The Dodge Viper is officially dead and there are plenty of reasons to be sad.
Regardless of whether or not you could ever own one, the Dodge Viper’s death is more than just another car getting discontinued. It’s a sign of how things are changing in the automotive marketplace, especially with stricter emissions and a huge focus on fuel economy. Bigger isn’t better anymore — automakers have found a replacement for displacement, and the Viper’s death symbolizes that large, naturally aspirated engines are not long for this world.
Here are five reasons that AutoGuide.com believes the Dodge Viper should live on.
5. Many Dodge Viper Owners Have More Than One
If you have ever browsed a Dodge Viper enthusiast forum, you will notice that many Viper owners have more than one. In fact, there’s one couple in Texas that owns 80 Vipers as of last year. It’s one of the few cars in this world that have such a rabid fan base, and when you own a Viper, you know just how special it truly is.
ALSO SEE: One Texas Couple Owns 79 Dodge Viper Sports Cars
4. It Has the Biggest Engine Available Today
It’s no secret that automakers worldwide are downsizing their engines and adding forced induction to enhance performance. But not the Dodge Viper. No way. Through all these years, the venerable sports car stuck to its guns, packing an all-aluminum, hand-built 8.4-liter V10 engine under the hood. Churning 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, the massive 8.4-liter powerplant may not pump out the same performance as, say, a Hellcat engine, but there’s just something charming about an engine that big that’s also naturally aspirated.
ALSO SEE: Top 10 Biggest Engines Available in 2016
3. It’s an Automotive Icon
For decades, the Dodge Viper stood as an automotive icon – a poster car, if you will. In a market where kids grow up fawning over Ferraris and Lamborghinis from Italy, the Dodge Viper and its styling has stood the test of time ever since it was introduced in 1991. Now in its third generation, the Viper still carries its signature styling and design from the first model, showing just how iconic it is. Plus, how many cars have a side-exit exhaust straight from the factory?
2. It’s the Most American Car There Is
Some would argue that the Chevrolet Corvette is the most American car there is, but, truly, it’s the Dodge Viper. It embraces nearly everything that defines American automotive culture, from large displacement engines to an unmistakable exhaust growl. Plus, its styling is brash and bold rather than classy and exotic. There’s a reason why the Viper has the name it does. It didn’t need to be fancy like the Huracan or use an alphanumeric designation like the McLaren P1. Just looking at the car will remind you of the venomous snake.
1. No Future Car Will Ever Come Close to What the Viper Is
But the biggest reason why the Dodge Viper should live on is that no future car will ever come close to what it is today. There is little to no reason that an automaker would ever build a massive 8.4-liter V10 engine again to shove into a sports car, especially since most exotics are turning to hybrid powertrains and forced induction for enhanced performance. It’s also unlikely we will ever get a car with the bold styling of the Viper with its long, sweeping profile.
Through all the years of its existence, the Dodge Viper never made any excuses for what it was. It has a massive engine that gobbles up fuel like no other and it stuck with a manual transmission even when most other modern sports cars turned to faster-shifting automatics or dual-clutch units. Those who have been fortunate enough to take a Viper around the track will say there are very few cars that offer the same experience, if any. And soon, there won’t be anything like it at all.