Watch this second generation Dodge Viper take on a modern Challenger in a quarter-mile drag race.
We miss the Viper. Something about an enormous naturally-aspirated engine pushing a tiny car down a drag strip just seems so pure and wholesome. That, and ever since the Viper went out of production, carmakers have gotten into their heads that a 7.3-L engine is “big.”
The Viper scoffs at your 7.3-L engine with an 8.0-L engine of its own!
From one of the largest displacement engines ever shoved under the hood of a production car came 450 hp and 490 lb-ft. That improved with later generations, eventually surpassing 600 horsepower from an enormous 8.4-L engine on the 2013 Viper. But back in 1998, the Viper was still a reasonable car with an unreasonably large engine.
Power was routed through a 6-speed manual to the rear wheels, with zero to sixty taking 4-seconds in the hands of an experienced driver. Quarter-mile time was around 12.2 seconds.
On the other side of the median is a Dodge Challenger R/T 392. Under the hood is a 6.4-L HEMI V8 with 485 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque. This beats our old Viper, but keep in mind that the Viper weighs 1,000 lbs less than the Challenger.
Zero to sixty is done in 4.3 seconds on its way to quarter-mile times in the 13-second range.
On paper, the Viper is a clear winner. But whenever you add a manual transmission into the mix there’s always that possibility of driver error.
Thankfully, this Viper driver knew what they were doing. A good start leads to a great quarter-mile time of 12.17 seconds at 124 mph--beating the time listed on ZeroToSixty.com. The Challenger, on the other hand, seemed to get a good start but then gave up when the Viper started to pull ahead, finishing in 13.96 seconds at 101.61 mph.
If only they still made the Viper. Ah well--maybe one day a different carmaker will resurrect the name and give it the biggest engine we've ever seen. Until then, we'll just watch it beat modern muscle cars like it ain't no thang.