Edmunds Long Term Test - 2015 Viper GTS

Mook

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Been a long time since I followed one of their long term testers. Will definitely try and keep up with this one.

2015 Dodge Viper GT Long-Term Road Test - New Updates

What We Got



"The last of the muscle cars!" "The end of the V8!" "We'll never see anything this good again." We've heard these proclamations repeated and retracted more times than we can count, and knowing that, we're confident in saying the Dodge Viper is certainly the last of the truly bonkers muscle cars.

At least that's what we said five years ago when we introduced a 2009 Dodge Viper into our test fleet.

Fortunately, we were mistaken. The Dodge Viper is very much alive and kicking.

The current Viper, which debuted in 2012, is a more complete car. It's still designed to go extremely fast, but Dodge has crafted a car that allows you to get where you're going in relative comfort. Its Sabelt racing seats are offered with Napa leather and Alcantara trim. It has an infotainment system that comes standard with navigation and Bluetooth. The tall gearing in the six-speed manual means you can get halfway decent fuel economy from the 8.4-liter V10.

Some things haven't changed as much. This is the same naturally aspirated V10 that has been in the Viper since 1992, although displacement is up from 8.0 liters. Variable valve timing and a higher compression ratio have boosted output to 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Both of those numbers are up substantially over the previous-generation car (+45 hp, +40 lb-ft of torque) and an astounding 245 hp and 135 lb-ft up on the original 1992 Viper. Oh, and it's still a six-speed manual or nothing. No fancy paddle-shifted automatics here.

What Options Does It Have?



The 2015 Dodge Viper comes in three trim levels: SRT, GT and GTS. A base Viper SRT coupe starts at $84,995. It comes equipped with a plethora of standard features that consumers have come to expect on high-end sports cars, features never considered on the original Viper. These include things like antilock brakes, navigation, satellite radio, a back-up camera and keyless entry.

Our car is a Viper GT, the midlevel model that starts at $94,995. The GT adds six-way adjustable Napa leather and Alcantara-trimmed seats, the hood from the top-level GTS model and body-colored fascias. On the performance side, the GT coupe gets Brembo two-piece performance brakes with red calipers, dual-mode adjustable dampers for street and track, five-mode electronic stability control and all-speed traction control.

On top of that, we added a $1,995 Harman Kardon 18-speaker audio system, $1,700 six-lug Sidewinder II Hyper Black wheels and $1,000 optional GTS-R Blue Pearl paint, a new color for the Viper.

Tack on the $2,100 gas-guzzler tax and a $1,995 destination charge and you arrive at $103,785. That puts it in the same league as our long-term Jaguar F-Type R coupe, which stickered at $360 less.

Why We Got It



The Viper still has a reputation as a widowmaker despite its increased level of sophistication. Our last long-termer proved that it has moved beyond that reputation. Your mother could have driven our last Viper if she was good with a clutch.

This time around we want to see if Dodge has taken it a step further with the latest redesign or merely smoothed a few of its last remaining rough edges. Do the adjustable dampers really work? Are those leather-wrapped race seats still suitable for a track day? And is that giant screen in the dash an unnecessary distraction compared to the puny screen in our last Viper?

The fact is, we think the Viper gets pigeon-holed far too often. Other media outlets say it's only good for one thing and only able to do one thing — go very fast on a racetrack. The rest of the time it's just an expensive garage queen that sits under a cover. Meanwhile, its peers are heralded as "everyday supercars" just because they have better cupholders and automatic transmissions.

We don't think that's the case. You don't have to be a lunatic to drive a Viper every day, you just have to be an enthusiast who loves to drive. And we aim to prove it by driving this Viper day in and day out like it's a Corolla. Sure, we'll do some track days and light up the tires now and then, but we'll also pick up the kids (OK, a kid) from school, toss some groceries in the trunk and maybe even drive it across the country. Then we'll know if it deserves its place as one of the best sports cars in the world. Follow along on our Long-Term Road Test page to try and keep up with this one.

Best MPG: 11.3
Worst MPG: 8.1
Average MPG: 9.9
Current Odometer: 551
 

Mook

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Viper, No Viping



June 30, 2015

Bring home something like a 2015 Dodge Viper GT and the temptation to show it off, open it up and generally revel in the 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque you just bought is irresistible.

But Dodge and SRT don't want you to go hell-bent for leather in the first mile. In fact, they strongly suggest you hold off until 1,500 miles appear on the odometer. During that time the break-in period for SRT-sourced engines is pretty specific, and it consists of four phases that get gradually more permissive. Page 21 of the Viper manual spells it all out.

This is why you don't see any motion blur in the photograph above. Note also that the tachometer is pointing at a piddling 2,000 rpm. I am abiding by Phase I guidelines, which apply between 0 and 100 miles: no extended idling, go easy while braking, accelerate gently to no more than half throttle, shift before 3,500 rpm and never exceed 55 mph.



