Modern Dodge Viper and his ancestors: a sheep's head snake

Birth of the "viper"

US manufacturers since the middle of last century, regularly attempting to prove to the world that a true sports car does not need to have a European origin. Once again, this idea came in the late 80's the then president of Chrysler Bob Lutz, is a big fan of the legendary 427 Cobra. He and instructed Tom Gale of Chrysler Design to design a modern version of the famous sports car. The corresponding concept car called the Copperhead (name of rattlesnakes in the United States), was presented at the North American International Auto Show in 1989.

Seeing the warm response of the public, the project, renamed in the Viper, gave the green light. The car was supposed to be a notch above the then sports flagship Dodge – Stealth model. At various stages in the creation of the production version of the car involved such legendary figures as designer Carroll Shelby and the world champion in the race Formula 1 Emerson Fittipaldi.

In the photo: Dodge Viper Pacifica Prototype 'in 1989


Since Chrysler no experience in the creation of supercars in the project, it was decided to bring the Lamborghini, the entrance at the time of the American auto giant. The main task of the Italians was designing the engine. Deciding that more cars relies a great engine in Chrysler dispatched novelty huge V10 engine from the Dodge pickup, but in standard form, it is simply not incurred under the hood of the supercar.

This adaptation, and most importantly – a decrease in the size of this monster, and engaged followers of Ferruccio Lamborghini. Replacing the cast iron block on aluminum by adding multi-point fuel injection and electronically controlled lubrication system with a "dry" sump, excluding oil starvation in the bends, the Italians got vosmilitrovy unit develops power of 400 hp and 630 Nm of torque.

In the photo: Dodge Viper RT / 10 Concept 'in 1989. Produced in a single copy


The first generation (1992-1995 biennium).

Dodge Viper RT / 10 entered the market in 1992. It was a rear-wheel drive roadster equipped with uncontested "mechanics" from Borg Warner. The body was based on a framework of steel pipes, which are mounted on glass panels. The car had all wheel independent suspension with stabilizer bars, the elements of the exhaust system of the composite disc brakes on a circle (which was quite ordinary for Europe but not for the conservative American cars).

Stylistically, the car is not far from the concept and fully justified given name. When looking at the full face and a little roadster top association with poisonous reptiles were inevitable. A striking hallmark of the supercar is an exhaust pipe leading to the side sills.


Tame "viper" was not easy. But the skilful driver Roadster was ready to give pleasure from acceleration to "hundreds" of 4.6 seconds. and set a speed exceeding 260 km / h. Inside, there was nothing to boast of: Spartan (in lowly American taste) finish, no external door handles, side windows and even roofs. Included cloth top was intended primarily for the outdoor storage of a supercar, not to drive.

Second generation (1996-2002 biennium).

By the mid-nineties, the model decided to upgrade. Outwardly, "viper" has not changed too. The low, squat silhouette and a huge hood, which can be easily parked runabout – car design does not obsolete and continue to emit high-intensity charisma. One of the few notable external changes was the transfer of the pipes of the exhaust system in the usual place under the rear bumper. But engineers are very much reworked the motor, and it has become much easier and more productive. Power increased to 450 hp, acceleration to "hundreds" is now made up only 4 s., And the maximum speed is only slightly did not reach the 300 km / h.

This has led to changes in the suspension, which has become increasingly fierce. Lost in thought about customer safety, Americans supercar equipped with airbags. There was, and ABS, however, at first only as an option. Other auxiliary electronics still missing. The essence of the model has not changed – it was a car for a skilled driver that has not only steel nerves, but strong arms and legs.

In the photo: Dodge Viper GTS


If the first Viper was only available in the open version, the second-generation version appeared closed body. GTS Coupe was called and had a roof shape Double-Bubble, as if inspired by the seductive roundness sunbathers on the beach beauties. An interesting "trick" – the role of an additional stoplight fulfilled rear emblem with the head of a viper.

From 1997 to 2003, the second generation Viper was supplied to Europe under the brand Chrysler. In order not to shock the audience there the rampant American power, this specification differed derated engine. However, even in this form, with a slightly cropped "thorn" in the capable hands of "viper" could easily "bite" a couple of Ferrari and a Porsche in the bargain.

