Car Review, Figures and Specs for the Dodge Viper SRT/10 8.0L V10 - [1992]

Dodge Viper Generation 1 - 1992

Truck Engine Powered Roadster

The first generation of the Dodge Viper went on sale in January 1992 as the RT/10 Roadster. The Viper was famed partly because of its huge V10 power-plant which was derived from a truck engine. It was based on the Chrysler LA design truck engine but was lightened via a transition from a cast-iron block and head to aluminium alloy. The pushrod two-valve design, while adequate for trucks was felt unsuitable for a performance car in which a four valves per cylinder design was thought better. However, Chrysler was uncertain about the Viper's production costs and sales potential and so declined to provide the budget for the modification.


Torque and Straight Line Speed

The engine weighed 711 lb (323 kg) and produced 400 bhp (300 kW) at 4600 rpm and 450 lb/ft (542 Nm) at 3600 rpm. The body was a tubular steel frame with resin transfer molding (RTM) fibreglass panels which kept weight down to around (1,490 kg) 3,284 lb. The lack of driver aids such as traction control or anti-lock brakes combined with it’s huge power and pickup truck suspension made the Viper a handful in the bends when pushed hard. The Dodge Viper as is customary with all American Muscle Cars is all about straight line speed. It completes a quarter mile (402 m) in 12.6 seconds and has a maximum speed of over 180 mph (290 km/h). Its large tires allowed the car to average close to 1 lateral g in corners, placing it among the elite cars of its day. The battery is located in the sealed compartment over the rear wheel well to increase rear-end weight and traction to off-set the huge 8.0L lump at the front.

Top Trumps Good Looks

The Top Trump style numbers are often the icing on the cake but what first attracts you to this car are the Viper's long-nosed, steroidal, yet streamlined good looks. The big Dodge was also a car built to look good in, a soft top cover was available which fit into the boot[trunk] but the Viper was primarily designed for fair weather motoring and indoor storage. The car was intentionally scantily clad to reduce weight, although it still featured inflatable lumbar support and by 1994 air conditioning was fitted as an option. Scantness was evident with the lack of exterior door handles, side windows and roof. Power to weight could be measured at 263 bhp per tonne and with the big bruiser of an engine out front this helps the car to a 0-60mph time of 4.6seconds.


Positive   Top Trumps Specifications and Good Looks

Negatives   Fair Weather Enjoyment Only.

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