2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10
Written by Tamara Warren
Point A: Virginia International Raceway
Point B: Oakland Avenue, Highland Park, Michigan
Hiss. That was me flying by you. Who needs a snakeskin purse, when I can carry a Snakeskin Green Dodge Viper SRT-10 drop-top? Six hundred horsepower baby.
Unapologetic curves. The menace of 560 pound-feet of torque. Pure demonic driving drama as I cruised in third gear, never climbing higher in the gear box, preferring the whir of working those revs to an easy breezy fifth gear from our hotel in Raleigh-Durham to the asphalt at the Virginia International Raceway. I was the baddest chick on the track that day. I worked the 8.4-liter V10 engine to the best of my ability, striving for its top speed of 200 mph.
Well, at least I was the only one test driving the 2008 Viper SRT-10 in it is inaugural performance for media, along with a dozen male colleagues. Viper had me like a snake bite, so much so that one day behind the wheel wasn't enough, especially when the rain came down, making Viper crawl more than slither. The rain tainted my enjoyment of the new high tech cam, with maximum airflow that explained its improved response. Driving Viper in the rain is a just a downright tease.
We gathered again in a romantic setting a month later— Detroit, where Viper and I both have our DNA. This time around, Viper Blue was waiting for me when I landed in town, a seductive chariot parked in my family's lair. On the wide Michigan highways,
Viper careened to life and had a special affinity for stoplights, where I let the engine grumble in anticipation. Big shot boys pulled up beside me, taunting me to race, but none of them could hang as I left them in the dust with ultra-quick moves. I kept it in the pocket, but sometimes Viper has a mind of its own, hungry to reach 60 mph in just four seconds, a feathery aluminum bird in flight. The only thing that could stop me was a scolding Detroit cop who shined his light on my face, expecting a cocky man, I presume, after I blew past him on Grand River Avenue. I smiled sweetly, and he sent me on my way. There are some perks to being a speedy lady! Apparently, he wasn't feeling Street & Racing Technology (SRT) at work. It doesn't seem like you're going very fast when you glance down at a 220 mph speedometer. (It is not advisable to drive above the speed limit on public roads, and I'm in no way advocating such behavior.)
I took along a few of my favorite Brooklyn Dodge car club members to bask in the Viper magic on Detroit territory. With me they discovered what it is to be a head turner — the closest thing a man can get to strutting across a room in some killer heels. Maybe that's why men like to be seen in sexy cars! Neither minded riding as they eased back in the comfort of the black-on-black interior.
For a compact cockpit, Viper is a cozy ride for driver and passenger, and we made historic ground, dodging potholes on Oakland Avenue, whizzing by Highland Park and Dodge's former headquarters, a reminder that Viper's vicious venom was not born overnight, but steeped in Mopar tradition, a few feet away from telltale tiremarks left in decades past.