The skies opened up and the sun shone down upon us here at Top Speed recently when we received a call from our test car supplier letting us know that they had something special in store for this weekend. What showed up later on that afternoon was a Viper Red 2009 SRT-10, never before had any shade of red been so adequately named. This is was not our first time getting behind the wheel of the 8.4 Liter ten cylinder convertible, but there is just something about this shade of red that pops along and when combined with our car’s optional lightweight forged rims, showing off those bright red brake calipers, that makes this venomous vehicle something special.
Anyone familiar with the interior of a Dodge Viper will tell you just how minimalist the cockpit of these cars can be, with a few select white face gauges in front of the driver and a few auxiliary dials stacked just off to the side, even the an AM/FM/CD player radio is nothing to write home about. However creature comforts are not what this car is about, even though the interior does looks nicer than we remember, perhaps due to an improvement in materials. One thing that was very familiar was the smell of the V10, the radiating heat it emitted and the feel of that six speed manual shifter vibrating in your right hand, that is because Team Viper set out to make the most visceral performance machine ever built in the U.S.; and they have succeeded. Unfortunately Dodge needed their car back so our pleasant surprise was untimely cut short, but any time spent behind the wheel is well worth it.
With the increase in displacement to a full 8.4 Liters, the maximum output of the V10 has gone up to an even 600 HP and 560 lb-ft of torque. The 2009 SRT -10 can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.5 seconds, run the standing quarter mile in 10.9 seconds @128 MPH and reach a top speed of 202 MPH; all while averaging and estimated 12 MPG in the city and a rather impressive 22 MPG when cruising at highway speeds. The only option that our 2009 Viper Red Dodge came with were a set of optional forged rims which brought the modern American muscle car’s rice tag up to $93,000; not too bad for the closest thing you can get to a 1968 Corvette.