by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on June 28, 2016
Time flies when you're having fun and this last year was far too short thanks to our long-term Viper. Depending on who you believe, this may be the end of the line for the Viper's production, too.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on June 17, 2016
OK, so I didn't find an easter egg in the Viper, my passenger did. We've had our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper for 11 months now and somehow I've missed this little detail the entire time. While we were riding along, my passenger said "Hey, what's this." I knew what it was as soon as I looked at it. Can you guess?
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on June 16, 2016
When I first arrived at the Memorial Day barbecue, I parked up the street, away from the action. But then, my friend Matt, one of the hosts, asked what I was driving.
"The Viper," I said. His eyes lit up. I volunteered to pull it into the driveway for official car-guy inspection. Suddenly playing cornhole could wait. There was a new centerpiece at the party: the Edmunds long-term 2015 Dodge Viper.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on June 14, 2016
We've been remiss. We didn't update our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper's fuel economy last month. As an apology, here's a two-month update on the V10 powerhouse that currently sits at the top of our in-house leaderboard for worst MPG.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on June 10, 2016
Our 2015 Dodge Viper flew over the 20,000-mile mark the way it was meant to — on a race track at wide open throttle.
"Would you buy one?" my passenger asks, climbing out after a few hot laps around Big Willow. "Because I think I really want one now."
I tell him that it isn't really my style, so probably not. But I empathize with his sentiment: adrenaline can be a powerfully addictive drug.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on June 8, 2016
The LA Car Connection and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation have hosted an annual track day for the last five years to raise money for the fight against Type 1 Diabetes. The event draws a good crowd and with it a good group of cars — the types of cars that are too often locked in temperature-controlled prisons rather than running wild as they were meant to.
But not today.
For the second consecutive year, Edmunds was invited to join the good battle for the cause. So, we brought the along the most potent weapon in our arsenal, the 2015 Dodge Viper.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on May 27, 2016
All good things must come to an end, and so goes my time with our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper. I knew it wouldn't be around forever, but that doesn't make me any less sorry. I've really enjoyed every curve, every shift and every time the rear starts to slip when you flat foot in through first, second and third.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on May 23, 2016
by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on May 16, 2016
The debate rages on. Can you drive a Viper every day?
After living with our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper GT for 11 months and over 19,000 miles some members of our staff say yes while some say absolutely not.
I'm in the yes camp. I would happily drive our Viper every day. But I admit the circumstances have to be right.
Here are a few tips to fitting a Dodge Viper into your daily life.
by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on May 10, 2016
Yes, that's a picture of a 21-year old me in the very first Dodge Viper ever built. And yes that's Carroll Shelby driving. Yes, the Carroll Shelby.
We were at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway back in 1991 for the 500. Ol Shel', less than a year after his first heart transplant, was pacing the race in Dodge's soon to be supercar (sales were still about a year away) and I was fresh out of college and working at my first gig, mopping floors at Mopar Action magazine.
Originally the Dodge Stealth was to be the pace car that year, but when middle America realized the twin-turbo all-wheel drive super coupe was built in Japan by Mitsubishi (it was a twin to the Mitsubishi 3000GT) and would be the first pace car not built on American soil, the backlash was loud enough to put Chrysler's PR machine into swift action. Under the supervision of Bob Lutz himself the Stealth was replaced with a pre-production Viper dressed up to look production ready and then they put a "America's Enzo Ferrari" behind the wheel.
Everyone was happy. And then, they invited members of the automotive press to the track the Friday before the race to get rides in the car around the track with Shelby driving. Which is where I came in.
I've driven many Vipers over the years, but every time I drive our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper GT I think back to that day. I can't help it. I was just a kid. A kid in the presence of greatness: the man, the car and the track. It's hard to believe it was 25 years ago.
A few days later, after the race, I wrote an article about the experience, which was published in the October 1991 issue of Mopar Action. I dug it out last week and included it here in its entirety. I think it still holds up, what do you think?
"Exiting turn two, Carroll Shelby — Ol Shel' — shifts fifth gear and really puts his foot in it. Without hesitation, the Viper digs in and accelerates down Indy's back straight. "Sixth gear is for Uncle Sam," yells Shelby over the exhaust gurgle and wind noise. "We don't need it."
The five-point seat belt holds me tight to the leather seat. My muscles are tense. I'm scared. I make a bid to check the speedometer, but the safety restraints won't let me. The smaller console mounted gauges are easily visible. The Viper is running strong. The white face tach holds at 3800 rpm.
"Even at one forty, steady as a rock," Shelby yells looking over with a schoolboy grin. Reality sets in. My mind fills with the number — one hundred forty miles an hour. That's fast in anyone's book.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on May 6, 2016
I believe I've made my feelings about our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper quite clear by now. I'm not going to bore you by repeating myself. Suffice to say that I grab the key whenever the opportunity presents itself.
