2017 Dodge Viper GTS
The 2017 Dodge Viper GTS is the bodybuilder of sports cars. It’s a muscle-bound, menacing-looking machine with a new attitude. It’s an oxymoron to define the Viper as refined. But it has matured with better tire options, top-line leather seats and, for the first time, traction and stability control.
With its massive engine and astonishing power, Dodge markets the Viper’s 600 pound-feet of torque as the most of any natural-aspirated consumer vehicle. But the remaining performance specs are equally awe-inspiring and provide perfect justification for the car’s name. It's a dangerous snake, so stay out of its way.
Consider the Tremec six-speed manual transmission, 645 horsepower, and an 8.4-liter V-10. And then there are the acceleration numbers: 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds and a standing quarter mile in 11.5 seconds. The top speed is 177 mph.
Add it all up, and the rear-wheel Viper is one superior car rental choice for a day’s drive around Las Vegas. The 2017 Acura NSX, 2016 Audi R8 V10, 2016 Corvette Z06 and 2016 Nissan GTR offer complementary sports cars experiences. But there's nothing like driving a Viper.
The Viper's masculinity begins with its exterior design. Six vents dominate the long curved nose. The fastback shape is Darth Vadar-like, and the gigantic scoops behind the front fenders are cavernous. The Viper's two-bubble dome pays homage to old-style race cars.
Some concessions have been made to the modern automotive world. The GTS has electronic controls, an upgraded suspension system, and interior luxury, but not in the traditional definition. Previous Vipers are near barren of comfort. The 2017 Viper GTS offers a degree of cabin refinement, including its leather seats.
Still, if you're an automotive purist, the iconic beast (discontinued after the 2017 model) is the best choice. It's manual transmission-only. It's loud. Entering the vehicle requires dexterity and best done after some stretching. The cabin is tight. The ride is as rugged they come. There's nothing subtle. What's not to like?