Now what would be a good comparison of a great-handling, modern sports car?
But how does our lightly modified 20 year old car stack up to this modern, technical marvel?
We are very happy with the power, but how does it sound?
At idle the Viper settles into an all-American chassis-rocking muscle car V8 lope due to the factory “708 Cam”, but once you dip into the throttle, that roughness immediately smooths out to a higher pitch that comes from high piston count engines like V10s and V12s. From outside the car, the blended pitch of the Corsa Exhaust actually sounds a little more like a Gallardo short-shifting (due to the Viper’s 6,000rpm redline) than it does a pushrod V8 bigblock, smallblock, or LS motor. Don’t get me wrong, an uncorked Gallardo or M5 have a high pitch scream and rasp of 4 times as many cams, twice the amount of valves, and a higher redline that the Viper will never sound like, but the pitch of the Corsa exhaust makes the Viper sound more like its V10 brethren than it does an American V8.
From inside the car, the increased exhaust sounds sporty but not overbearing. It’s loud when you want it to be, and tame with a volume that’s more in line with what a Viper should be. There is virtually zero drone and long trips are easily tolerable. This is a feat in itself having been in Vipers with other exhaust systems that have a booming drone that can drive you nuts when driving the car sanely on the street.
The Roe Racing tune greatly improved one of the biggest drawbacks of the car, the low rpm tuning. The Viper can easily get into a bucking fit when driving at low speeds in 1st and 2nd gear below 1,700rpm. Above that it’s trouble-free and happy, it just has the ability to make you look bad when idling through a parking lot. With a big block, low revving engine producing gobs of torque, you would expect to be able to pull tree stumps from idle, but you can’t because the programming is atrocious. If you’ve followed the project in Part 2, our car has new plugs and wires and this behavior is prevalent across all Gen 2 Vipers, not just ours. While the Viper’s supposed to be rough and brawny, I’m surprised that someone signed off and approved this behavior for production. The Roe tune greatly cleans up and smoothens out the throttle tip in and further improves the driveability of the car.
Now the POWER, or should I say TORQUE! With our new exhaust and tune installed, the 34 lb-ft of torque increase at 4,300rpm just launches the car forward, when it doesn’t light the tires up. Torque across the board is increased around 20 lb-ft and the increase in acceleration is substantial. With a smoother operation at lower rpm and a huge increase in power off idle from the improved tune, our Viper not only drives much better, but sounds excellent. We are extremely satisfied with the performance and sound improvement that these modifications have made to our car.
Stay tuned for the next installement where we cover the exhaust with HeatShield Products and significantly drop the temperature in the cabin and on the outer sills.