While it took a few years for the public to embrace the Dodge Viper for sale, enthusiasts had no idea what was in the works. Going back to basics, engineers retained the exterior styling of the RT/10 Roadster while making significant improvements to the engine and chassis. The 1996-2002 Dodge Viper price, specs, photos and review are an essential resource if you are considering a second-generation Viper. In addition to numerous upgrades, the RT/10 Roadster was joined by the 1996 Viper GTS coupe for sale. Let’s take a look at both. to find out which one is right for you.
1996-2002 Dodge Viper Price
As the 1996 Dodge Viper GTS price reflects the development of a new model, it had an MSRP of $66,000. The 1996-2002 Dodge Viper price for the RT/10 roadster remained at $58,600. For this amount, buyers had more content to choose from. Instead of burning your legs, both models gained full-length exhaust. Glass replaced the plastic windows for more security and insulation, and an aluminum hardtop was offered on the roadster along with a sliding top window.
1996-2002 Dodge Viper Review
Driving a second-generation Dodge Viper for sale is much more rewarding than its predecessors. That is thanks to a stronger frame that uses aluminum to shave 70 lbs compared to the previous models. While the major changes can be felt in the RT/10 roadster, the 1996-2002 Dodge Viper GTS pushed the car into competing on the world stage. Their first coupe incorporated a double-bubble roof so that both occupants could wear full helmets with racing harnesses.
Performance on the street and the track was unprecedented thanks to strong a-pillars and a solid roof. Visibility was down but power was up, so it makes the GTS more collectible among some enthusiasts. While they look very similar, the 1996-2002 Dodge Viper GTS only shares 10% of its parts with the RT/10. That is why you should drive both before making a decision.
1996-2002 Dodge Viper Specs
For the sake of brevity, both models of the 1996-2002 Dodge Viper specs are identical. The 8-liter V10 engine gained full-length exhaust and high-flow manifolds. With the ability to breathe deeper, a more aggressive cam bumped power to 450 hp and 388 lb-ft of torque. Both cars used the Borg-Warner T-56. It was their strongest offering, incorporating steel shift forks and triple-cone synchros. A conservative differential ratio of 3.07 allows for deep overdrives on the highway, and swapping to 3.73 gears offers much faster acceleration.
Dodge Viper Specs
- Price: Starting $58,600
- Engine: 8-litre V10
- Transmission: 6-speed manual
- Horsepower: 450 hp
- Torque: 488 lb-ft
- 0-60 mph: 3.1 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 12.2 seconds @ 118 mph
- Top Speed: 189 mph
- Weight: 3,375 lbs
1996-2002 Dodge Viper Engine
While the motoring world was initially unsure about the Dodge Viper engine, it was the 1996-2002 Dodge Viper that truly set it in a class of its own. After extending the Magnum V8 by two cylinders, the odd-firing order made a unique soundtrack on the early cars. Now that both pipes ran full-length, the crossover allows for deep rumble and screaming shifts. Having 450 horsepower in 1996 required cars much more expensive, or else forced induction that was inefficient at best. The 388 lb-ft of torque is available at most any RPM, allowing the driver to stay in 3rd gear into illegal speeds. Thanks to beefy internals, the Viper engine is capable of much more power using traditional hot-rodding tricks. Ported heads and new cams will make your 1996-200 Dodge engine more powerful than most cars on the street.
1996-2002 Dodge Viper Transmission
Even with all the advancements, the 1996-2002 Dodge Viper transmission remained the bulletproof Borg-Warner T56. Because of ever-tightening fuel economy standards, the government-mandated a 1st to 4th “Skip Shift” under light loads. This irritant made sure the catalytic converters were working. Along with the electronic reverse lockout, they can easily be deactivated by unplugging them. While the transmission gears were evenly spaced, the differential was not built for acceleration. The 3.07 ratio is easily swapped out for 3.73 or higher, this offers more acceleration at the sacrifice of top speed. Contemporary critics malign the brand for never offering an automatic transmission. The simple reason why is power and grip. The 1996-2002 Dodge Viper specs include both. Automatic transmission technology was not capable of providing reliability without significant weight gains.
1996-2002 Dodge Viper Interior
Two considerations shaped the Dodge Viper interior. The first was government-mandated safety equipment. So diving into the Dodge parts bin, they added airbags. Everything else was based on performance. White analog gauges were aimed at the driver. The tachometer becomes redundant once your ears learn the exhaust note, but the speedometer is paramount. You can easily be at triple digits in seconds. Without cruise control, it is all that keeps you from a court date.
Most drivers have one complaint about the Dodge Viper interior: the pedal box. Having massive front tires and a beefy transmission on either side, the pedals are not a straight shot for your legs. Those with hip or knee issues be warned, this is not the car for you. Interior heat is also constant. Since the catalytic converters are large, the composite floor pans offer little protection. This is easily fixed with a few layers of insulation. The 1996-2002 Dodge Viper interior for the GTS coupe was the first to accommodate power windows, power locks, and Air Conditioning as standard equipment.
1996-2002 Dodge Viper Brakes
When it comes to stopping, bigger is always better. That is why the 1996-2002 Dodge Viper brakes measure 13″ at all corners. The front rotors are over 1.25″ thick to prevent warping, with the rears being 0.86″. All four calipers have four pistons with excellent pedal feedback. While they are power-assisted brakes, the minimal engine vacuum translates to a classic car feel. With no provisions for anti-lock, the art of threshold braking must be learned to keep from locking the wheels and flat-spotting the tires. With such a significant swept area under the brake pad, it is easy to tame this beast in the corners and on the street.
1996-2002 Dodge Viper Standout Features
One of the most obvious features of the 1996-2002 Dodge Viper are the 17″ wheels. Measuring 10″ front and 13″ wide on the rear, they offered the tires ample sidewall height to soak up the uneven pavement. Another advantage is that taller tires will easily tell you when they are at their limits. Not only through their screams, but the feedback through the steering wheel is also a great analog instrument. But as drivers began to stress the cars in endurance racing, they noticed the steering rack could easily wear out its bushings. Therefore, every 1996-2002 Dodge Viper was offered a reinforcement from the frame to the steering box mounts. This is one area of bargaining when looking for a Viper, as the brace makes a noticeable improvement on the track and street. By mid-1999, the improvement was added to the assembly line.
Other standout features you might not know is that the GTS stripes are wider than the RT/10. This was done to keep the graphics in proportion to the body lines using perspective as a trick to the eye. Almost every year had a unique color choice, giving collectors something to fight over. The transmission skip shift and a light flywheel take some getting used to, but they become second nature after a few days. Often the uninformed public has notions that the car is unreliable, but Vipers only usually need oil changes and tires. Click the button to find your Viper and stay with us for all your Viper updates.