The last time the Viper was in my possession, I attached my GoPro to the side and headed down a short stretch of Angeles Crest Highway, one of my favorite roads in Southern California. The audio was trash, so I decided to speed the whole thing up and present it that way.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on May 4, 2016
Our 2015 Dodge Viper may be a polarizing vehicle in terms of how it drives, but there's no debate about the styling. Or there shouldn't be, at least. I've driven the thing countless times by now, and I still catch myself admiring the rear three-quarter view like it's a poster in my childhood bedroom.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on April 26, 2016
I was transporting a bottle of wine one night. Rather than let it roll around on the passenger seat, I crammed it into one of the cupholders behind my elbow. When I arrived at the dinner location, I grabbed the wine and out came the cupholder tray attached to the heel of the bottle. And there it was, a subtle nod to the company's founders.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on April 22, 2016
"Niiice car," my neighbor says from her driveway, her pitch rising through the first word.
"That car is so awesome," says one of the neighborhood kids. "Can I sit in it?"
Even the door-to-door salesman chimes in.
"Oh maaaaaaaan!!! I've been saving you for last, bro. That car, man! Oh man, can I just have a look inside?"
You know, I feel lucky enough to have a job where I drive and write about cars, so I always try to oblige someone this small gesture. What I don't realize until later of course, after he's relieved me of $40 for some non-toxic, all-purpose super cleaner, is that our 2015 Dodge Viper was a well-timed and easy sales opener.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on April 18, 2016
Our time with the 2015 Dodge Viper is winding down. We still have two months to enjoy it, but the blue beast does a lot of sitting around these days. Seems like most of us have had our fill. Inspired by Josh's recent post about the Viper's livability as an errand runner, I decided to revisit the car before it was too late.
Immediately after contorting myself into the front seat, I remembered why I'd earlier vowed that I'd had enough Viper for one lifetime. Part of it is my height, or lack thereof. At 5-foot-6, I've got the pedals max forward and the seat pretty far forward just to work the clutch pedal. With no telescoping function, the steering wheel feels like it's nearly in my chest. But it's kind of an agreeable racecar-ish seating position and I can deal with it.
The next reminder of why I don't drive the Viper more often came minutes later on the freeway heading home, trying to collect my internal organs shook loose by the Viper's ride. Look, I know it's silly to complain about the ride comfort of a car like this. But at one point I mused that being towed behind a car while lying down on my skateboard would've been more comfortable. The suspension was set in normal mode.
by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on April 13, 2016
When we weren't scything through traffic in our 2015 Dodge Viper, ah who are we kidding. All we do is scythe through traffic.
March saw us put another 1000 or so miles on the clock, discover that indeed exhaust pipes get dirty, admit to a too early damnation of a magnificent and visceral beast, and discovery of the joys of erranding around Los Angeles in our blue meanie. Did I mention we scythed through traffic? 'Cause we did that, too.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on March 28, 2016
Our 2015 Dodge Viper has received its fair share of criticism as a daily driver. Editor Frio was "not sold" on its cargo-carrying ability and Editor Riswick memorably wasn't sold on anything. I can't really disagree, but at the same time, I developed some genuine affection for the Viper while running errands over the past few days.
In fact, I'm here to tell you that there's no current long-termer I'd rather drive to the drycleaner.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on March 24, 2016
I've been pretty hard on our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper and I feel bad about it.
I've nitpicked about the stereo (twice), complained about the panel gaps, criticized the non-telescoping wheel, bemoaned the lack of parking sensors, whined about the poor visibility, groaned about the super-wide rear tires, protested the presence of skip-shift in a 645-hp supercar and lamented its inconsistent ability to start after being washed.
Don't get me wrong, I stand next to those critiques, but I feel bad about saying mostly negative things about this car. And every time I drive it, I'm reminded of the one ultra-redeeming factor: It's fast. Really, really fast.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on March 22, 2016
Maybe it's because they're attached to side pipes and I keep my eyes forward when I'm sitting down in a car. Maybe it's because and I'm usually focused on keeping my legs from getting burnt rather than what the super-hot surface looks like. Whatever the cause, I've let the exhaust tips on our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper get way too dirty.
I've recently been anointed "resident guy-who-likes-shiny-stuff" (by myself, about five minutes ago) so clearly, I'm the right person to take on this monumental task.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on March 18, 2016
Recently, our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper went out for service and when it returned, the engine bay was in pristine condition. Part of the service was a new valve cover assembly, which at a minimum means the cross-brace and the plastic covers on the top of the engine had to be removed. When they were, some cleaning was clearly done. Most of the under-hood surfaces seemed to have been wiped down (at the very least) and it reminded me just how good this engine bay looks.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on March 16, 2016
There are two very distinct and frustrating issues with the stereo in our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper. First: the bass is turned up way too high. Second: it doesn't get loud enough. Whether it's the radio, Bluetooth or an iPod plugged in, nothing meets my personal volume standards.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on March 11, 2016
From the windshield to the front bumper, the hood on our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper measures six feet long. That kind of real estate is necessary with a V10 but it makes up 41 percent of the Viper's total length (14.5 feet). Combine the length with the high arc of the hood and the low driver's seat and it's nearly impossible to tell where the front bumper is, especially when you're parking.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on March 7, 2016
It's been a slow month for our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper, logging only 753 miles in January. That's mostly because it went in for an extended service visit (details to come, I'm sure).
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on March 2, 2016
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles voluntarily recalled a batch of the current-generation Vipers, which included our 2015 Dodge Viper GT, for an oil contamination and consumption issue. There was also another recall for the radio software that affects a whole bunch more Chrysler products.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on February 12, 2016
The 2015 Dodge Viper isn't for everyone. Click on any post below and you'll find gripes about the flaming hot door sills, back-breaking suspension and outward visibility that is among the worst of any car on sale today. To save some time, you could just read James's post which catalogues the Viper's most egregious crimes against humanity, and walk away with a pretty good idea of what the car is all about.
My own opinion of the Viper fell more or less in line with that of other editors, but something interesting is happening. My opinion is changing. I am changing. Is someone gripped by Stockholm syndrome aware of their condition?
by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on February 11, 2016
Expecting good fuel economy from an 8.4-liter V10 when it's used as a daily driver is, well, dumb. And our 2015 Dodge Viper is doing absolutely nothing to change anyone's expectations there. But what about the rest of the car?
In January we put another 1,000 miles on our quasi-supercar, and as a result we've experienced the pains — and costs — of that reality. For one thing, the nose of our beautiful blue Viper is starting to show the wear and tear that 17,000 miles does to the front end of a car. The mileage didn't just get to the paint either, as we went ahead and replaced all four tires at a head rush-inducing price of $1800.
But tires and paint are just hardware. What about the liquidware?
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on February 9, 2016
Man, our 2015 Dodge Viper pings. I noticed the occasional crack of engine knock earlier during its stay with us, way back when I took it on a cross-country road trip. Since then, I really haven't driven it.
The other night I took the Viper and when I had the opportunity to lay into the throttle, memories of the road trip came flooding back. And I was reminded of the pinginess.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on February 5, 2016
"Excuse me sir, is the Viper yours?"
"Yeah, what's up?" I said to the car wash attendant.
"Um, it's going to be more expensive. Your car can't fit."
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on January 28, 2016
After two cross-country road trips, a few track days and plenty of hard miles through local b-roads, our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper needed some new rubber. I started calling around, searching tire websites and scouring the web for options. In the end though, I discovered that there were only two realistic options for tires on our Viper.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on January 20, 2016
That gorgeous Midnight Blue paint on our 2015 Dodge Viper GT is getting battered by road debris. The image above is right after a car wash, before I even got in to leave. It looks like the damage is limited to the clearcoat, so I'm planning to give that frontal area a good buffing with all the detailing equipment we have from Meguiar's.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on January 18, 2016
The 2015 Dodge Viper has a long nose and very little indication of where the front splitter is. Head-in parking means I need to be extra careful. From the driver seat, I always give myself what I think is some extra room, but when I get out I'm usually surprised by how close I am to a parking block.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on January 14, 2016
Bonkers sports cars need good passenger grab handles and the 2015 Dodge Viper's got a good one. I was driving my passenger home after dinner and we were approaching a quick right-left uphill chicane. She grabbed the handle so hard that I heard the plastic substructure creak.
But she gave me fair warning when I asked her out in the first place.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on January 11, 2016
I'd previously written about my weekend with our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper and how long I'd waited to get behind the wheel. I came away supremely impressed and, despite some flaws, I wanted the keys back in my possession.
My Christmas wish was granted: two full weeks with the Viper to finish out the year.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on December 23, 2015
Originally, I thought our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper was missing a telescoping steering wheel because it was the mid-level GT trim. After a bit of investigation though, I was surprised to learn that the steering wheel on the Viper doesn't telescope at all, regardless of trim level.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on December 21, 2015
It may be long, wide and boisterous, but our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper is also really low. The top of the roof is just 49 inches off the ground. Most midsize sedans are seven or eight inches higher off the ground and a typical crossover like a Honda CR-V has a roof that is nearly 15 inches higher than the Viper's.
