The Dodge Viper is a sports car that was manufactured by Dodge from 1992 through 2017. Production of the two-seat super car began at New Mack Assembly Plant in 1991 and moved to Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in October 1995. In 2014, the Viper was named number 10 on the “Most American Cars” list, meaning 75% or more of its parts are manufactured in the U.S. The Viper was eventually discontinued in 2017 after being in production for 26 years.
In 2008, with the introduction of the 8,382 cc (8.4 L; 511.5 cu in) V10 engine, the power output was raised to 600 hp at 6,100 rpm and 560 lb⋅ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. The engine also received better flowing heads with larger valves, MECADYNE cam-in-cam variable valve timing on the exhaust cam lobes, and dual electronic throttle bodies. The rev limit could be increased by 300 rpm due to the improved valvetrain stability from both the new camshaft profiles and valve springs. The engine was developed with some external assistance from McLaren Automotive and Ricardo Consulting Engineers. Electronic engine control was developed by Continental AG; the controller can monitor the crankshaft and cylinder position up to six times during each firing and has 10 times more processing power than the previous unit.
Changes outside of the engine were less extreme, but a distinction between the third and fourth generation of the Viper is the vented engine cover. The Tremec T56 transmission was replaced with a new Tremec TR6060 with triple first-gear synchronizers and doubles for higher gears. The Dana M44-4 rear axle from the 2003–2006 model now had a GKN ViscoLok speed-sensing limited-slip differential that greatly helps the tires in getting grip under acceleration. Another performance upgrade was the removal of run-flat tires; the new Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires increased grip and driver feedback and, along with revised suspension (springs, anti-roll bars, and shock valving), made the Viper more neutral in cornering.
Another notable change was the reworked exhaust system; previous third-generation cars had their exhaust crossover under the seats which resulted in a large amount of heat going into the cockpit, which was done initially to help improve the car’s exhaust note, since the first two generations of the Viper, which had no crossover, were criticized for their lackluster exhaust notes. The car now featured a new exhaust system with no crossover, reducing the heat that entered the cockpit.
The electrical system was completely revised for 2008. Changes included a 180-amp alternator, twin electric cooling fans, electronic throttles, and completely new VENOM engine management system. CAN bus architecture had been combined with pre-existing systems to allow for regulatory compliance. The fuel system was upgraded to include a higher-capacity fuel pump and filtration system.