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 agoby Khris Bharath, on 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.
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
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.
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
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 type:||spark-ignition 4-stroke|
|Fuel type:||gasoline (petrol)|
|Fuel system:||gasoline indirect injection|
|Charge system:||naturally aspirated|
|Valves per cylinder:||2|
|Additional features:||sequential fuel injection|
|Emission control:||3-way catalyst, Lambda-Sensor|
|Cylinders alignment:||V 10|
|Displacement:||7990 cm3 / 487.6 cui|
|Horsepower net:||298.5 kW / 406 PS / 400 hp (SAE net)|
|Torque net:||631 Nm / 465 ft-lb|
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: