Dodge made some news late last year when it announced it was reducing the Viper’s base MSRP by $15,000 to a sticker price of $84,995. Adjusted for inflation, that price is actually less than the price of the car when it was first offered for sale in 1992.

Price likely isn’t a sticking point for many Viper buyers, but it’s nice to know that Dodge is still value-conscious even when it comes to its halo cars. What’s more, current Gen V Viper owners will receive a certificate worth an additional $15,000 to be redeemed toward the purchase price of a new model.

“The Dodge Viper is a precision-handcrafted machine expressively built to stimulate all the senses of an enthusiast’s soul,” said Tim Kuniskis, President and CEO, Dodge and SRT, FCA North America.

The current model debuted in 2013, but the 2015 models are now offered in a couple of configurations. In what FiatChrysler Automobiles calls the 2015.5 model year, the Viper will be available in SRT trim for the $84,995 price tag, GT trim for $94,995, TA for $101,995 and GTS for $107,995.

For the Motor Press Guild’s annual Track Days, FCA brought a Viper TA (Time Attack) 2.0. The TA includes a high-performance aero package, with a competition rear spoiler and front lower dive planes for increased downforce and improved handling on the track. It also includes two-piece Sidewinder wheels, Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, dual mode suspension and five electronic stability control settings. TA package buyers also get a carbon fiber X brace under the hood, a rear carbon fiber applique, front splitter, aero wing assembly kit, a car cover and some interior and exterior accents to let the world know you sprang for the TA kit.

The TA edition viper is available in three limited-edition colors: Y’Orange, Competition Blue and Venom Black.

Driving the car is a blast, most of which stems from the 645-horsepower 8.4-liter V10. On Willow Springs long stretches and fast turns, the Viper TA has power available at all rpm and throttle positions. It’s really rather insane to have that much power under foot, but it’s a treat for all your senses if you’re accustomed to driving a momentum car. Some of the fun also stems from the glorious noise this engine makes. This thing just wails.

The SRT® brand kicked-off “The SRT Viper Color Contest,” an

What’s most interesting to gear heads about this engine is its variable valve timing. Now, variable cam timing had been available before in overhead valve engines, but variable valve timing wasn’t available since one camshaft opened all intake and exhaust valves. To achieve variable valve timing, engineers came up with a clever “camshaft-within-a-camshaft” design. Technically knows as concentric cams, the inner camshaft controls the lobes that operate outside on a hollow outer camshaft. Each shaft opens intake and exhaust valves independently of the other, allowing for different valve timing for each function. The system has been in use since the 2008 Viper, but it’s still cool technology.

05_3_MAHLE_CamInCam-camshaft

The layout of the car is pretty much the same as it was when it debuted in 1992. The big V10 is laid out up front behind the center of the front axle. It’s a front-mounted mid-engine connected to a six-speed transmission feeding power to center differential and an independent rear suspension setup.

Settle in behind the wheel and you’ll find that Dodge designers and engineers also thought about ergonomics. The TA package includes premium ballistic fabric racing seats from Sabelt, which feature a lightweight fiberglass shell that accommodates three-point safety belts or six-point racing harnesses.

The seat and steering wheel adjust so anyone can get comfortable. There is enough adjustment for a 6’4”-tall driver to heel-and-toe without rubbing his thigh on the flat bottom of the steering wheel. Even at that setting, the steering wheel is right about where you want it for track driving: aimed right at your chest and close enough to you that your elbows are bent.

It’s important to making a driver comfortable because this is a lot of car to handle on a racetrack. It has the braking system it needs for track duty, but it’s still a nearly 3,400-pound car. It’s beastly, and the spring-action in the shift gate of Tremec six-speed transmission requires firm inputs to get the right gear.

On the inside, the interior is also a huge leap forward from previous iterations of the car, which had been accused of being “plasticky.” The 2015 features sumptuous leather and soft-touch synthetic materials and accenting red stitching. The steering wheel is fitted with controls for the cruise control, stereo and Bluetooth operation. The cluster is electronic, but still presented in analog fashion, with a 220-mph speedometer and a g meter located in the center of the tachometer. In the center stack, the Viper has an infotainment screen.

2014 SRT Viper TA (Time Attack)

“The Dodge brand is committed to keeping the ultimate American-built exotic supercar as unique as ever by offering new packages with some of the most exclusive and high-quality content we’ve ever produced in the Viper,” Kuniskis said “Our Dodge Viper customers crave new and exclusive options, which motivates our design and engineering teams to create special builds that continue to deliver our successful high-performance formula for street and track driving, while allowing our enthusiasts to stand out in their world-class supercars.”

Here is an in-depth video on how a Dodge Viper is built:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GDeTk_zJnI&list=FLZvJV_stD1QJH-VsVqKnngQ&index=1

 

Specifications

Engine:

8.4-liter V10

Horsepower:

645 @ 6,200 rpm

Torque:

600 @ 5,000 rpm

Front suspension:

Cast-aluminum unequal-length upper and lower A arms, coil springs, low-pressure gas-charged shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Rear suspension:

Cast-aluminum unequal-length upper and lower A arms, toe-control links, coil springs, low-pressure gas-charged shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Transmission:

Tremec six-speed manual with electronic 1-4 skip shift and reverse lockout

Rear axle ratio:

3.55:1 limited slip

Curb Weight:

3,390 lbs.

Base MSRP:

$84,995, ($101,995 for TA 2.0 package)
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Images courtesy of Fiat Chrysler and Mahle