Debuting as a show car in 1989, the Viper supercar entered production for 1992. Introduced as a two-seat roadster, the Dodge Vipers key source of attention was the 8.0-liter V-10 engine combined with a six-speed manual transmission. An aluminum block engine produced in cooperation with Lamborghini, the powerplant developed a highly potent 400 horsepower.
Early Dodge Vipers models lacked basic amenities such as sliding side windows and even outside door handles. In 1996, the Viper received more power, a stiffer chassis and the addition of a coupe body style choice. The 1996 Dodge Viper GTS Coupe received a more powerful 450-horsepower ten-cylinder engine.
During the 1998 model year, the Dodge Viper RT/10 received the same output amount with its 8.0-liter powerplant. After 11 years, the Viper received its first major redesign in 2003 defined by a reshaped headlights and new side vents featuring a squarer appearance. The biggest changes for the 2003 Dodge Viper occurred beneath the bodywork.
While the chassis was strengthened, the new Viper actually weighed less than its predecessor. Under the hood, an enlarged 8.3-liter V-10 engine delivered 500 horsepower with the SRT-10 Roadster. Only offered as a roadster from 2003 to 2005, a hardtop returned for the 2006 model year. The Dodge Viper SRT-10 Coupe featured a 510-horsepower engine and 3.9-second acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour.
The Viper underwent another redesign in 2008 that once again included an increase in engine power. An 8.4-liter V-10 equipped on the 2008 Dodge Viper coupe and roadster delivered 600 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. Along with being potent, the new powerplant also featured the intelligent management of variable valve timing. Promising the return of the vehicle in the future, Chrysler suspended production of the Dodge Viper commemorating the supercar with a Final Edition run of 50 cars.