We wrapped up Phase I and its Draconian restrictions about two weeks ago, then started on the somewhat more reasonable Phase II. From 100 to 300 miles, we could exercise the engine up to 5,000 rpm without exceeding 70 mph, but the gentle acceleration/half-throttle rule was still in effect. And even though it's not spelled out, extended cruising in one gear on cruise control is not the proper way to get through this.

Phase III begins at 300 miles and ends at 500 miles. At this point things start to feel normal and the break-in period will cease to be a daily issue for most people. How so? Now we can (and should) start using the entire rpm range, which means we can flirt with the red line. Wide-open throttle is permitted, but only momentarily. Speed cannot exceed 85 mph, which is very easy to comply with around here because the highest California speed limit is 70 mph.

Phase IV stretches from there to 1,500 miles, and the advice is straightforward: no track days, performance driving schools or "similar activities," which to us means no Edmunds track testing for numbers, no burnouts, and no drifting photography.

This last restriction is similar to one we place on ourselves. We generally don't take new long-term test cars out to the track until they've got 1,500 miles, whether the manual says we can or not. Electric cars are an exception, for obvious reasons.

Throughout the process, Dodge suggests checking the oil level at each fill-up. And they warn that oil and fuel consumption may be higher than normal (presumably tapering off as things wear in) through the first scheduled oil change. In practical terms, there's another way to look at this. You could view it as a "check yourself before you wreck yourself" situation as much as an engine break-in procedure.

Surely some fraction of new Viper buyers has never before owned anything with this much raw horsepower. This break-in procedure seems like sound advice for drivers as they come to grips with their new V10-powered machine.

As for the performance driving school prohibited until after 1,500 miles, that seems like a good idea as soon as the curtain lifts, too. We'll certainly be taking ours straight to the track as soon as Phase IV is history, at which point we'll immerse ourselves in a cloud of tire smoke as we make full use of all 645 of the Viper's prodigious horsepower.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 102 miles
 

Mook

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I'm not sure what those two comments are getting at.....

They just bought the car and are now documenting it. They keep it for a year then sell it. Or thats how they used to at least.
 

Yaj Yak

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I'm not sure what those two comments are getting at.....

They just bought the car and are now documenting it. They keep it for a year then sell it. Or thats how they used to at least.
i was poking fun at 9.9 avg mpg.
 

Mook

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Holy shit, I just noticed that :rofl:
 

Yaj Yak

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they've run a fucking drum worth of gas through it and haven't even driven the length of the state of california. :rofl:
 

Mook

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[MENTION=11102]Venomous SRT[/MENTION] quietly enjoying this thread.
 

Mook

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Ok, I just assumed that had the car for a while.
Ya, I should have prefaced the post a bit better. The first article is the general overview, the 2nd is the first official "diary update".
 

Yaj Yak

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oh, and WANT.


id do this all fucking day long over a Z06...
 

J-LO

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Time to find out how fast it goes around the race track....

stay tuned for go pro video ;)
 

J-LO

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oh, and WANT.


id do this all fucking day long over a Z06...
The Z06 would be more comfortable, especially at slower speeds, the Viper hates traffic and going under 35 mph. i try to avoid it. The Z06 also will get way better gas mileage.

That being said, The Viper turns way more heads and gets a lot more fan fair than any corvette will, just based on the sheer rarity of the car.

I love this car!!!
 

Yaj Yak

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The Z06 would be more comfortable, especially at slower speeds, the Viper hates traffic and going under 35 mph. i try to avoid it. The Z06 also will get way better gas mileage.

That being said, The Viper turns way more heads and gets a lot more fan fair than any corvette will, just based on the sheer rarity of the car.

I love this car!!!
well of course it's more comfortable at slower speeds... you can't roll through a cruise night or park at a car show going all too fast!
 

Euro

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The Z06 would be more comfortable, especially at slower speeds, the Viper hates traffic and going under 35 mph. i try to avoid it. The Z06 also will get way better gas mileage.

That being said, The Viper turns way more heads and gets a lot more fan fair than any corvette will, just based on the sheer rarity of the car.

I love this car!!!

I'll agree to that. With any Viper/Corvette from 1984+, a Viper will always get my neck snapped. Corvettes I barely notice unless they're super loud or pre C-4:rofl:


Since when is the Viper considered a muscle car? :dunno:
 

EmersonHart13

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Gawd this car is so damn good looking.

Would park in my living room.
 

J-LO

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That puts it in the same league as our long-term Jaguar F-Type R coupe, which stickered at $360 less.





The car cave could be doing a dual review for them right now hahahahaha!
[MENTION=10583]Joz132[/MENTION]
 

YoushallgoFo

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I'll agree to that. With any Viper/Corvette from 1984+, a Viper will always get my neck snapped. Corvettes I barely notice unless they're super loud or pre C-4:rofl:


Since when is the Viper considered a muscle car? :dunno:
guessing because it still uses an "oldschool" pushrod engine and doesnt have high tech transmissions or awd.
 

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