A record-setting run for a record-setting American sports car

Dodge Vipers are famous for being fast; the most recent iteration of the American sports car featured an 8.4-liter V-10 engine that produced 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque and it was able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 208 mph. But as fast as the Viper was before it was retired, nothing can prepare you for this Viper. This refers to a heavily modified 2006 Dodge Viper that recently set the record for the fastest recorded speed in a Viper when it clocked a mind-bending top speed run that maxed out at 252 mph. The record was set at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds in West Palm Beach, Florida. The 252-mph run was far and away the fastest a Dodge Viper has gone. Best of all, the Viper that did it is actually street legal.

The Star of the Show

This is the 2006 Dodge Viper that everyone’s talking about. Its origins are unknown but it made headlines during a Johnny Bohmer testing event at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds (JBPG) runway in Merritt Island, Florida. In the middle of testing multiple prototype manufacturer parts during a Johnny Bohmer-organized Straight Line Aerodynamic Testing Session on January 18, 2020,

the heavily modified yet street-legal Dodge Viper managed to clock a top speed of 252 mph.

Not only did that run catch everyone by surprise, but, more importantly, it also set a new world record for the fastest recorded speed in a Dodge Viper. For a sports car that maxes out in excess of 200 mph, this particular Viper managed to hit hypercar-level speeds. That’s incredible.

It’s Modified, But It’s Unclear to What Extent

You're More Than Likely Assured an "L" If You Decide to Race This Dodge Viper
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Obviously, a Dodge Viper that hits a top speed of 252 mph isn’t stock.

No Viper can hit that speed without some assistance, and this particular Viper is said to have an engine that produces 1,400 horsepower.

That amount of power is usually achieved through aftermarket means, and if you listen intently to the video of the Viper during its record-setting top speed run, you can hear a couple of turbochargers roaring in delight at the speeds the Viper was able to hit on its way to peaking at 252 mph. Obviously, we know that the Viper’s 8.4-liter V-10 engine is naturally aspirated so if there are turbochargers underneath that hood, those came by way of the aftermarket tuning world.

The Record is Legitimate Because of Who’s Involved

You're More Than Likely Assured an "L" If You Decide to Race This Dodge Viper
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If you’re wondering whether the Viper’s 252-mph top speed run is legit, you need not worry. It is, and it’s largely due to the involvement of the people over at Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds. Johnny Bohmer is known far and wide as a man you need to visit if you want to test a vehicle for whatever purpose you deem necessary. If you want to fact check a manufacturer’s performance claims for a specific model, Bohmer’s your guy. If you want to debunk myths about a specific model, he’s the first person you call.

The extent by which Johnny Bohmer and his team host these testing sessions have convinced a lot of people of its authenticity. The vehicles, for example, are timed and speed checked using Garmin and Racelogic interior monitoring systems. The timing and speed runs are then performed by the International Mile Racing Association (IMRA), a sanctioning body that’s recognized by a handful of auto groups and, more importantly for record-setting purposes, the Guinness Book of World Records.

So if this 1,400-horsepower Dodge Viper clocked a top speed of 252 mph under the careful eye of the organizations involved, you can take its authenticity to the bank.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author

The Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds (JBPG) runway, located in Merritt Island FL. is not only the widest and flattest runway in the world but also close to the longest. For over 10 years, Johnny Bohmer has been performing Straight Line Aerodynamic Testing for many manufacturers and thousands of vehicles here.

The all concrete runway is 3 miles long with an additional 1000 ft. asphalt runoff on each end. The runway is also 100 yds. wide with an additional 50ft wide traffic lane on each side and has an elevation variance of only ¼ in. from north to south over the 3 miles making this one of the flattest, large surface concrete platforms in the world. You hardly notice the 24 in. crown in the center of the runway due to the immense width of the surface. In todays’ time, the availability of concrete would make this runway impossible to build. The traction is also substantially better here than any street surface; not as good as a drag strip, but much better than the street.

Johnny Bohmer has developed a program to debunk myths and fact check the manufacturer’s claims of vehicles performance. While testing the vehicles, Johnny’s team will data log each vehicle and record the findings. These have been useful to many manufacturers because of the vehicles ability to drive at speed for 2.5 miles while still have a safe, shut down area. Test videos will be posted to the public on the recently started, Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds YouTube channel.

The vehicles being tested are timed and speed checked with Garmin and Racelogic interior monitoring systems. External timing and speed are performed by the International Mile Racing Association (IMRA) who is a sanctioning body accepted by numerous auto groups and the Guinness Book of World Records.

Johnny and his team will routinely test ½ mile, 1 mile, 1.5 mile, 2 mile, 2.3 mile, 2.5 mile and 2.7 mile distances. Manufacturers come from all over the world to test many types of vehicles at JBPG including sports cars, race cars, tractor trailers, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, fire safety, law enforcement and the list goes on.

While testing multiple prototype manufacturer parts during a Straight Line Aerodynamic Testing Session on January 18, 2020, a street legal, 2006 Dodge Viper set a new world record for the fastest recorded speed in a Dodge Viper. The weather conditions that day are listed below.

10:00AM EST.
Temp: 72 F / 22.2 C
Dew Point: 54 F / 12.22 C
Wind: 15 MPH (13 KT) Direction: ESE
Vehicle Heading: South to North
Pressure: 30.30 in.
Density Altitude: 642 ft.
Surface Temp: 70 F / 21.11 C

2:00PM EST.
Temp: 77 F / 25 C
Dew Point: 54 F / 12.22 C
Wind: 13 MPH (11 KT) Direction: SSE
Vehicle Heading: South to North
Pressure: 30.21 in.
Density Altitude: 1042 ft.
Surface Temp: 88 F / 31.11 C

The professional driver reached a recorded top speed 252.588 MPH (406.501 KPH) during a 2.7 mile test.

One of the main functions of the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds is to safely determine all aspects of a vehicle’s performance capabilities while determining the accuracy of the manufacturer’s claims. Last but not least, please subscribe to the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds YouTube channel as we continue to perform more testing with some of your favorite vehicles.

For all testing inquiries, please contact Johnny Bohmer at BohmerGT@gmail.com

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