And with many of the other cars on the road sitting so much higher, a low-slung sports car can easily get lost in the fray.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on December 15, 2015
With a low-slung sports car, a minimal amount of ground clearance is just something you learn to deal with. To avoid scraping up the car's front chin, you take an angled approach to just about everything. Pedestrians or other motorists watch with amusement as you baby your expensive toy over a 4-inch speedbump.
In a bit of good news though, our 2015 Dodge Viper GT is actually better than average in this regard.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on December 10, 2015
We added an aftermarket Ford Racing suspension to our 2015 Ford Mustang after a few of us found its handling wanting. To our departed 2013 Scion FR-S we added an aftermarket supercharger kit to help boost the car's power.
Now it's time to add something to our 2015 Dodge Viper GT. 'Sweet!', you might be thinking. A Hennessey 700R upgrade!
Admittedly, it could be worth it just for the more exotic-sounding exhaust alone. But I've got something even more useful in mind.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on December 8, 2015
Last night a text message popped up on my phone from Editor-in-Chief Scott Oldham: "How's that Viper?" it read. I wasn't sure exactly why he was asking. The question came out of the blue and, to my recollection, the number of times Scott had messaged me during my career here at Edmunds would be, well, zero.
But hey, when the boss asks you a question, you answer. With honesty, I replied: "Getting to like it the more I drive it, actually."
2015 Dodge Viper GT: Fuel Economy Update for November — Not Best Choice for Obama's Showcase at Paris Climate Talks
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on December 2, 2015
If nothing else, our 2015 Dodge Viper is staying true to itself. As has been the case since we got it, the Viper's fuel economy hovered in the mid-teens on good days this past month. Lay into the throttle with regularity — the only way some of our staff know how to drive this Viper — and fuel economy plummets into the single digits at fill-up.
Fun? Heck yes! Fuel efficient? Not really.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on November 30, 2015
No, that title doesn't refer to the diminutive center on your high school basketball team. That's Short Phil. I'm referring to a recurring problem when refueling our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on November 23, 2015
I'll admit I was a bit apprehensive when I finally pocketed the keys to our 2015 Dodge Viper for an entire weekend.
The Viper's reputation is not something to scoff at and Vehicle Testing Manager Mike Schmidt warned me that the tires, the same ones that the car arrived on 14,000 miles ago, were nearing the end of their life. I assured him that I would bring both myself and the car back to the office safe and sound on Monday morning.
by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on November 13, 2015
At the core of the Viper persona is raw power. The car can be brutal and unforgiving, and it commands respect. It makes no excuses for its actions. And in all of its years, the addition of stability control was the closest it's come to an apology for what it is: Awesome.
Our 2015 Dodge Viper earned its place atop the Dodge performance lineup. True, Hellcats have blurred the leaderboard recently. But there should still be no contesting the recognition and attention that a 645-horsepower, $100,000 Viper deserves ahead of the high-volume likes of the Dart or Avenger.
So why is the Viper service experience so poor?
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on November 9, 2015
I decided to finally drive our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper this weekend. I knew, based on experiences shared by my colleagues, that it would not exactly be my cup of tea, Earl Grey hot. But what the hey, I thought. It's good to try everything once. There are plenty of cars that I can appreciate even if they don't exactly tickle my particular fancy. The Corvette, for instance. Brilliant car. Have no interest in buying one.
And then I got in the Viper, drove it halfway through the Edmunds garage and knew I'd made a terrible mistake. It was all I could do not to turn around immediately and swap keys for the Yugo. That isn't hyperbole. I would rather drive the Yugo.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on November 6, 2015
Four months with our 2015 Dodge Viper proves that what was true for the first Viper is also true for this one: this is not a car for the faint of heart.
It is a sports car designed to pummel the road into submission, creature comforts be damned. The low roof and high hood diminish forward visibility. Headroom is limited despite the head bubbles above the driver and passenger seats. Even with the suspension in its comfort-oriented setting, vibration is severe enough to register steps on my pedometer. And I have yet to find a way to climb out of the cabin without burning the hell out of my legs on the searing metal door sill plates.
On the bright side, gearing is tall, so commutes don't require constant shifting. On more than one occasion I've been stopped by onlookers who gush over the Viper's criminally seductive body. And the V10 produces more power here than any sane person could ever use.
But I'm not convinced the positives outweigh the practical considerations I must take into account before choosing to take the Viper home for a day or two.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 4, 2015
The typical Monday-morning routine for the editorial staff here at Edmunds almost always includes a car wash. So everything was business as usual when I took our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper to the car wash last week, until I tried to leave.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on November 2, 2015
"DING... DING... DING..."
Our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper started chiming at me about a mile into my morning commute last week and a message popped up on the TFT display. It read "Low Tire" so I cycled through the available screens to find the tire pressure readings. Only one tire (the front left) was low enough to set off the warning but all four tires were below the recommended cold-spec of 29 PSI.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on October 30, 2015
It doesn't rain much here in Los Angeles, so when we see clouds on the horizon, we tend to get a bit frantic. Freeway traffic stops completely, news tickers immediately read "STORM WATCH 2015!" and weather reporters don bright-yellow boots to brave the elements.
