2015 Dodge Viper GT: Tested In Its Natural Habitat
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.
Vehicle: 2015 Dodge Viper GT
Driver: Carlos Lago
Drive Type: Rear-Wheel Drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: V10
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 8,390/512
Redline (rpm): 6250
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 645 @ 6200
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 600 @ 5,000
Brake Type (front): Two-piece vented and slotted disc with four-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): Two-piece vented and slotted disc with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Cast-aluminum unequal-length upper and lower "A" arms, coil springs, low-pressure gas-charged shock absorbers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Cast-aluminum unequal-length upper and lower "A" arms, toe-control links, coil springs, low-pressure gas-charged shock absorbers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): P295/30ZR18 94Y
Tire Size (rear): P355/30ZR19 99Y
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: PZero
Tire Type: Summer
As-tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,367
0-30 (sec): 1.8 (w/ TC on 2.2)
0-45 (sec): 2.7 (w/ TC on 3.1)
0-60 (sec): 3.6 (w/TC on 4.1)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 3.4 (w/TC on 3.8)
0-75 (sec): 5.0 (w/TC on 5.3)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 11.41 @ 128.75 (w/TC on 11.74 @ 128.02)
30-0 (ft): 25
60-0 (ft): 103
Slalom (mph): 69.2 (68.9 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 1.03 (1.01 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1550
Acceleration: "The Viper produces immense acceleration even in key-up settings. Traction control helps minimize wheel spin, but doesn't go overboard and engage too aggressively. It smoothly lets up once the tires find grip. Launch control is less impressive. I followed the on-screen instructions (quickly apply gas and quickly release clutch), and it simply did a burnout. The resulting acceleration was slower than the key-up run."
"Best acceleration was achieved with electronic aids off and a clutch release at around 1,500 rpm. First gear can do 60 mph, but catching it without hitting the rev limiter is difficult. Gearing is otherwise spaced nicely for the quarter-mile. You run out of fourth right after the finish line. I love this shifter and clutch pedal. Shift lever has excellent, positive throws. You can rush it really fast and never fear missing a shift, unlike the Corvette. This really helps you tighten up shift times. Viper exhibited lots of wheel hop on aggressive launches, which it really did not seem to like. I tried minimizing it by extending the clutch take up, but it didn't seem to improve anything."
Braking: "Braking distance improved by three feet from the first to second run, indicating that the system and/or tires want some heat in them. The brake pedal has good bite at normal speeds, but requires extremely high effort to exert maximum stopping force. It has good, predictable feel, but you really have to dig into it. Five stops produced no fade or odor, and stops remained consistent around 103 feet. While braking repeatability was satisfactory, we were surprised this couldn't break the 100-foot barrier. We've seen Corvette Z51 pack cars do that, including our old long-term test car."
-Slalom: "Viper confidently approaches the slalom at 70 mph. It's stable and controlled, provided you plan and get the steering inputs right. It'll do exactly what you ask of it, even if what you ask it is to spin. Track ESC settings allow a lot of freedom and offer a safety net you can lean into. The high-grip, high-g, high-effort experience can be tiring."
-Skidpad: "Good neutral balance. It transitions smoothly from understeer when you're going too fast to oversteer when you lift the throttle, which helps the driver control the nature of the car around a corner. The front has a ton of bite and precision. And you can provoke little slides to keep the speed up. But don't let those slides get too big! Once the Viper exceeds a certain slip angle, it's gone."
Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 8,030 miles