2015 Dodge Viper GT: Developing Stockholm Syndrome
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?
The reason for me slowly accepting the Dark Side is my increasing familiarity with the Viper. My experience is the inverse of Mike's comment to Reese: "The first weekend is always the best. It's not until the second or third time you take it home that the flaws really start to bring down the experience."
The first time I took the Viper around the block, I knew it was a car I wouldn't drive much. Not because most of the editors have seniority over me, but because the car is so compromised.
It turns out that are few Viper aficionados on the staff. The 2015 BMW M235i and 2015 Ford Mustang GT are more routinely signed out for those who want a car with a little get-up-and-go. I prefer driving vehicles with a little bit of pep underhood, so my options within our current fleet of cars are limited. I began taking the Viper home at the end of the night with increasing regularity. And then my contempt started to wane.
I got used to the tight pedal box, terrible visibility, claustrophobic cabin and droning exhaust. I accepted that the Viper will never be a sports car that you can use every day like you can a Corvette or 911.
There are no hidden surprises; the Viper just is what it is. You might have second thoughts when you take one for a test drive, but give it another shot later. The Viper will never change, but you just might.