1994 Dodge Viper

posted in: Dodge | 0

This is the first generation Viper, which was produced from ’92 to ’96. And if I remember correctly, under the hood of this American supercar was the biggest engine of its time. Yes, – before the fuel crisis, GM made the Eldorado with a V8 of 8.2 liters, but even the Veyron equipped with a stunning W16 did not surpass the Viper in volume.

I think, the Viper could be named the best American supercar at the moment of its appearance. The fact is that in the early 90’s, the American car industry has not yet fully recovered from the sick era of the 70’s and 80’s, when the engines of cars with already iconic names are lost a lot in volume and horsepower. The Dodge Viper was a return to the great values of volume, torque and power. Such a Dodge could compete with the Porsche 911, or Ferrari Testarossa, and the ’87 Buick GNX was very much superior in both power and torque.

The 1994 Dodge Viper was conceived as a reincarnation of the iconic AC Cobra. A snake name was also sought for the new car. Initially, names suggested for the car included: – Rattlesnake and Anaconda. The first variant was rejected because of fears that the buyer could consider the rattlesnake as a reliable car. It was also decided not to call the car “Anaconda”, as this name was associated with the heavy-handedness and slowness. As everyone knows today, the car got the name Viper, which has become a cult name by now.

It may not surprise anyone, but the base for the engine of the Viper is the engine from the Dodge Ram. We are talking about a huge, cast-iron V10, weighing 320 kg. This engine was a kind of alternative to the diesel engine, which at the time was not popular in the USA. The engine was redesigned by Lamborghini, which at that time was owned by Chrysler.

The main difference from the prototype was the presence of an aluminum cylinder block, which allowed to reduce the weight of the engine very significantly. The timing mechanism had two valves per cylinder, and the car was equipped neither with ABS nor traction control, even as an option. Just think about it! – This is one of the most powerful, production cars of its time, and it doesn’t have these systems! Of course, this was done intentionally, because at that time, these systems were equipped with a fairly inexpensive cars, and the cost of the Viper was comparable to the Mercedes S-Class.

Sale and Price 1994 Dodge Viper.

An example in good condition and mileage of about 15,000 miles can be bought for $50,000. I consider this very not expensive for such an outstanding car. Cars with damage can even be found for $9,000, but these examples need immediate repairs and are not ready to go. The new Viper cost $70,000, which was very expensive for a car made in the USA.

Appearance and photos.

At first glance, the 1994 Dodge Viper seems a huge car. In many respects, this impression is due to a very long hood. In fact, the length of the body is 4450mm (175.2d), and the wheelbase – 2446mm (96.3d). The Viper has 275/40 R17 tires in the front and 335/35 R17 in the rear. Width of the front wheels is 8 inches, rear – 10 inches. Curb weight of this Dodge with a huge V10 is 1490kg, which does not seem a huge weight, considering what engine is installed on this car.
In many ways not high weight was achieved thanks to the fiberglass body, which panels are put on a metal frame.
Just from the photo you can notice that the doors have no opening handles and no keyhole. To open the door you have to slip your hand into the cabin and pull the cabin handle. There are also no side windows in the doors. Instead of glass, it uses elastic, removable panels that are stowed in a special pouch and stored in the trunk. A similar solution is used in British Caterham.
Designer named Tom Gale worked on the exterior of the Viper. And the same master designed such striking cars as the PT Cruiser and Prowler. Most of the first-generation Viper was painted red. By the way – the arc behind the seat backs actually serves only a decorative function. There is no solid, metal frame under the fiberglass. Probably it reads rather strangely, but the sticker on the doorway on the driver’s side (look at the photo a little bit lower) testifies to it.
On the wheels you can see the hubcaps covering the bolts, – they are decorated with the Viper emblem. In addition, the hubcaps have a centerlock.
On the right rear fender you can see the antenna. But it is not retractable as on most cars, but installed permanently. If you pay attention to the Viper emblem, you will notice that it is made in the form of snake skin structure. The radiator grille of the Viper is in the shape of a cross, which by that time was already becoming a trademark feature of Dodge cars. The rear bumper bears the Dodge Viper inscription, but it is painted in the color of the body and therefore not too conspicuous. One of the features of the Viper are the exhaust system outlets in the sills.

Interior and equipment.

As we said above, the first-generation Viper does not have the usual side windows. Instead of them on the doors are put on special panels with elastic and transparent material. These panels are equipped with zippers, such as those we are used to see on clothes and they allow you to stick your hand through the side panel.

This Dodge was equipped with a sport steering wheel without airbag. The latter is equipped with hydraulic power steering. What is unusual is that the safety belts are fixed on the doors. Earlier this solution was already used on the Pontiac Grand Prix. Inside the cabin, you can see a lot of bolts and screws with uncovered heads, some of them are right on the front panel.

There is no lever to open the hood in the Viper, it is in the area of the radiator grille. To open the hood, one must first pull this lever, and then, when the hood is slightly raised, pull the lever under the hood. This supercar was equipped with regular Chrysler keys, without any logos to remind you that they were Viper keys. In the photo I tried to show the special lever under the ignition switch. In order to remove the key from the lock you have to push this lever. I do not remember that this solution I have seen in any other car. On the mats you can see Viper logos, and on the cassette recorder – Chrysler inscription.
Above, we mentioned the stickers. There is a sticker on the doorway on the driver’s side reminding that this is an open car and should be driven carefully. There is a sticker on the passenger side doorway, informing that the exhaust system elements in the sills get very hot and you can burn yourself on them. The parking brake lever is manual and installed on the passenger side. Air conditioning became available as an option in ’94.

This Dodge has a very small trunk lid. To open it, you just have to insert and turn the key – there is no button. Another unusual thing is that the hood lid falls off when opened until it is propped up by a special prop. In the trunk there is a jack, a small dock and a black bag that holds the soft, removable roof and side panels that are installed in place of the windows.

Engine and Specifications 1994 Dodge Viper.

Of course, the main feature of the Viper is the engine. Despite all love of Americans to V8, and mentioned in the beginning Eldorado was installed V8 even a little more volume, under the hood of this Dodge is V10. In the US, an engine of this layout has become a cult, comparable to the V12 in Europe. And if I remember correctly, in terms of torque, the Viper was only slightly superior to such incredibly expensive supercars as the McLaren F1, Bugatti EB110 and Jaguar ZJ220. The exclusive Ferrari F50 had 470Nm of torque, the much-loved Testarossa had 490Nm, and the iconic Diablo had 580Nm.

The eight-liter V10 Dodge developed maximum power of 400hp at 4600 rpm and maximum torque of 620N.M at 3600 rpm. The first generation Viper could go from zero to 100 miles in 4.6 seconds, to go ΒΌ mile in just 12.6 seconds, and had a top speed of 290 miles per hour. At first glance the Viper is comparable to the Testarossa, but the figures do not convey the incredible power of the American supercar. At one time and even now, the Viper of the first generation was considered a very difficult car to drive. Let me remind you – there is no ABS or traction control.

The 1994 Dodge Viper was a cult car. In fact, it offered the same as AC Cobra in its time – the body without additional conveniences and huge engine. It was a very difficult car to drive at the extremes, and it was widely known, but some of these cars were bought not because of outstanding performance, but because of its unusual and striking appearance. And that could cause accidents. Today, however, the Viper is able to attract more attention on the road than almost any supercar of today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *