2016 Dodge Viper Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Dodge Viper was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.2

The 2016 Dodge Viper's ferocious acceleration and athletic cornering will appeal to buyers looking for a pure performance-oriented experience, critics say. However, its harsh ride makes it tough to live with on a daily basis.

  • "Gut-punchingly potent and impressively capable, the Viper offers a challenging and ultimately rewarding experience for drivers bold enough to explore its limits." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 2016 Dodge Viper is about as raw and unrefined as cars get these days, and that's actually one of its stronger selling points. In an age where computers are supplanting good old-fashioned driver skill, the Viper relies on gifted and brave pilots to keep it on the road. It's unapologetic in its approach to performance, with a stiff ride quality and loud engine and exhaust." -- Edmunds
  • "SRT engineers state that there is supercar performance in every model. We would have to agree." -- Left Lane News (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Dodge Viper is powered by an 8.4-liter V10 engine that produces 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is the only available transmission. The 2016 Dodge Viper gets an EPA-estimated 12/21 mpg city/highway, which is low for the class.

The Viper has astonishing acceleration and nearly instantaneous throttle response. The six-speed manual transmission has satisfyingly short throws, though it requires serious effort to move the shift lever.

  • "That massive, naturally aspirated engine just gives and gives, and those wide tires help the Viper cling to the road. We found the 6-speed manual transmission a bit notchy but enjoyed its short throws." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "The aggressive acceleration from the V10 kicks you straight back into the seats with the force of a flying dropkick to the chest by a masked member of the WWE." -- Left Lane News (2014)
  • "Punch the throttle to the floor and the Viper is fiercely quick. The six-speed's shifter has been redesigned for shorter and more precise throws. But it's notchier, so you've got to really direct the lever with a meaningful shove. It takes practice to be quick, but get it right and the Viper moves (and howls) like nothing else." -- Popular Mechanics (2013)
  • "Thanks to immediate throttle response from just about anywhere the needle sits on the tachometer, power is available NOW. Few things in life are as thrilling as the instantaneous thrust from a naturally aspirated 640-horsepower 8.4-liter engine - it only takes but one minute behind the firewall of the V10 to erase all memories of its weaker forced-induction competitors." -- Autoblog (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Dodge Viper comes standard with rear-wheel drive. The GT, GTC, and GTS trims have an electronically adjustable two-mode suspension system with Street and Race settings. The ACR trim has a manually adjustable suspension system with ten settings.

The Dodge Viper has a harsh ride no matter which setting its suspension is in. The car does have extraordinary handling thanks to its strong cornering grip and quick steering, but it can be difficult to maintain control of the Viper at higher speeds, even for expert drivers. Also, the Viper's brakes could be more responsive.

  • "On the street you feel every bump and rut in the pavement and after a short amount of time, it becomes tiring." -- Edmunds
  • "Steering and handling are both brutally good and hard at the same time, gluing the GTS to the ground so it can slither along the blacktop during its daily excursions. Flicking the ride adjustment controls to change up the adjustable Bilsteins can result in a ride that goes from harsh to worse." -- Left Lane News (2014)
  • "As a daily driver the Viper is a compromise, but for jaunts on winding roads or at the track, it's a blast. Be forewarned, though: The Viper's violent power delivery and quick steering ratio can make it [a] handful to drive - even for experienced drivers." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "What would we change? The brakes don't offer the initial bite that we like--there's a bit of travel in the pedal before the Brembos really start to clamp down. It's an unsettling feeling in this car when you go to the brakes and don't get instant grab." -- AutoWeek (2013)

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