The weather-alert in our long term 2015 Dodge Viper had a similar reaction to a weather report last week and it chimed in during my commute to warn me of the impending doom.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on October 28, 2015
The Viper-versus-Corvette argument has raged since Dodge introduced the Viper in 1992. Back then, the Viper made a measly 400 horsepower from its 8.0-liter V10. The best-performing Corvette of the day, the ZR-1, only managed 375 horsepower from its Lotus-designed V8 (bumped to 405 hp in 1993).
Performance bragging rights have swayed over the years. Each new model tries to outrun and outgun the other in every single metric. Our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper and the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 are still within five horsepower of each other. Nearly every other category comes down to tenths or hundredths.
While the cars are faster and more powerful than ever before, the basic formulas haven't changed. Both are rear-wheel drive coupes with a shift-for-yourself transmission. The Viper still has a big V10 under the hood while the Corvette remains V8-powered, though that's now accompanied by a supercharger.
Numbers alone won't do these two machines justice, though they do provide fodder for bench racers.
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on October 27, 2015
That the Corvette Z06's monster motor ever feels soft should surprise you. It surprises us. But with 8.4-liters of piston-pounding hate under its hood, our 2015 Dodge Viper has a way of recalibrating our view on just about everything. Even the Z06.
It's been hot. Really hot. About 100 degrees, in fact, in a Southern California summer that will never end. We've taken our long-term Viper and a short-term Corvette Z06 tester to the mountains to feel out their differences. We're driving hard. But the heat is making the otherwise-stunning Z06 seem surprisingly out of sorts.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on October 23, 2015
I wasn't a fan of the skip-shift feature in our long-term 2014 Chevrolet Corvette. I don't think the feature belongs in any car really, but it felt especially sacrilegious while driving the Corvette. Our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper has a skip-shift feature, too. It feels even more out of place in a V10 Dodge.
The feature, designed to increase fuel economy, locks out second and third gear and forces you to shift from first gear directly to fourth, provided that your throttle position and RPMs are within the correct parameters. Luckily, the Viper's skip-shift is pretty easy to avoid.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on October 21, 2015
A Corvette Z06 with the Z07 package passed through recently, and I took it upon myself to give it a thorough evaluation one weekday morning in the mountains north of Ojai.
A couple days later, I grabbed our 2015 Dodge Viper's key for the weekend faster than you can say, "Personal comparison test!"
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on October 16, 2015
That's the response I got from a close friend when I told him I was bringing Edmunds' long-term Viper to a track day we planned to attend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. He's only partially right.
Sure, the thing is the Big Hammer of track cars. Given that most track days are fraught with Miatas, showing up in a Viper is like bringing a small-scale thermonuclear weapon to a slap fight. Think of it: 645 horsepower, 355mm section-width rubber in the back, an engine that sits cleanly between its axles and massive, fade-free brakes. On paper, this is about as good as it gets. And everyone knows it.
But I've driven Viper on racetracks before. And I'm yet to love the experience.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor on October 13, 2015
No surprise that our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper fuel economy average is adjusting to a lower figure after its initial cross-country trips. In September, it fell half-a-mile per gallon, but it was well worth it. We also scored a new high-mpg result, too.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on October 9, 2015
Maybe it was the constant droning noise on the highway or the laughably tiny pedal box that got to me. It might've been the scorching-hot door sill or the useless trunk lid that never opens on the first try. Maybe it was the unnecessarily heavy steering or the cramped cabin.
Whatever the reason, after an extended weekend climbing in and out of our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper, I knew that I couldn't justify spending a hundred grand on one, especially if it were my daily driver.
That led me to the inevitable hypothetical-money-finds-its-way-in-to-car-guy's-wallet thought-process. "What would I buy if I had $103,785? Wait, do I just get one car? Does it have to be new? What about mods? Can I just put nitrous on the Yugo and keep the extra cash?"
Before I went too far down the rabbit hole, I put out a call to a few of the Edmunds editors who had driven the Viper.
My e-mail read: "What would you buy for $103,785? If it's the Viper, tell me that too.
One car, same price point. For extra credit: Three cars, same combined price with at least one two-door sports car in the mix."
Here's what I got in return.
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on October 7, 2015
An 850-mile road trip to Monterey in our 2015 Dodge Viper was eye-opening on many levels.
