2015 Dodge Viper GT: Draws a Crowd
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.
"How fast have you taken it?"
"Is it turbocharged?"
"How much does it cost?"
"Is it all carbon fiber?"
I fielded all sorts of questions about the Viper, its competition and what other cars my job has allowed me to drive. A few of the guys took photos, others wanted to sit in it. One jumped on Snapchat to document the experience. Another connected via Facetime to his brother in South America, just so he could share the experience of looking at such a wild American supercar.
A few of the guys' wives/girlfriends came out to see what all of the fuss was about. You could almost hear their eyes' collective eye-roll at our collective dude moment around the car. One scoffed at the Viper and said something vaguely disapproving like, "Ugh, I totally wouldn't date a guy who bought this. Such a show-off car."
"Why not? I think it's sexy," another responded.
Whatever it was, the car was eliciting some type of response from everyone there. If I had driven our long-term Civic, we'd all still be in the backyard chatting about real estate prices. Yawn.
Later in the week I spotted a kid in the grocery store parking lot as I parked the Viper.
"Wow, mom! Look!" He pointed, jumped up and down in excitement and finally she looked up from her cell phone long enough to see what he was pointing at. She rolled her eyes at his excitement over the light-up third brake light with a Viper on it.
Big displacement, sexy styling and a complete-disregard-for-mpg attitude are part of what make this car unique and that seems to translate — even to people who don't speak Car Guy. You don't have to care about power-to-weight ratios or Nürburgring lap times to know it's special, even if you don't like it. You can tell just by looking at it.
Travis Langness, Automotive Editor @ 20,600 miles