SRT All Access - My first time driving a Gen V

Malu59RT

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I was very excited to attend the event, and finally get to spend some time behind the wheel of a Gen V. A little background, I owned a 2008 Viper putting almost 48,000 miles on it, over the course of 4 years. I used it as a daily driver, took it to the road course a few times, an auto cross, and lots of street racing and some drag racing. I was 25 when I got it, and as such, was willing to over look a lot of the car's shortcomings, as I've loved the Viper ever since I was a kid. My justification for getting the car was the amount of money I was spending on mods for the toys before that were more than the cost of them, and I was just flushing it down the toilet. I wanted to buy something stock that was fast, looked good, and was reliable. I hated the long down time with modifications, and the worry when driving/riding that something would break, and my Gen IV never let me down.

After my Gen IV, I picked up a Lamborghini Gallardo, and the car was beautiful, and truly a pleasure to own, but after having dropped over 6 figures to pick it up, the worry of major repairs left me with an uneasy feeling and worry that I would have to drop $5-10k for a clutch job, or $30k for a major repair. When the Gen V was unveiled, I told myself it was time to sell the Gallardo and get ready to purchase a Gen V. Then the reviews came out, and the general bit*hing from people on the forums. It made me question whether this car was worth $30-40k MORE than my Gen IV.

Thankfully the SRT tour put me in the driver seat and let me find out for myself. :D

Today, the temperature when we got to the event was 36F, and rainy. I'm sure the rain scared off a few people, but a friend I convinced to pick up a new 2010 Viper in May showed up, as well as a local VCA member and friend (that owns a 97 GTS). Total I would say we had about 14 people in my 4-6pm slot. SRT had wraps, make your own sandwiches, fruit tray, dessert tray, cheese tray, and Keurig machine. I honestly wasn't expecting any of that, so Kudos to SRT for going the extra mile.

They had 3 GTS Models (two red w/sepia laguna interiors, one gunmetal with sepia laguna interior), red track pack car, and white base SRT with cloth seats. I hopped in the Gunmetal GTS, since I assumed the SRT would be very similar to my 2008. The GTS was amazing! The laguna leather was great, but I imagine the standard leather in the GTS would be great for me as well. The rim thickness is PERFECT, not to mention the quality of the leather wrapping it. The new screen in the instrument cluster was crystal clear, and almost overwhelming with the information it provided. I would definitely spend an hour exploring every menu when I pick a Viper up, not to mention the nav screen and associated pages. The center stack is great, although I didn't spend too much time fiddling with it, as we needed to go drive!

First off, the clutch pedal pressure was so light, that I can't even remember if a Civic clutch can even compare. It felt even lighter than my Gen IV (as much as I can recall). Steering was very direct, and the increased stiffness and turn in was apparent even in the parking lot. Visibility out the front was much better, and I could even see the top of the hood, which isn't something I can say for when I was in my Gen IV. However, one drawback was the visibility out the back, especially with the rain collecting on the rear window. Maybe another owner here can comment on if this is something you experienced, or was just a rare occurrence for me. I hate to think about putting a wiper on the back, and hope this was just a freak thing.

I didn't "punch" the car having driven mine very hard, I knew pretty much what the driveline would do, and I didn't want to risk anything with the cold temperatures and slick roads. I did take the car to about 5k rpm, just to hear the motor/exhaust, and was surprised at how much louder the car was on the inside than my 08 in this part of the rev band. I didn't notice any resonance at 60mph putting around in 5th/6th gear like some have stated, but maybe that's more noticeable around 80mph? The suspension difference in street and race mode really blew me away. The car is surprisingly compliant driving around in street mode, and I honestly forgot about the dual mode suspension, until Stephanie decided to change it to race, and then we started feeling every minute detail of the road. Back to street mode, and it was soaking up a ton of the imperfections on the road, and that pretty much sold me on the dual mode suspension (and GTS) as the car turned from Viper rough, to almost Lexus smooth. The shifter was also great, and I can definitely appreciate the improved feel over the stock Gen IV setup, but I think I would still have to get a MGW shifter and **** for the short throws and precise engagement that setup gave me in my Gen IV. I feel most will disagree, but I LOVED IT in my Gen IV. I never felt as if the car misbehaved in the weather at speed, or even under moderate acceleration, which makes me happy as this car would be my true daily driver/only car when I get it.