First, I acknowledge that Jason Kavanagh and Carlos Lago are real men for driving this car across the country and back. It's not a machine that lets you get away with partial commitment. Plan to drive the Viper more than 100 miles and you better be all in.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on October 5, 2015
If you own a 2015 Dodge Viper, chances are you've got another vehicle in your fleet that is better suited for transporting kids to school. (No doubt Dodge will happily point you to the Durango or Grand Caravan.) Then again, it all depends on how you define "better." If you measure by kid smiles, other parent envy and all-around awesomeness, then the Viper might indeed be your new school bus.
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on October 2, 2015
That the press overview for the 2015 Dodge Viper includes 28 occurrences of the words "carbon fiber" should tell you something about the material's abundance in this car. The clamshell hood, roof and hatch are all carbon on our GT trim. The front and rear brake ducts, splitter and spoiler are optionally available in the material.
I spent a recent weekend with the Viper at the track where the hood and hatch were open often. A Viper with an open hood doesn't discriminate. It is a homing device for both real men and gold-chain goons.
Details after the jump.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on October 1, 2015
Disclosure: I've been kind of a wuss with our 2015 Dodge Viper.
Part of it is mental. Logically, I know the current generation Viper is far removed from its "bite the hand that feeds it" reputation, but it's an aspect that's nonetheless hard to fully dismiss. But even setting that aside, there's just the car itself: Monster 645-horsepower V10, tires so big they should require yellow "wide load" warning labels on them, and styling to attract an officer's attention right away. Truly testing the car's capabilities on a public road seems like a really good way to risk my license and/or mortality.
What we need for our Viper, I've decided, is track time (which is why the SRT Track Experience program is so cool). Rather conveniently, I got a taste of what it's like to drive a Viper on a racetrack recently, piloting a blue 2015 Dodge Viper ACR with a guy nicknamed "The Crazy Swede," no less.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on September 29, 2015
You can only drive as fast as you can see. Once you start out-driving your headlights, you're in trouble. Fortunately, our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper has some mega headlights. They're almost as fast as the car, and that's saying a lot.
I found out that the effectiveness of the Viper's headlights on a twisty road like Angeles Crest Highway is dependent on one crucial factor, however.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on September 25, 2015
"Gaah! What's this? Water coming out of the sky? Such a curious thing has never happened!"
This was me, more or less, on a recent drive in our 2015 Dodge Viper. I had driven out of Los Angeles, heading north on Interstate 5, when I encountered thunderstorms around the Tejon Pass. It's uncommon to get rain up there this time of year, and probably even more so in this age of the California drought.
Rain came down heavily. My iPhone was buzzing with automated flash flood warnings. And there I was driving our mondo-tired Viper for the first time.
"Mass hysteria!" I thought to myself. But it turned out I need not have worried too much.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on September 23, 2015
Our 2015 Dodge Viper GT is the most powerful long-term vehicle we've ever tested. Its 8.4-liter V10 generates 645 horsepower, 45 more than the 2009 Dodge Viper SRT-10 we tested a few years back. This is a seriously impressive horsepower number that should lead to more impressive numbers at the track.
While this new Viper might be much better to live with day-to-day, in the end it's still a V10-powered cruise missile at home on a test track or race course.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on September 22, 2015
I'm not sold on the daily drivability of our 2015 Dodge Viper.
Why would I be, you ask? After all, is this $104,000 super carnivore really meant for running errands? Some of us think so. Or rather, some of us think that the Viper can be used for the indignity of daily life quite nicely, and we've set out to prove the theory, even if it requires some recalibration of one's expectations.
Consider cargo area, for example.
by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on September 21, 2015
The cross-country highway party known as Carlos and Jay's Hypermiling Love Fest is over. Now our 2015 Dodge Viper is back in the real world, the world of traffic, tempting mountain roads and more traffic. Oh, and meatheads like me.
In August, we plumbed the depths of its vast reserves of power. We've tached it out, flung it around and muscled it through about a 1,000 miles of typical Los Angeles living. Reality is calling.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on September 16, 2015
The "Speed Adjusted Volume" in our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper doesn't work. Well, it works, but just not the way I want it to. This feature turns ups the stereo volume as vehicle speed increases, compensating for road noise.
It does that part just fine. But if you want to turn the feature off, the Viper is disinclined to acquiesce to your request.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on September 11, 2015
I think our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper is a great-looking car. Even without the ridiculous speed and fantastic noises it makes, I love the way it makes me feel when it's standing still.
The sweeping character line that cuts through the front fender and glides back over the rear wheels is strong, but not so angular that it interrupts the flow of the design. The duckbill spoiler proves that function and form can exist in the same place at the same time. The wheels are large, but so is the car. It's proportional and attractive, until you look a bit closer.
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on September 8, 2015
Not one to worry much about being graceful, I find getting in and out of our 2015 Dodge Viper simple: Just flop yourself down in there and wriggle around a bit until the pedals and steering wheel are in the right spot.
