Blast From The Past: This 1992 Clarkson Review Of The Viper Is Pure Bliss - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Blast From The Past: This 1992 Clarkson Review Of The Viper Is Pure Bliss

A blast from the past take on what Jezza made of the Viper, nearly three decades ago

LISTEN 02:39

As many of you may know, Clarkson hasn’t been the kindest when it comes to American cars. Having said that, there are exceptions. Cars like the Chevy Corvette Z06, and more recently, the Ford GT, have got him excited. The first-gen Dodge Viper sure as hell made the cut in his books. This 1992 review of Viper is classic Clarkson at his very best.

Blast From The Past: This 1992 Clarkson Review Of The Viper Is Pure Bliss
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The exceptions being cars like the the Chevy Corvette Z06, the Roush Mustang and his beloved Ford GT from the mid 2000s

Three decades ago, while I was mucking around in one of those kiddie cars, Jezza had access to some pretty potent machines. In the video, we join a young Clarkson in what appears to be an elevator. He stepped out of the building and in front of him lay a gleaming red Dodge Viper.

For those who don't want to pussy-put around at two mph in a solar-powered box, this is a dream come true. A throwback to the days when Cobras ruled the roads and performance was king. This car kicks ass. - Jeremy Clarkson
Blast From The Past: This 1992 Clarkson Review Of The Viper Is Pure Bliss
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Now if you know Clarkson, you know that he’s never really been that kind with American cars. However, there are exceptions that simply took his breathaway

Getting into the car, Clarkson almost immediately decides to ignore (not surprised) the safety label that read ’This is an open vehicle. Drive Carefully’. Strangely, he brought up electric cars, believe it or not, and he summed it up rather well with one of his analogies.

Blast From The Past: This 1992 Clarkson Review Of The Viper Is Pure Bliss
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Now while that might not sound like much today, it was plenty fast for ’92 and this was true more so since the Viper was a featherlight at just 3200 lbs

Two things, in particular, caught his attention. One, the utter simplicity of the thing, no roof or windows, which meant no air conditioning. There was no cruise control either and none of the safety gubbins that we’re used to with today’s cars. All this meant that the Viper was light, just 3,200 pounds, despite its vast proportions.

You don't just drive this car. You just hang on. It's like riding an Atom Bomb
Blast From The Past: This 1992 Clarkson Review Of The Viper Is Pure Bliss
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The second thing that caught his attention was un-questionably that 8.0 V-10 that Lambo had tinkered with and the result was 400 hp

The second thing that impressed Jezza was un-questionably, the 8.0-liter monster V-10 under the hood. The no-frills theme continues - no turbos, no supercharger. This tower for power was good for 400 horsepower, thanks to thetinkering done to Dodge’s cast-iron block by Lamborghini, that was part of the Chrysler Corporation at the time. He was surprised by how well the Viper rode, especially given how low profile the tires were.

Engine Specifications
Engine manufacturer: DODGE
Engine type: spark-ignition 4-stroke
Fuel type: gasoline (petrol)
Fuel system: gasoline indirect injection
Charge system: naturally aspirated
Valves per cylinder: 2
Valves timing:
Additional features: sequential fuel injection
Emission control: 3-way catalyst, Lambda-Sensor
Cylinders alignment: V 10
Displacement: 7990 cm3 / 487.6 cui
What power?
Horsepower net: 298.5 kW / 406 PS / 400 hp (SAE net)
/ 4600
Torque net: 631 Nm / 465 ft-lb
/ 3600
Blast From The Past: This 1992 Clarkson Review Of The Viper Is Pure Bliss
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There are two things that impressed Jeremy the most. One was its utter simplicity

Now, this review couldn’t be more 90s. The mullet haircut, the circular shades, the 4:3 aspect ratio of the video and to top it all, you got none of the special effects that every underground basement YouTuber has on his channel these days. Car reviews back then were far simpler and honest.

You can catch Clarkson’s short review of the Viper below:


Khris Bharath
Khris Bharath
Khris is a classic car aficionado and adores his Jags and Alfas, although he keeps tabs on everything from super exotics like an old EB 110 to the latest from Lucid. Formula One is very close to his heart, and he diligently makes time to tune in for the Grand Prix on Sundays. Khris also loves his road trips and he prefers stick shift over an Auto any day.  Read full bio
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