Mad, bad and dangerous to know and drive: it’s a description that fits the Dodge Viper to a tee. Until the 2013 brand-new SRT model, that is, which has gained all kinds of bells and whistles and is supposedly a more user-friendly kind of supercar.
The latter term is relative, of course, as all who have driven the 2013 SRT Viper agree that it is more civilized than its wild predecessors but still remains an animal when you push it to the limit.
How do you measure that change in attitude, though? Comparing the brand new car to the original is an exercise in the futile as they are separated by two decades.
Car & Driver went ahead and did it anyway, picking up a new GTS and a 1997 coupe. It’s not just any 1997 car though, as this one has been heavily modified in all aspects, from the engine that pumps out 660HP (that’s 200 more than the original and 20 more than the 2013 car) up to the suspension, brakes and exhaust. There are still no electronics in sight, not even ABS...
The answer to whether a tuned old Viper can hold a candle to the all-new models comes in the video that follows the break.
By Andrew Tsaousis