Initial thoughts on the car - 200 miles


Viper Owner
Apr 13, 2010
Reaction score
1500 posts and your just getting your car. You have to much time on your
Jack B gave a much more useful one!

I figured I'd throw my first impression out there, as I am sure over time it will change a bit. I apologize for this wall of text.

I ordered: White SRT, Packages: Infotainment, Leather, Matte Rattler Wheels

I'll preface this by saying: This is the first performance car of any kind I have owned. I've never owned, yet driven or sat in a Viper.

When I graduated college in 2004 I bought a Corolla. I traded that for a Lexus IS350 in 2008. I drove that for a year and a half and traded it in for another Corolla (My commute went from 80 miles round trip to 4 miles, so no need for an expensive Lexus). Got tired of the Corolla and leased my current BMW 335i. So, I've had quite a collection of boring vehicles. Though, the 335i has 300hp, so it isn't lacking - but this is a ~215% increase in power.

I fully intend to daily drive this as much as possible. I work from home so, any chance I get out of the house I plan to drive it. I mean, I purchased it to drive it, so I might as well. I don't care how many miles I put on it.

I plan on tracking it - eventually. I am a complete novice, so I may get a Miata to beat up on before thrashing around this. I plan to go to Summit Point in WV with a few friends in July for Track Daze, just to ride along with them and see how I like it.

For those that don't know, I had originally canceled my order with Bernie in May. I had grown tired of waiting for the car to be built and delivered. When the car got in, Bernie contacted me and asked if I still wanted it. Both my wife and business partner told me do it, you idiot.

Enough back story

I have about 200 miles on the car on the car since Friday. I find the car a breeze to drive. I was pretty intimidated at first. I haven't driven a stick in 9+ years now. Though, I grew up on a farm and drove tractors and learned how to drive a dump truck with a two speed rear at the age of 11. So, manuals aren't new to me.

The clutch is easy to work. Though, it can get a bit tiring if you are engaging it a lot. But, not so much it annoys you.

The gear box is a breeze. The skip shift can get extremely annoying just putzing around town. Rowing through gears is an afterthought in this car.

The car goes when you give it gas, the "burble" sound is just exhilarating when downshifting. Yesterday morning it was a bit wet out and I did feel the rear slip a bit when giving it a bit more gas than I should have. A gentle reminder to respect the power.

I find the ride to be great (for being a purpose built car for a track). My wife and I took a 120 mile trip last night for our anniversary dinner into the country (Inn at Little Washington for DC natives - I even let them valet it - and this is the only place on Earth I'd let a valet drive it).

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Cruise Control came in quite handy for the interstate. She graded the ride quite favorable. The best was driving back with the windows down. 70* outside, cruising at 55, it was a fantastic experience.

The sills can get a bit hot from the exhaust. I wouldn't say burn you hot, but you wouldn't want to more than just touch it. With the AC on, it isn't noticeable at all. If I drive around town, I'll put the windows down and have the AC on low just to keep me cool. (Take that, environment!)

The interior material quality is fantastic. I have the SRT, I got upgraded leather seats. I find the faux leather on the dash to be of high quality. It is soft enough to the touch (Oddly I find it softer than the BMW real leather in my 3 series). The steering wheel is god like. It is perfect. Perfect size, perfect softness.

The backup camera is worth its weight in gold. If you have an SRT in mind, order the infotainment (though, 2014 I think it is mandatory).

I do have one issue with the carpet. It is pulling out a bit near the sill on both sides of the car. I probably just need to readjust. Other than that, there really isn't anything that needs to be changed. Another with the "one touch up" for the driver window. It will go all the way up then go 1/2 way back down. I can't figure out what is going on.

I did think the front driver speaker was going out. I had engaged navigation and the voice announcer was so low I couldn't hear it. Music kept on going out in it. I finally realized what it was, the navigation.

Exterior wise, I only have two complaints. On the top of trunk where it meets the rear quarter panels, there is about a 1/4 of an inch drop where the trunk meets the quarter panel. Just a minor annoyance, you wouldn't notice if you weren't looking. Also, the passenger and driver windows do feel a bit flimsy, I wonder how they will hold up over time.

I do think a lot of the "gaps" in pictures were do from how LIGHT the hood and trunk are. You really have to give it a good push to get both of them closed correctly.

There are a few minor points where the Carbon Fiber on the hood and trunk could use some refinement, but since they are mostly hidden, it doesn't bother me at all.

The car is just beautiful. It is outrageous. It is why I wanted it and it is why I loved the 1996 GTS when I was 14. Like many of you, this was a present to myself for working my fingers to the bone. I hope to have many years of enjoyment derived from it.

Overall, I am quite pleased with the actual purchase. Of course, getting the car was a complete different story as I and many others have lamented quite often. Bernie was fantastic as expected. I'd be cautious to order another vehicle from SRT after this, personally. I think Ralph is a great guy - but I think SRT needs to have a come to jesus with how getting cars to people went. Communication and setting expectations would have helped a lot.

If I could reorder again, I think I'd upgrade the sound system to the HK. I am still on the fence about stripes. I'd probably still go with the SRT as well. Not much in the GTS I needed.

It has gotten a lot of positive attention as well. People love it. People want to take pictures, you get thumbs up. I do live in a fairly good part of town, so I don't think I'll see too much hate towards it in negative actions. I won't drive it into DC... Though it is a bit scary to see people taking pictures as they drive by you!

I've had a smile on my face since Friday...

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