Cars

This ‘Widow Maker’ Car Might Actually Kill You

It’s American Muscle. It’s a well-beloved Dodge supercar. It’s got a reputation for being a ‘widow maker’. The Dodge Viper might actually kill you.

The Dodge Viper

Weighed down by a monstrous 8.0L to 8.4L V10 motor, this loved American-made supercar provides a terrifying amount of power. The SRT V10 motor, also found in some Dodge Trucks, is a great platform for building, boosting and pushing out more power. As if they aren’t already scary enough to drive.

Pressing the gas pedal can lead to an impressive launch or a sketchy slide. While the car has a lot of power to offer and can hold traction once it is going, trying to move from a complete stop can be touch and go. This is problematic in any amount of traffic where you might find yourself having to feather the gas just to keep the car under control.

If you try to accelerate too quickly from a stop, the car experiences wheel hop, meaning the car seems to bounce out of control and not get traction. You might also have a problem gripping the road and just end up sliding all over the place. This can also happen if you don’t accelerate quickly. At this point, Viper drivers have collectively decided that owning this car is a constant power struggle where you are pretty much trying to arm-wrestle the stick shift into making the car behave as you want it to. It is a true driver’s car, and not for the faint of heart.

CHICAGO – FEBRUARY 19: 2016 Dodge Viper is on display at the 108th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on February 19, 2016. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

The Viper, like the name, might suggest, has a striking and aggressive design, and is unmistakeably Dodge. In fact, everything about this supercar screams – or squeaks – Dodge. The doors are heavy and clunky, and the car always seems to have a rattle from somewhere or another. It’s a Dodge – you get what you get. After all, this isn’t a Ferrari.

The Viper has no stock roll support. It took me a while to realize this, but all in one moment around a sharp turn when I felt the body roll harshly, I decided the need to look back. In that split second, I realize that the plastic support that sticks up over the seats is not roll support. For a car with this much power, I can’t be the only person that notices this. I don’t find comfort in knowing that this supercar was designed for the track – and designed to take corners – and that might just be because I have the neverending idea that the car might, at any moment, for any reason – decide to flip over and kill us.

On the other hand, if you live in a place where there is no traffic, hills, inclines, declines, snow, rain, wind or narrow sharp turns, the Dodge Viper is probably a totally safe car to drive. However, I live in Florida, where it rains every day at 3 pm and the road always seems to be wet. It’s not unusual for me to be sitting in the passenger seat with my eyes glued shut, calmly reflecting on my life as I wait for death.

DETROIT, MI – JANUARY 10: A 2017 Dodge Viper is shown at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on January 10, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. Approximately 5000 journalists from around the world and nearly 800,000 people are expected to attend the NAIAS between January 8th and January 22nd to see the more than 750 vehicles and numerous interactive displays. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

It Probably Won’t Kill You

Overall, if you are an experienced driver and this isn’t your first monster of a car to drive, you will probably be completely safe. With a price tag as low as $40,000 in some cases for older generations, the cost opens the car up to less experienced drivers, in which case, it might actually kill you.

The Dodge Viper has been discontinued twice so far, but enthusiasts aren’t fooled – we remained hopelessly optimistic that the Viper will come into production again in the future. Dodge has made no claims to support this, but we are keeping hope alive regardless.