After the drive, there was some down time while waiting for the last few people to come back, and I got an opportunity to listen to the stereo as well. It sounded good, and felt like there was a subwoofer behind my seat, but it had to be really turned up to get any bass, and the stereo wasn't super clear. I'm not sure if this was the full 18 speaker setup, but took the VIN number of the car, if there is a way to determine what the car was spec'd like.

The only thing I can say after the test drive is, that I want one, and am hoping to acquire one next year. This was a great idea, and I really hope it sells a lot more customers, like it sold me. The car truly does sell itself, we just need more potential customers in the cars, to do so.

Here are some VERY crappy iPhone pics from the event today. The panoramic photos apparently don't like to scale down nicely.

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pdannytn

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Not the best weather to test drive the viper, sound like you have a lot of fun..
 

Texas1

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I drove the white SRT today pictured above and must agree with you Malu that the Gen V is awesome. SRT did a great job with the event and an even better job on the car. I too plan on picking one up within a year.
 

Nine Ball

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Good write-up. Your comparison with the previous Gen 4 is spot-on, surprised you remembered so many intricacies of the previous car since it has been a while. The steering in the 5 is definitely tighter and more responsive than the previous gen. The clutch pedal should be identical to the 4, since both cars use the same pressure plate and disks. Only the flywheel material was changed. No real issue with rain on the back window, and reverse has the camera anyways. Too bad you didn't drive the SRT also, because even it is very compliant on the roads and could be daily driven. MCS coil-overs are pretty inexpensive also, a lot cheaper than the GTS package cost. I have the MGW/TR6060 in my Gen 3, and agree that smaller **** is perfect. The shifter in the Gen 5 is just as tight and accurate though, you won't be missing any gears. The main difference is the gate spacing on the two gens, the Gen 5 you have to move more to the right to hit 3rd gear, compared to previous gens. But, once you get used to it, it works just as well. GTS with red interior looks the best, IMHO, they should get a car with that interior for this travelling event.
 

Allan

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Very cool. :2tu:

I think the food thing is awesome too.
I did the SRT Track Experience twice, and both times they had that as well.
I don't think SRT / Chrysler / Dodge is as ghetto as a lot of the picky complainers make them out to be.

I think they are a class act, for the most part. :)

.......maybe I'm the one that's ghetto. :rolleyes:
 

WANTED

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Butts in Gen V's = cars sold.

Glad to see that SRT is doing this, the car is great.

are you going to visit your parents during thanksgiving ? if so i would like to see your car, lmk . maybe go to cecil dragway friday.
 

Malu59RT

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Was there some sort of invite sent out for this J.? I had no idea this was even going on.
Dennis, I got my invite about 2 days before the event, but happened to see the event on SRT's facebook, and immediately signed up. I've been wanting to drive one badly, and was excited I could attend.
Good write-up. Your comparison with the previous Gen 4 is spot-on, surprised you remembered so many intricacies of the previous car since it has been a while. The steering in the 5 is definitely tighter and more responsive than the previous gen. The clutch pedal should be identical to the 4, since both cars use the same pressure plate and disks. Only the flywheel material was changed. No real issue with rain on the back window, and reverse has the camera anyways. Too bad you didn't drive the SRT also, because even it is very compliant on the roads and could be daily driven. MCS coil-overs are pretty inexpensive also, a lot cheaper than the GTS package cost. I have the MGW/TR6060 in my Gen 3, and agree that smaller **** is perfect. The shifter in the Gen 5 is just as tight and accurate though, you won't be missing any gears. The main difference is the gate spacing on the two gens, the Gen 5 you have to move more to the right to hit 3rd gear, compared to previous gens. But, once you get used to it, it works just as well. GTS with red interior looks the best, IMHO, they should get a car with that interior for this travelling event.

I remembered quite a bit Tony, but I also get to ride/drive my buddy's Silver/Blue Striped 2010 Viper weekly, so the memories are still fresh :D. The graphite GTS I drove definitely had a lighter clutch pedal than my buddy's 2010, which is saying a lot, because that is a soft clutch pedal. As far as the back window goes, because of the mist/light rain we had and the way the water accumulated, I literally couldn't see who was behind me (and we all drove in a line of 5 Vipers for this event). It's perhaps a freak occurence it would be like that, but I can't recall ever having that issue on my 2008, and I drove that car ALL the time in the rain. I wouldn't let it keep me from buying a Gen V though :)
 

ViperSmith

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Driven in the rain a lot with my V and haven't had any issues at all with visibility.

Rear backup camera is useless in the rain though when it is wet
 

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