Car: Dodge Viper SRT10 Coupe
What makes it special: The Dodge Viper is a sports car manufactured by Dodge (SRT for 2013 and 2014), a division of American car manufacturer FCA US LLC from 1991 through 2017, having taken a brief hiatus from 2010–2013. Production of the two-seat sports car began at New Mack Assembly Plant in 1991 and moved to Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in October 1995. Viper was initially conceived in late 1988 at Chrysler’s Advanced Design Studios. The following February, Chrysler president Bob Lutz suggested to the Chrysler Design Center that the company should consider producing a modern Cobra. Produced in sheet metal by Metalcrafters, the car appeared as a concept at the North American International Auto Show in 1989. Public reaction was so enthusiastic that chief engineer Roy Sjoberg was directed to develop it as a standard production vehicle.
What made it famous: In 2008, with the introduction of the 8.4 L; 511.5 cu in V10 engine, the power output was raised to 600 hp at 6,100 rpm and 560 lb⋅ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. The engine also received better flowing heads with larger valves, Mechadyne cam-in-cam variable valve timing on the exhaust cam lobes, and dual electronic throttle bodies. The rev limit could be increased by 300 rpm due to the improved valvetrain stability from both the new camshaft profiles and valve-springs. The engine was developed with some external assistance from McLaren Automotive and Ricardo Consulting Engineers. Electronic engine control was developed by Continental AG; the controller can monitor the crankshaft and cylinder position up to six times during each firing and has 10 times more processing power than the previous unit.
Why I would want one: It’s probably the coolest, fastest two-seater American sports car since the Cobra.
Fun fact: Carroll Shelby piloted a pre-production car as the pace vehicle in the Indianapolis 500. In November 1991, the car was released to reviewers with the first retail shipments beginning in January 1992.
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