Third generation (2003-2006 biennium).

The third generation of "Viper" was created with the direct participation of the concern Daimler, entered into an alliance with Chrysler in 1998. Has been developed a new branch of Street & Racing Technology, hence the name of the Viper SRT. The increased wheelbase and exterior design, though changed, becoming more angular, but remained still as recognizable. This Viper in something similar to the Porshe 911: one hundred percent recognition from generation to generation, but the constant technical evolution.


In this generation, the exhaust side again began – in this real fans, I think it branded car feature. The first came on the market a roadster in 2003, the compartment was delayed a little and left two years later, losing the abbreviation GTS. Now both the body designated as the Viper SRT-10. The third generation was delivered to Europe in 2005-2006, an adaptation of the model on the local market involved specialists from the British firm Prodrive.

Seriously updated interior, it took the form of the cockpit now control devices located not in a row and a column. It pulled up the quality of materials and workmanship, but the booming plastic and blatant self-tapping screws on the mind have not gone away. Despite the increase in wheelbase, the interior was still crowded. Comfortable-looking leather seats have a minimum of adjustments, but firmly fixed body. Huge as in bus wheel overlaps devices, but because of the endless bonnet visibility forward was not to go to hell.

The advantage was that the pedals had actuator, although the pedal was very tight and required a fair amount of physical training. Still limping practicality – rack holds only one suitcase of medium size, but about the spare tire could not remember. Attempting to open the hood in the absence of instructions could well reduce the owner's mind – opening the handle is in the front air intake. Against this background, the almost complete lack of sound insulation perceived as a matter of course.


Chassis Convertible, thanks to the use of aluminum, it became easier to nearly 40 kg, but the coupe remained similar to the previous generation. Old motor was decided to replace the new, even more frightening volume of 8.3 liters. According to European concepts, the engine with a single camshaft located in the collapse of a block, and two valves per cylinder could be considered a novelty 50 years ago. But the 712 Nm of torque – a convincing answer to any criticism. Power eventually jumped to 500 at the roadster forces and forces of up to 510 coupe. Now the octopus to "hundreds" took 3.9 seconds. at the closed version and 3.8 seconds. the outdoor version. Updated gearbox, it was the "mechanics» T56 Tremec 6 steps. The maximum speed of the third Viper was 305 km / h.

Fourth generation (2008-2010 biennium).

"Viper" number four on the existing tradition main changes received only on the technical side. Engine experts helped finalize the McLaren, Ricardo and Continental AG. As a result, a volume of 8.4 liters 600 hp was filmed and 760 Nm. It is enough to compete with the released at the same time Corvette ZR-1. Acceleration to "hundreds" now takes only 3.4 sec., And the maximum speed is 325 km / h.

Supercar received a new dual-clutch transmission, limited slip differential, the Brembo brakes on, updated the exhaust and fuel systems. Gearbox Tremec T56 sacked and replaced on the Tremec TR6060 with reinforced synchromesh first gear. The use of Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires made fast unruly behavior "snake" more neutral when cornering.


Fourth Viper – a child of the crisis. Coupe entered the market a year after the collapse of DaimlerChrysler, but already in 2009, Chrysler announced a technical bankruptcy. Of course, in difficult times the company was not up to supercars, and management announced the suspension of production. Recent copies have been sold in 2010.

Fifth generation (2012 – present)

Suspension of the fourth generation of production in fact really is – to abandon the charismatic supercar no one was going. The plans for the conclusion of a new generation in the autumn of 2010 it was announced, the Viper. The model already developed under the auspices of the Fiat.

Presentation of the fifth generation Viper was held in 2012 at the Auto Show in Detroit. The new "Viper", is which was the only way into the compartment, designed on a completely new platform and has a wheelbase of 2510 mm. The design is widely used high-grade steel, carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium alloys. The model has changed radically, and at the same time remain completely recognizable. Humpback silhouette with a long bonnet, cabin shifted back to the humps on the roof, a deep front air vents doors, side exhaust – all branded "chips" are stored.


