So I went back n forth on what to replace my gen 3 coupe with after its demise about a month ago. You can read about that here: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...e-a-tractor***.
During that time I was all over the place. Do I want another toy and keep the Passat as the daily? Is the Passat getting old in the tooth and going to break down on me anyday--maybe its time to flip it and move on... I thought about consolidating it to one fast/luxury car, maybe a used TT CLS63, hmm, there went a few days of daydreams, then i moved onto RS5s, from that I started looking at the latest XKR refresh, and slowly but surely I had covered every damn performance oriented luxury car worth mentioning, SL63s, V8 Vantages, 911s, Z06s, C7s, Cobra kit cars, Gt500s, etc. Hell I almost ordered a 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C, utter madness. I got to the point were i would go on cars.com and just go down every single make and try to get something to jump out at me that I may have overlooked. After a month of playing myself about what i really wanted, I would sit there ready to buy, but I could never actually bring myself to purchase something else. Could i take the gamble on something else, what if i missed the speed, the indestructible feel, the look, the cache the Viper brought with it everywhere it went...
So back to the burning question; What to replace a viper with? Well another Viper of course
The insurance came through and basically paid me 10 grand to drive the last one for a year so I figured i'd leverage the payday and go on and step into that 4th gen I couldn't quite swing a year back. I knew the exact car I wanted, it was local to me, it was one of my 2 favorite viper colors (snakeskin green is the other), and happens to be one of the rarest colors for a viper period, only offered for one year, VVO, or Viper Very Orange. Its a 3 stage orange pearl, reminiscent of Arancio Borealis (lamborghini orange). Its a got a gold pearl flake in it, and in the sun it is utterly breathtaking (subjective). It's a hard color to photograph but in person it just looks properly exotic. So without further ado here are a few pics of the Evil Jack-o-lantern from this weekend;
2008 Viper 'Very Orange' SRT-10
8.4L V10 640hp
The car has a completely different feel to it than the previous coupe. Its deceiving because minus the hood, they look identical, inside and out, but from the moment you hit the start button you can tell you're in something a bit different than the previous gen. Those not familiar with the differences between the 3rd and 4th gen coupes ('06 vs '08-10), i'll try to spit out what I can remember off the top of my head;
- Engine grows in size through increased bore to 8.4 from 8.3L, compression bumped to 10.2:1 from 9.6:1, picks up variable valve timing (cam phaser), and doesn't share a single component with the previous V10. Output is rated at 600hp, but is underrated with dynos showing 640hp+. Dual throttle bodies with a move drive-by-wire, new heads, hollow stem intake valves, pistons get larger diameter wrist pins and bronze bushings, cross bolted main bearings, and a larger oil pump with a swinging pickup (from the comp coupes).
- Brakes are same size but use different rotors with revised calipers (piston size grows)
- T56 is tossed in favor of a TR6060
- Improved shifter
- Clutch is now a twin disk unit
- Bigger fuel pump
- Cooling system upgrades
- Dana M44-4 rear with GKN Visco-Lok Diff (huge improvement from the previous lsd)
- No more runflats, moved to Michelin Pilot Super Sports
- Springs rates changed (stiffer), shocks tuned for slightly stiffer jounce
- Stiffer front anti roll bar
- Camber and caster increases front and rear
- New hood design (better aero, better cooling, looks sick). Frontal drag cd lowered to 0.382
The car is amazing to drive, plain and simple. Everything just feels more refined--if you can use that term in a viper. The clutch is lighter, the shifter is direct and a pleasure to snick from gate to gate, the motor is much much smoother both at idle and in general operation (the car even sounds different). The power band is insane. At first it didnt feel much, if any, faster than my previous bolt on gen 3 (i think its mostly the gearing, which is back to 3.07 from the 3.55s i had in the previous coupe) when i was just getting into it at lower rpms around town. But i finally got to do some real top end pulls and holy shiet, past 5k rpm in 3rd and 4th it pulls so much harder than the old car theres no way it would of been any kind of a race from a roll on. You know that feeling in most cars when you start to get deep into the triple digits where it just seems like the car is just making noise and you're sitting there watching the tach creep? Yeah, you never get any of that. Its relentless, just keeps building and building power till redline, feels like if there wasnt a fuel cutoff it'd happily pull you into the stratosphere until the rotating assembly came apart into a fiery mess at 7k+. It is without a doubt, a 202mph car from the factory as claimed. If only my balls were big enough to allow my right foot to stay on the skinny pedal for the requisite amount of time.
What don't I like? Well, the drive by wire, it sucks, bad. I really miss the instant throttle response in the old car. I mean i heard the viper guys complain about it but good lord, its bad, like a noticeable latency between your right foot and what the motor is doing. I felt like a newb driving the car around the first day. Bucking it from stoplights, overreving downshifts, etc. It was downright embarrassing. Now I've gotten used to it, and pretty soon I'll probably forget the differences all together, but the first time i took it for spin i definitely longed for that tb to be connected to my right foot with a cable. And, in true viper fashion, like clockwork, the window regulator on the passenger side made a loud *POP* and is starting to make noise in operation. But do i really give a squirt? Nah, i just go for spin and all is right with the world