The process is a little more complicated than your normal car for two reasons. One, the door opening is small. Two, the door sill is wide. And three, the side pipes make that sill excruciatingly hot. It sounds similar to jumping through a flaming hoop.
So I challenged my girlfriend to try it.
I wanted to hear how difficult it was from her perspective. I may not care about graceful entry, but I also don't wear fancy dresses or heels.
by Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor on September 4, 2015
When I first heard that editor Jay Kavanagh was going to be driving our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper GT from North Carolina back to Edmunds HQ, I immediately claimed shotgun. Never mind that this sports car isn't the most ideal road trip car, for a passenger at least, or that there wasn't any room for my favorite road trip companion, my dog. I'd never seen that part of America before and had heard it's beautiful!
I flew into Denver, joining Jay for the last third of his journey and documenting it for Edmunds' Instagram. We would head toward Los Angeles, passing through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. Jay had warned me beforehand that space in the Viper's trunk was very limited. Since the weather through all those states was in the 80s and 90s, packing only a small dufflebag's worth was a cinch.
That wasn't the problem.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on September 2, 2015
By this, I mean that the monumental gravity of my wraparound cross-country voyage dwarfed all possible side trips in its wake. Destinations a hundred miles or so away suddenly seemed not nearly so far.
So it was that I ended up venturing to The Tail of the Dragon, an 11-mile winding stretch of tarmac on Route 129 in Robbinsville, North Carolina. 'Hey, it's only that far away!' I said to myself, looking at my route on the scale of the entire nation.
by Carlos Lago, Jay Kavanagh on August 31, 2015
Here's a breakdown of our round-trip drive across the country in numbers:
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on August 27, 2015
It appeared as though I'd be in Denver roughly near the point when the odometer reached the 6,000-mile mark for its first service. This would work out well, I thought, until later in my trip when my arrival plans firmed up. That is, it became clear that my arrival in Denver would be on a Saturday evening, and I would be leaving Denver on Sunday. Dealers are closed until Monday. Furthermore, logistics precluded getting the oil changed at my previous stopover in Kansas City.
August 25, 2015
After driving our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper over 5,000 miles across the country and back, Jay Kavanagh and I had a few things to say. So we thought we'd try something new: With a few GoPros rigged up in the interior, we took a short drive up into Malibu and chatted about our experiences and the car itself.
We decided to wear matching shirts, too.
August 23, 2015
When you're dealing with a car that looks as good as our 2015 Dodge Viper, you'd think taking a good photo requires little more than getting it in the frame. Alas, Jay Kavanagh and I are not photographers. So when we returned from our cross-country road trip with a few SD cards loaded with photos, we handed them to actual photographers: Edmunds.com's Scott Jacobs and Kurt Niebuhr. Their critique follows.
August 20, 2015
The night before setting off on our cross-country road trip in our 2015 Dodge Viper, I thought it would be cool to do a time-lapse of the drive. I stuck my trusty GoPro to the passenger window and there it sat for the next 5,914 miles.
August 18, 2015
What's going on here?
August 17, 2015
Nobody in their right mind would choose to drive a Viper from North Carolina to California, which explains how we chose our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper for this trip.
August 14, 2015
Our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper GT is a serious car. It's loud inside and out. Its tires are huge. And it's very fast. So what does that make the Dodge Viper ACR? After driving our long-term test car 2,740 miles across the country, I was eager to find out.
As it turns out, our GT isn't serious. It's quiet. Soft, too.
Making a car go faster around a racetrack requires narrowing the car's focus, shaving away non-essential things like street drivability with each step you take down the rabbit hole. And I can't think of a new car from a major manufacturer that's gone further down the hole than the ACR. Only the Porsche 911 GT3 RS shares a similar intent.
The Road Test covers the transformation, but if you take away one thing, it should be how the front splitter and strakes on the rear diffuser are designed to rub the ground and be replaced. That is serious.
August 12, 2015
The odds of two Vipers, each on cross-country road trips, ending up in Nashville on the same night can't be good. But that's exactly what happened on a Monday in July. I was cruising down Music City's main drag with our long-term 2015 Dodge Viper, feeling like a hot shot on day four of my coast-to-coast drive. You don't see many Vipers on the road, so I clearly would have the only one in town. And then I spotted something orange over the fender bulge. I was wrong.
Through the ever-expanding reach of Instagram, I got in touch with its owner, Ryan Frankenfield. He was driving his recently-purchased 2014 Viper TA back home to Florida from Idaho. Though he had already left town when we got in touch, I was eager to hear the details of his trip. In the image above, I took the photo on the left and Ryan shot the one on the right.
"I watched that Viper TV show as a kid," Ryan said, and he's loved the car ever since. "I never thought I'd have the opportunity to own one."
