2003 Dodge Viper

American car lore is full of great rivalries, and the 2003 Dodge Viper plays its part. Camaro and Mustang fans never tire of boasting about their ponycars. And when Dodge rolled out the first Viper in 1992, the Corvette faced its first American competition in decades.

2003 Dodge Viper
The stylish and powerful 2003 Dodge Viper gave Corvette a run for its money.
See more pictures of the Dodge Viper.

The 2003 Viper picked up where the 1992-2002 original left off. At 8.0 liters, the first-generation Viper engine was huge, and for 2003 it got bigger. The thundering Viper V-10 was bumped to 8.3-liters -- 505 cubic inches.

With 500 horsepower, Viper bested Chevy's fastest drop-top 'Vette by 150, and defended its position as the most-powerful production car in America. Viper blasted from 0-60 mph in well under 4 seconds and topped out around 190 mph.

2003 Dodge Viper, Engine
The 8.3-liter V-10 engine gives the 2003 Dodge Viper
500 horsepower and muscle to spare.

Still a raucous ride, with every bit of its he-man personality in place, Viper was more civil than the original. Part of its taming was that it was now a true convertible with a well-engineered folding top. This design replaced the original's roof-hoop structure and cumbersome snap-on lid.

Viper could now continue its speed war with Corvette, while matching it with classic convertible style. To keep Viper ahead of Corvette, Dodge applied the first rule of hot rodding: "There is no substitute for cubic inches."

For more convertibles of the 1990s and 2000s, see:

For more information on all kinds of cars, try these:

  • Classic Convertible Cars: See profiles on more than 70 classic convertibles.
  • Muscle Cars: Get information on more than 100 tough-guy rides.
  • Consumer Guide New Car Reviews: Looking for a new car? Get the Consumer Guide rating.
  • Consumer Guide Used Car Reviews: Considering a used car purchase? You'll want to check the Consumer Guide used car rating.