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Average User Score
4.7 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 7 reviews
2008 Dodge Viper Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 7 reviews
Dodge skipped the 2007 model year to do a lot of under-the-snakeskin work on its bad-boy super sports car. For 2008, Dodge bored out the Viper's V10 to 8.4 liters and finessed 600 hp from what originally was just a truck engine. The engine block and new cylinder heads are now all-aluminum. The new block features cross-bolted main-bearing caps for added strength. A new cam system provides for variable exhaust timing, with all the valves enlarged and those on the intake side hollowed out for lighter weight. Intake and exhaust gases move more efficiently with a new two-piece intake manifold and tubular-header exhaust system that provides 20 percent better flow.
To handle the engine's increased torque, a new twin-plate clutch replaces the standard single-plate arrangement, sending power to a beefed-up six-speed Tremec manual transmission. Shift throws are 30 percent shorter, and a new speed-sensing GKN ViscoLok hydraulic clutch-pack-style differential gets the power out through the newly designed rear wheels.
The carefully reworked suspension has increased spring rates and front and rear shock compression, decreased rear low-speed rebound, added a new solid rear anti-roll bar, and tweaked camber and castor rates. A modified hood features extra cooling slots that extract more engine heat and also act to increase downforce.
All this adds up to a 202-mph coupe and a 197-mph roadster - with the top down! The 0-60 blast is over in 3.5 seconds. Driving the Viper requires 100 percent attention - one reviewer figured that's why there are no cupholders - but all those suspension tweaks have made it easier to drive than previous models. It has a tendency to understeer, which is now more easily controllable with throttle lift off. Some reviewers, however, found the steering to be "too nervous" at normal speed. Others complained about the new pair of electronic "by wire" throttles (one for each bank of cylinders) creating a throttle lag that could result in "ungluing" the rear end when least expected. The interior remains unchanged.
The consensus is that this is the best Viper so far, though still not an everyday driver like the Corvette.