of erosion.Completely fantastic. Many passing zones, too. The Viper's massive thrust and grip flattened the hills with zero effort.
Portions of this gobsmacking tarmac bliss findthe Viper out of its element. Its huge proportions make it unsuited for threading the tighter segments, and it can become unsettled by bumps. There's also an apparenthitch in the steering off center, where the ratio seems to abruptly increase. In reality the ratio is constant and it is the loading that varies, but the resulting sensitivity to steering inputs requires some adjustment.
Still, enormous fun. We eventually hit 89 South to Zion and ripped out a couple-mile hike in our sneakers. Daylight lingers til 10pm, which really mucks with your brain's dinner bell.
We then found I-15 and headed south, with the memory of Highway 12 beckoning us back another day.
For the round trip in the Viper, we covered 2,326 miles,averaged 20 mpg, got shaken down by the fuzz once, consumed 14 liters of water and smashed 1,479 insects. We learned that roadtripping in a Viper isn't logical or the kind of thing you'd elect to repeat, but is an experience that shouldn't be passed up if the offer arises.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 13,544 miles.