(Somehow our photo gallery and description disappeared from our post, which is fine by us…. It gives us a reason to blog the entire thing again.)
When the original Dodge Viper debuted over twenty years ago, it was known for being a beast of a car with a cheap, minimalist interior (watch Jeremy’s review from Top Gear Series 5). Well the new Viper, now by Chrysler’s SRT division and under Fiat ownership, has a new interior that’s being described as downright “luxurious.” Perhaps the new Viper is all grown up:
Well, sort of. There’s still an aircraft carrier-length bonnet atop a massive V10 engine, cab-back driving position and a side-exit exhaust. So far, so enjoyably juvenile. But the latest iteration’s lighter, stiffer, more advanced, easier to drive and also sight more pleasant inside.
There’s a carbon fibre bonnet, roof and boot lid, which has whittled weight down to 1455kg, some 55 kilos lighter than the old car, and a huge 50 per cent stiffer. And there’s an upgraded version of Dodge’s 8.4-litre V10 producing - in basic form - 640bhp and 600lb ft of torque. That makes it the torqueiest naturally aspirated engine to be fitted to a sports car… ever.
But inside is where there’s the biggest surprise - it’s actually luxurious. And not just ‘luxurious for a Viper’ either. The cow peelings are soft and sumptuous, the stereo is by Harman Kardon, the abundance of screens are TFT, there’s not a solitary centimeter of wibbly stitching. There’s also 40mm more headroom and 90mm more legroom. This is a car you could feasibly use every day, not just when you fancy peering over the edge of existence.