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American Classics: A Z06 Corvette Takes On A Dodge Viper In 1/4-Mile Drag Race

American Classics: A Z06 Corvette Takes On A Dodge Viper In 1/4-Mile Drag Race

Two classic American sports cars duke it out in a quarter-mile drag race.

Let us take a moment to lament the loss of a classic American supercar, the Dodge Viper. In its fifth and final iteration, the Viper was given an 8.4-L naturally aspirated V10 engine with 650 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. It’s insane to even contemplate an engine that large today on something like a full-size pickup truck, and yet the Viper had it shoe-horned beneath its hood.

Power was routed to the rear wheels through a 6-speed Tremec manual transmission, allowing it to go from zero to sixty in 3.5 seconds in the hands of a skilled driver. Top speed was 208 mph.

Competing against the last Viper is the previous generation of the Chevrolet Corvette. The Z06 trim came with a 7.0-L LS7 V8 with 505 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. This is quite a bit less than the Viper, but the Z06 is also almost 300 lbs lighter than the Viper.

Zero to sixty takes 3.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 198 mph. The transmission could be a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic--there’s no way to tell just by looking at the outside, but we can hope that a drag racing Corvette has a proper manual transmission.

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On paper, the two cars are fairly evenly matched. It’ll come down to how well each driver shifts as well as how well the Viper can grip the pavement in a car famously without any benefit of launch control.

Two good burnouts give us hope for a great race, and indeed it looks like both drivers are able to get off the line with alacrity, although the Viper takes the early lead. And then almost gives it away by braking slightly halfway down the track.

According to several comments on the video, the Viper's brakes and clutch pedals are so close together that it's easy to accidentally hit both while shifting, and made this race a lot closer than it ever needed to be.

The Viper finished in 11.72 seconds at 120.91 mph, while the Corvette finished in 12.06 seconds at 123.06 mph.

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