After a one-year hiatus (the 2007 model was a carryover from 2006), the brute is back. Restyled for 2008 with a fresh hood and air extractors, the Dodge Viper SRT-10 has an 8.4 displacement, up from the 8.3 of its predecessor. Also receiving a boost is horsepower (90) up to 600 and torque (25) to 560 pounds-feet of torque at 4200 rpm.
The two-door, two-passenger coupe from the Street and Racing Technology division of Chrysler isn't everyone's ride for the taking. If you can handle 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds, 0-100 mph in 12 seconds and pull to a stop in 100 feet, then you have a chance in this 6-speed manual transmission. At your disposal are 14-inch front and rear vented disc rotors, four-wheel independent suspension and power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.
Performance enthusiasts who crave a little action in their ride will rave about the loud throaty growl from the 10-cylinder engine. The center-mounted tachometer and 220 mph speedometer with a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob convey class despite a race-inspired cabin.
The Viper retains its matchless exterior appearance, featuring dual side exhaust outlets, crosshair grille, deep-cut side scallops and swept-back fenders. Dual-front airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes and a tire pressure monitoring system round out the safety features.
Go ahead; take the speed monster for a spin on the open road. Go light on the pedal, if you can. It won't take much to land you in a heap of trouble.