2009 Dodge Viper Performance
This performance review was written when the 2009 Dodge Viper was new.
The '09 Viper SRT10 proves to reviewers that it's a force to be reckoned with on both road and track.
- "Vette and Viper are pretty much even (and impressive) in roadholding, lane change, and braking distance, but the Viper wins on the track. It's easier to drive around the road course as well, thanks to great feel from the quick steering and solid brake pedal." -- Car and Driver
- "On surface streets, the Viper is actually well behaved. You don't have to restrain it from taking off, and in routine situations, the six-speed stick goes from first to third to save fuel. But on a track or closed road, the car runs like 600 pent-up thoroughbreds." -- Detroit News
- "[T]his is not a car you hop into when you're beat and expect to relax, mostly because the 600-bhp V-10 taunts you to raise its baritone bellowing to the level that you're paying a dollar for every two-and-a-half miles you drive it. Well, what's a dollar, anyway?" -- Road and Track
- "For 2009, a new street-legal track package called American Club Racer helps reduce the weight of the stock SRT10 and provides race-ready hardware. It improves aerodynamics and adds a racing suspension." -- Cars.com
Acceleration and Power
Auto critics are blown away by the 2009 Viper STR10's powerful 8.4-liter V10 engine. It generates 600-horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 560 pound-feet of torque at 5,100 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. Though the EPA has not yet rated its fuel economy, the similar 2008 model achieves a city/highway fuel efficiency of 13/22 mpg.
- "Explosive, even at part-throttle, even from modest rpm. No opportunity yet to time, but Dodge targets under-4-second 0-60-mph times and a 200-mph top speed. Clutch and gearshift demand deliberate action but are not taxing." -- Consumer Guide
- "Stomp on the gas, and the car flat goes, laying down rubber without the fuss of wheel hop or excessive spin. All the modulation necessary for a good launch comes from a decisive right foot." -- AutoWeek
- "The 2008 Dodge Viper is one of the fastest production cars in the world. The V10's massive pistons thump around with enough energy to shake the entire car, and its exhaust pops and bangs like a rusty Tommy gun." -- Edmunds
- "The shifter also has much shorter throws and clearly defined gates, which makes it a pleasure to operate. I'd accepted that a beefy gearbox needed a meaty and somewhat clumsy gearshift. Apparently not." -- Cars.com
Handling and Braking
Test drivers find that the '09 Viper handles marvelously for a high-performance speed machine. The new American Club Racer (ACR) trim, which is specially tuned for track performance, is even more aggressive.
- "Steering is nicely weighted. Viper's extraordinary width, low center of gravity, and steamroller tires provide uncanny grip and race-car response in changes of direction. The suspension is pliant enough to keep Viper on course through bumpy corners taken at reasonable speed. Stopping control is resolute, with fine brake modulation and little discernible nosedive." -- Consumer Guide
- "And despite not having traction control, the Viper sticks to the road and handles remarkably better than the 2006 model it replaces. This is in part because of the tweaks engineers made to the Viper's fully independent four-wheel suspension, as well as the new extra wide Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 high-performance tires that claw into the road." -- Detroit News
- "The Viper is more benign than you would think. There's so much rear-end grip that it's difficult to get a little back-end slide using the gas pedal, although the Viper is harder to manage once it does go sideways. We still prefer the Viper's mild understeer to the Corvette's tank-slapping oversteer." -- Car and Driver
- "Maybe even more compelling than the awesome acceleration and flexibility of the powerplant was the ability of the brakes to repeatedly haul this relatively heavy car down from race speeds lap after lap." -- Popular Mechanics
- "Most of the time, effort, and development dollars have been spent on stuff that makes the ACR go faster through the twisty bits-suspension, brakes, wheels and tires, and aerodynamics. Especially the aerodynamics. Just chew on this for a moment: At 150 mph, the regular Viper coupe generates 100 pounds of downforce; at the same speed, the Viper ACR generates 1000 pounds of downforce." -- Motor Trend