2007 Detroit Auto Show: 2008 Dodge Viper

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Damn the Torpedoes!
What do you do to improve an icon like the Dodge Viper? More Power. How do you do it? Displacement. While not rocket science, the formula fits the vehicle (and the brand).

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With all the subtlety of a jack hammer at a wedding, Dodge revealed in the 2008 Viper SRT-10 at Detroit’s Cobo Hall at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. After a rock and roll opening that included the 1964 Kinks hit “You Really Got Me”, the press was treated to “Even more venom” in the 2008 Viper.
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Give Me MORE, Give Me MORE!
The visual changes could be easily overlooked, but the overall changes will entice the target buyer. AutoPacific’s consumer research shows that “more power and acceleration” is a common desire for current Viper owners. In fact, of all vehicles in AutoPacific’s research, Viper owners (100% of them) say they want more power and acceleration. That’s not to say they don’t already have enough. They just want MORE!
“Subtle” Engine Upgrades Get Viper to 600HP!
Working with McLaren Performance Technologies, SRT engineers used a basic formula for more power: bigger displacement, more efficient breathing and higher engine speed. The Viper SRT10’s V-10 aluminum engine block was revised raising the displacement to 8.4 liters from 8.3 liters. The Viper’s engine breathes through new cylinder heads, larger valves and Variable Valve Timing. The intake manifold is also designed for better air flow.
The Goodies
Here’s what only 2008 Viper owners will flaunt:
• A new 8.4-liter Viper SRT10 V-10 engine that produces 600 HP. Yep! 600!
• A new hood that features restyled, air extractors
• 0–60 mph in less than four seconds (Fire your chiropractor.)
• 0–100–0 mph in just over 12 seconds
• 60-0 braking in less than 100 feet
• New exterior and interior colors for increased customization options

Next stop on the “No Replacement for Displacement Tour” is the Chevrolet Corvette, which is rumored to have 650 horsepower. Stay tuned.
EDITOR’s NOTE
If you have never had the chance to drive a Viper, try with all your might to finagle one. The original Viper re-acquainted me with TORQUE. You could easily slide the Viper around corners using the throttle and just twitches of the steering wheel. Remember, that was the one without real windows. It was the pure incarnation of Bob Lutz’ skunk works inside Chrysler. The latest Viper is much more of a real car, uh, a car you can live with every day. Drive one. It’ll change your brain.

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