By Dave Stall.
You can imagine how excited I was to test these two vehicles. The Viper was driven at the Chrysler Proving Grounds on their test track at speedways while the Stingray was tested on the city streets, is that enough comparison? I think so, the proving grounds test track duplicates all the road conditions you would find anywhere in the US minus a speed limit. So let’s look at these two street rockets, but I know the Viper is a V10 and the Stingray is a V8 but hey I drove them both so let’s talk about them.
2014 Dodge Viper
If you have never driven a Viper than you will not understand this comment, “today’s Viper is like driving a Dodge Corvette”. Now Dodge was not real pleased with that statement (My statement that is) but if you have driven any of the past Viper generations it was a “hang on” experience, massive horsepower and sketchy brakes. All that is gone in the 2014 Viper, in fact, the 2014 Dodge Viper is a tame monster on the open road and that is what you should expect. Powered by a 8.4 L V10 producing 640 horsepower backed by a manual 6-speed transmission (sorry no automatic) and rear wheel drive and if you really care the Viper gets 12 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles power gallon on the freeway.
It is still pretty stiff on the open road (I love that feel) and you better be aware of what you’re driving or this snake will bite you. The 2014 SRT Viper is a two-seat supercar coupe available in base Viper or upgraded GTS trim. Standard features include 18-inch front wheels, 19-inch rear wheels, summer tires, automatic bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-only leather-wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming mirrors and automatic climate control.
Electronic features include an 8.4-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a nine-speaker sound system with satellite radio, auxiliary input, a USB interface and an SD card reader. In GTS trim you can expect in terms of mechanical upgrades, the GTS includes dual-mode driver-selectable Bilstein dampers, upgraded two-piece lightweight brake rotors and a multi-stage electronic stability and traction control system. Price starts out at $104,480 plus tax and license.
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Driving the Stingray on the open road is a dream, not real harsh, good fuel mileage (believe it or not) 22 on the freeway (Chevy says I should get 29) and 17 miles per gallon on the city streets. The engine is a 6.2-liter V8 producing 450 horsepower and 460 foot pounds of torque. Two transmissions to choose from, a manual 7-speed transmission or you can opt for a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifting. My tester came with the optional Z51 Performance Package, which included the follow options; the 3LT trim level provides the ultimate sport experience and luxury, featuring a leather-wrapped color-keyed interior. The Stingray 3LT includes everything above plus: Custom Leather-wrapped interior, Nappa leather seating surfaces, Navigation (optional on 1LT/2LT), the Z51 Performance Package (available on 1LT, 2LT or 3LT), elevates Corvette Stingray to its top performance level.
This package includes: larger 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, dry sump oil system, Electronic Limited Slip Differential larger front brakes (13.6 inch vs. 12.6 inch) with black calipers (My tester had yellow calipers) specific shocks, springs and stabilizer bar, differential and transmission cooling unique Aero Package that reduces lift for high-speed stability available Magnetic Selective Ride Control and Performance Traction Management, HD Cooling, Slotted Brake Rotors to name a few and the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray start out at $61,805.
Which do you choose? Is the Viper worth the additional $40, 000 over the Stingray? You will need to drive both to decide! I want both!