To say that the cabin has changed, it means nothing to say. Interior for the first time in many years, became correspond to the high rank of the car. Clients no longer have to put up with the booming plastic and lack of modern features in a car with a six-digit dollar price tag. Finishing high quality leather and Alcantara, climate control, instrument panel with color display, touch screen navigation multmedia, support Bluetooth and Internet access – all this finally became available on the Viper.

Heart "viper" all the same fiery – the mighty V10 from the fourth generation Viper upgrade, with 640 hp and 814 Nm. Key figures: 3.2 seconds. to "hundreds" and 330 km / h top speed. Transmission also was inherited. Driving the suspension has not changed, there were only reviewed arm attachment points to the frame and retuned geometry. But the main thing – is finally a system stabilization system, as urged by the head of Fiat, Sergio Marchionne.

It would seem, retaining all the old pros and eliminate much of the past shortcomings of the model had to wait for success in the market. But no, due to low demand in 2014, the assembly of the model even suspended for two months. There were several reasons. Firstly, the new management decided to advance as SRT Viper brand, without reference to the Dodge. The market also was not ready for this, no one bothered to clearly explain to customers what the new brand. Second, the debut of "viper" badly tarnished old friend – Chevrolet Corvette with its Stingray. Well, in the treth price is more than $ 100 000, that is not enough by American standards, especially for models with no alternative "mechanics" and only closed for this body.


What's next?

But the "adder" is not discouraged. The conveyor is launched, and in 2015 the model has received a number of changes in technology and appearance, were revised configuration, slightly increased engine efficiency and reduced fuel consumption. But as soon as the power can raise more significantly, not without the help of a compressor. It's all in the appearance of Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat with an engine capacity of 717 hp, and a weakling flagship stay not comme il faut. But most importantly – a model once again offered a historical brand Dodge, and has already officially announced his return to operation roadster.

Special series

As with any other iconic cars have Viper there were a number of special modifications, both from the the Dodge, and third-party company. Almost in every generation were limited version, but they often differ only by the range of options. There are a number of sports cars, based on the Viper, successfully performed in various racing series. Here are some of the most interesting options modified "vipers", certification for driving on normal roads.

Viper GTS-R

One of the first modifications racing Viper. First it was set up based on the second generation model. 8-liter engine developed 750 hp Most of the body panels were made of carbon fiber. The car made its debut in 1996 on the race "24 Hours of Daytona." In addition to racing cars 100 road versions of the Viper GTS-R was released, derated to 460 hp


Viper ACR

A series of racing cars as much as possible, "sharpened" under the track, but having access to driving on normal roads. ACR (American Club Racing) is translated as American racing club. For the first time it was introduced in the second generation model in 1999. The first Viper ACR had a capacity of 460 hp, reduced to 23 kg weight, more rigid adjustable suspension, rear wing and wheel BBS. At the SEMA tuning show 2014 Dodge concept car showed Viper ACR new generation. After a series of rumors and speculation finally it was announced that the ACR production should start in the summer of 2015.


Hennessey Viper Venom 1000 Twin Turbo

In general, the beginning of the company, John Hennessy experiments since the first generation Viper in 1993. But then the Hennessey Venom 500 Viper was an increase only in the 100 hp A world-famous studio version 2007 brought Venom 1000 Twin Turbo. Monster with dual supercharged 000 hp gave 1 Just think: acceleration to "hundreds" of 2.35 seconds, top speed of 411 km / h ….


Viper SRT-10 Startech

In times of DaimlerChrysler unruly "viper" interested Brabus. The Germans could not pass such a unique model and want to present their vision of the Viper. The project was implemented forces subsidiary Startech, specially created to work with the company car Crysler. The original version features an adjustable suspension with modified brakes, 20-inch Brabus wheels with Pirelli tires and exclusive fully leather interiors in wired. Later he appeared on the finalization of the engine program, increasing to 8.4 liter working volume Germans shot 612 hp.


Zagato TZ3 Stradale

In 2011, the hundredth anniversary of Alfa Romeo Zagato coachbuilder pripodnesla his favorite customer is very unusual gift. Under the original body with a classic Italian design from the hidden platform, it would seem inappropriate for this car – Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR. The model was released in limited edition of 9 copies, instantly dispersed in private collections.

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