The TA is his third.
August 9, 2015
Driving a 2015 Dodge Viper across the country is a bad idea. But a funny thing happens with bad ideas: They get appealing. How else do you explain skydiving or Las Vegas? This phenomenon is also, largely, the foundation on which YouTube exists. Well, it and cat videos.
When Dodge invited us out to North Carolina to drive the Viper ACR, the fastest and wildest track-ready Viper yet, we decided to drive there — from Los Angeles — in our long-term Viper. How can you resist driving the last naturally-aspirated American supercar across its home field? I gave myself five days and set a loose course along Interstate 40.
August 5, 2015
Two drivers. One car. 5,800 miles. No car washes.
August 4, 2015
I noticed some birds had dropped trou above our 2015 Dodge Viper's hood since its last wash, so I took it in first thing in the morning for a sprucing-up. You'd like to think that all Viper drivers are similarly conscientious.
You would be wrong.
I know this because I came across the following first-generation Viper parked on the street in Venice. You really gotta see this one for yourself.
July 28, 2015
Each one of these cars has a similar seat design where the thigh-bolsters continue in a puffy ring around the seat bottom that surrounds your butt/back like one of those foam things that parents dump babies into when they want to protect the baby's soft skull, but also drink wine.
Those poor babies...
July 23, 2015
I loved our 2009 Dodge Viper. Drove it all the time. That car and me were buds. I've got nothing but pleasant memories of that car, with one exception: the air conditioning.
It's a Viper after all and what Vipers do is blow cold air at your hands and let your feet cook in heat generated by its massive truck motor. Don't believe me? Erin wrote it down which means it must be true.
Our 2015 Dodge Viper doesn't do this!
July 20, 2015
The first fuel economy report for our 2015 Dodge Viper is not going to paint a good picture.
We took it on a photo shoot. Rarely left the city. Observed engine break-in rules and generally just puttered around, using all of the rev range waiting to cross the 1,500-mile line.
It'll get better. And probably much worse.
July 15, 2015
Last time we discussed the fuel economy of the 2015 Dodge Viper, we had fewer than 1,000 miles on the odo, and most of those miles were from shuffling around the west side of Los Angeles.
But then I took it on a road trip. 700-plus miles, no traffic, minimal stopping. Plenty of gas stations, so no need to be conservative with the go pedal.
July 12, 2015
Well, frustratingly long if you're not me. I loves me a good break-in road trip. I like the long hours behind the wheel. I like that you can't stay at a certain speed for too long. I even like that you can't take full advantage of all the power. It keeps me from even needing the ol' radar detector.
The Viper needed 700 more miles when I got the keys. The loop from Los Angeles to Death Valley to Las Vegas and back is about that far.
July 9, 2015
According to one of my guys on the inside, the 2015 Dodge Viper does indeed share parts with its Italian-based corporate brethren, specifically the Alfa Romeo Mito.
July 3, 2015
It was one of those Friday nights. Out for a few drinks and a meal with some co-workers, then an urgent text arrives from my boss. The subject had me dropping cash on the table and grabbing an Uber home as if all of humanity's life depended on it.
The message and ensuing phone call basically said, "I'm sick as a dog and can't make it to the track tomorrow to drive Vipers. Do you want to go?"
There's only one answer.
July 2, 2015
Well, we said we were going to use our 2015 Dodge Viper GT like any other car, so why not toss a carry-on in back for an airport run? The bag fit easily, unlike the overhead compartment of the 767 that flew me back from Detroit. And there was room to spare in the Viper, so I didn't even have to jam it in there.
June 30, 2015
Bring home something like a 2015 Dodge Viper GT and the temptation to show it off, open it up and generally revel in the 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque you just bought is irresistible.
But Dodge and SRT don't want you to go hell-bent for leather in the first mile. In fact, they strongly suggest you hold off until 1,500 miles appear on the odometer. During that time the break-in period for SRT-sourced engines is pretty specific, and it consists of four phases that get gradually more permissive. Page 21 of the Viper manual spells it all out.
This is why you don't see any motion blur in the photograph above. Note also that the tachometer is pointing at a piddling 2,000 rpm. I am abiding by Phase I guidelines, which apply between 0 and 100 miles: no extended idling, go easy while braking, accelerate gently to no more than half throttle, shift before 3,500 rpm and never exceed 55 mph.
June 26, 2015
"The last of the muscle cars!" "The end of the V8!" "We'll never see anything this good again." We've heard these proclamations repeated and retracted more times than we can count, and knowing that, we're confident in saying the Dodge Viper is certainly the last of the truly bonkers muscle cars.
At least that's what we said five years ago when we introduced a 2009 Dodge Viper into our test fleet.
Fortunately, we were mistaken. The Dodge Viper is very much alive and kicking.