The SRT Viper: The More Livable but Still Crazy Dodge Viper

Extreme rawness is a key part of the original Viper’s appeal. But Dodge’s supercar evolved a bit over the years, gaining a few creature comforts along the way. All of which culminated in the final-gen model, the SRT Viper. However, while the last Vipers lost a bit of crudeness, they never lost their bite.

The SRT Viper: more luxuries, more performance

By 2013, the Dodge Viper was in its 5th generation, Automobile reports. And with that came, among other things, a new name. Essentially, Dodge did to its performance cars what it did with Ram: spin off a separate brand. That’s why the 2013-2015 SRT Viper is, technically, not a Dodge. But after 2015, and until its 2017 cancellation, it was once more a Dodge, The Drive reports.

Regardless of the name, though, with the new generation came more features, a new look, and more power. The 2013 SRT Viper has an updated version of the previous-gen 8.4-liter V10, Car and Driver reports. It’s rated at 640 hp and 600 lb-ft, sent to the rear wheels exclusively through a 6-speed manual.

A yellow 2013 SRT Viper at sunset
2013 SRT Viper | Dodge

And along with more power, the V10 is lighter than before. In fact, the whole car is. That’s thanks to aluminum body panels, more high-strength steel in the chassis, and a carbon-fiber roof, hood, and rear hatch, Autoweek reports. It’s also stiffer, with Bilstein shocks and new anti-roll bars, Automobile and Car and Driver report. Plus, the 6-speed manual has different gear ratios.

As a result of all these changes, the 2013 SRT Viper goes 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, MotorTrend reports. And the top speed is a claimed 206 mph. Luckily, the SRT Viper has standard Brembo brakes, and on the Track Package, upgraded StopTech rotors. But 2013 also marked the first time a Viper offered standard traction and stability control. And that wasn’t the only refinement the 5th-gen Viper has.

The 2013 SRT Viper GTS's red-leather front seats and black dashboard
2013 SRT Viper GTS interior | Dodge

SRT Viper GTS models have extra stability control settings, though even the base model has launch control, Road & Track reports. It also has a push-button start, cruise control, a TFT driver’s display, and an 8.4” center touchscreen. The standard seats come from Ferrari supplier Sabelt, and on GTS models, they’re covered in leather. And unlike in previous Dodge Vipers, the exhaust doesn’t run underneath the cabin, which means less heat, Car and Driver reports.

For the SRT Viper, ‘refinement’ is a relative term

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Even with its leather interior, the 2013 SRT Viper GTS isn’t refined, precisely, Jalopnik reports. The V10 is still loud, the steering is still fast, precise, and full of feedback, and it still grips hard in the corners.

But the extra safety nets, along with the revised suspension, wider track, and airier cabin, make it easier to drive quickly over longer periods of time, Car and Driver reports. It’s still a Viper, just better on the street, Automobile explains.

An orange 2014 SRT Viper TA on a racetrack
2014 SRT Viper TA | Dodge

However, before production ended, Dodge bumped up the Viper’s performance level even more. It started with the 2014 SRT Viper TA (for ‘Track Attack,’ Car and Driver reports).

This Viper has sportier Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, revised dampers, stiffer springs and sway bars, retuned suspension geometry, and upgraded brake pads and rotors. Plus, a carbon-fiber engine-bay brace, rear spoiler, and two front splitters.

The SRT Viper TA mostly exists because head FCA designer Ralph Gilles wanted to beat the Corvette ZR1’s Laguna Seca track record, MT reports. Which it proceeded to do. And in contrast to the early Dodge Vipers’ killer reputation, the TA is surprisingly approachable, though stiffer than the standard model, Automobile reports.

But that wasn’t the end of it.

The ACR

A silver-black-and-red 2016 Dodge Viper ACR on a racetrack
2016 Dodge Viper ACR | Dodge

In 2016 Dodge released the Viper ACR. By then the Viper’s 8.4-liter V10 had 645 hp, Car and Driver reports. But interestingly, the ACR has a lower claimed top speed: 177 mph. However, there are several very good reasons for that.

The Dodge Viper ACR is all about aero, R&T explains. It has an adjustable rear wing large enough to sleep on—literally, Automobile reports. There’s also a front splitter, front-mounted dive planes, fender vents, and a rear diffuser. The Extreme Aero Package grants extra dive planes and a larger splitter and diffuser.

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The Dodge Viper ACR also has remote-reservoir Bilstein shocks, adjustable anti-roll bars, street-legal Kumho slick tires, upgraded springs, retuned ABS and stability control, and upgraded carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes, MT reports.

With all these upgrades, the Dodge Viper ACR broke the Porsche 918’s Laguna Seca lap record, MT reports. It also set records at 12 additional racetracks, R&T reports. Then in 2017, a crowd-funded effort made it the fastest manual-transmission RWD car at the Nurburgring, R&T reports.

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True, the ACR is “ergonomically flawed,” MT reports, with a not-particularly-pleasant engine note and a stiff ride. But to quote MT, it’s “the best Viper ever made.” And it still has power-adjustable pedals, SRT performance apps, and a backup camera, Autotrader reports.

Buying one today

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Because of the 5th-gen Dodge Viper’s extra refinements and more modern technology, it commands higher prices. Non-ACR models hover in the $60,000-$80,000 range on Bring a Trailer, and closer to $80,000-$100,000 on Autotrader. A low-mileage ACR, though, can easily cross into the 6-figure territory, BaT reports.

Luckily, although the 2013 and 2014 models had some recalls, the 5th-gen SRT and Dodge Viper are no less reliable than earlier examples, ExoticCarHacks and CarComplaints report. Though as with any used car purchase, especially such an expensive one, a pre-purchase inspection is recommended.

But if you were worried that the later Dodge Vipers lost the sting of the early models, that’s not the case.

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