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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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."
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.