An Open Letter Regarding The Viper

Features I By Rex Roy I January 21, 2010

An Open Letter Regarding The Viper

To Ralph Giles, President and CEO of the Dodge Brand

Dear Mr. Gilles,

We were overjoyed to hear you say that the Viper will not disappear down the snake hole next year. After recently putting plenty of miles on a 2009 Viper, we felt compelled to contact you. We hope you’re still open to suggestions regarding the 2011 model.

First, don’t wuss it up. Don’t make it a cheap Ferrari. Don’t make it more like the Corvette.

If your new Italian colleagues don’t get the Viper, it’s most likely because they’ve never fired it down the drag strip. The shifter that is so heavy in traffic feels perfect when the Christmas tree drops. The rock-hard suspension that hates Southern California freeways squats obediently, helping the rear steam rollers rip into the asphalt. Only then does the tach’s shift light make any sense.

If you haven’t done so recently, go rip off a sub 12-second quarter mile. It’s good for the soul. I did it not so long ago and I smiled for a week.

Leave the exhaust alone. Sure, its idle is a flat blat, but as it turns to a bellicose bellow, there’s nothing else like it on Earth.

If you’re looking for things to improve, ditch the cheap HVAC vents and fix the windshield wipers so you can’t feel their sweep in the throttle linkage. The action reminds me of my old Omni.

Adding direct-injection to the V-10 would help ensure that when we’re feeling adolescent, we can haze the tires whenever we want … even from a gentle roll.

Resist all pressure to sanitize, soften, or otherwise subjugate the Viper to be better behaved. Remember, vipers are supposed to be dangerous.

We’re trusting you.

Kind regards,
Rex Roy, on behalf of all Viper enthusiasts.

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