Forza Nation


    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2012-07-11
    Age : 22
    Location : Buckinghamshire, SE England

    Forza Nation

    Post by Ben2012X on Thu 12 Jul 2012, 10:06 am

    Forza Nation is an up and coming project that hopes to marry everything good about FM4 with really high quality writing, presentation and publication. As an applicant to a Car Reviewing post I can post my submission for the initial review, say how exciting this project is and give it some publicity. Here is a deliberately broken link to avoid the restrictions - remove the v's


    This is my review on the 2013 Dodge Viper SRT, entitled Once Bitten

    All work herein is the owner of Ben2012X who forbids the presentation of this work as anyone else’s. This work may be shared openly and freely if I am credited, but cannot be commercialised without my permission. Thank you for taking your time to read this and as always constructive criticism is welcome.

    2013 Dodge Viper GTS

    Perhaps the European motoring press have been unkind to previous Vipers - although it’s easy to see why. An 8.4 litre V10 putting out no more power than some engines under half that capacity, styling that dated quickly and interior plastics that would have been shameful in the truck that the engine originated from. With contemporaries such as the 911 Turbo, F430, Z06, GT-R and even the Sagaris from TVR, the Viper has always faced competition from cars just as fast, with better handling and with far better interiors. Its only advantage was price and even then, with used cars (and in Europe, import tax for the Viper) the price gap wasn’t as large as some think. It is with these unkind words that I begin to praise the 2013 Viper GTS. It’s predecessor was a rough around the edges sports car that meant well but didn’t always deliver. This time, its back and much better. Starting with the engine, it now puts the V10 to better use, with a host of upgrades to its power plant helping deliver 640 bhp and 600 lb-ft. More importantly, the power to weight ratio is not far behind the Veyron, taking it ahead of the ZR1 and Aventador. The Viper remains rear wheel drive but due to American regulations that are coming in to play it now has traction control for the first time, thankfully it can be turned off. The suspension and brakes have been improved, leading to a car far better suited to fast driving than its predecessor. It’s styling has also been changed and even if it’s still a little ungainly it is far better looking than before – whilst retaining the iconic Viper proportions. The interior is a world of difference, now acceptable of a car of its status – if not quite as good as the equivalent Porsche, for example. Now, on to how the thing drives…

    What is it like to drive?

    Well on the whole the handling is neutral with hints of over steer, which can be described as progressive and easy to control but twitchy to correct. There is little chance of a sudden or undeserved slide or spin with the Viper. Possessing 640 bhp and 600 lb-ft of torque the car is undeniably fast, especially in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gear sweet spot of particularly impressive acceleration. Indeed acceleration only really dims when going into the long sixth gear at 190 mph. However, the acceleration doesn’t feel quite as apocalyptically quick as 640bhp suggests, perhaps down to the un-dramatic dull wail from the V10 and the long gearing. If only it sounded like the Carrera GT! Another contributing factor is the other cars in the class such as the 997 GT2 RS and MP4-12C, which have even better acceleration than the already fast Viper. The long gearing also contributes to the overall good traction of the Viper, that can – of course – be broken, either by mistake or for fun, but when going fast instead of sideways you need some mild restraint to keep the rear end in line with the front. This is hardly an un-expected consequence of average weight, rear-wheel drive, and 600 torques, and is not a flaw unique to the Viper. Being able to break traction on demand makes any car more fun, and is what makes 4WD often, if not always, a less engaging drive. On sweeping curves and tight single turns the Viper handles with considerable aplomb actually, requiring surprisingly little in the way of concentration to drive quickly, but it can feel like the big car it is in certain circumstances. These certain circumstances involve rapid weight and/or power transfer, for example through S-bends, in these cases small and rapid corrections need to be made to stop the car under steering, spinning or washing out. When driven at ten tenths however these circumstances appear quite often and contribute to the general sense of unease I had with the Viper. If you know a car’s a bastard then you concentrate all the time, and treat the car gently, leading to incident free laps. However with the Viper knowing that most of the time it will be stable and predictable, even if you are a little rough, helps build confidence that can prove to be false on some of the trickier corners available to us.


    95,000 Credits
    PI S638
    Speed 9.0
    Handling 6.1
    Acceleration 8.6
    Launch 7.9
    Braking 6.0

    Please note, these times are done with clutch and no assists, they are probably fairly mediocre and I’m sure some can improve on them, especially given that I only did a few laps of each
    Hockenheim National 1:36.4
    Mugello Club 1:01.6
    Nurburgring Stage C 2:21.9
    ¼ Mile 11.7
    ½ Mile 18
    1 Mile 28.4


    This car’s niche is affordable S-Class performance on medium and long tracks. And that is rather notable; with about 120,000 to 170,000 credits you could have a credible track car to challenge cars costing 100,000s more. The 640 bhp is already sufficient, so I would recommend suspension, anti-roll bar, transmission, and brake upgrades, along with weight loss instead of extra power. Although twin-turbochargers have a habit of turning corners into irrelevancies on home straights, so that’s a possible avenue for the insane. The Viper can also be fun when trying to dispatch sets of tyres as quickly as possible, but as far as driving around a track sideways goes the C63 Black or XKR-S are even more fun and are two of the best sounding cars in-game. On small tracks the Viper will be hindered rather than helped by its long gearing, and beaten by cars with more grip and a better power to weight ratio. To conclude it’s good on medium and long tracks and doesn’t break the bank - leaving plenty of money for the modifications that will alleviate its shortcomings. However, there are better cars. Yes, no beating around the bush, for I aim to be as simple in my conclusion as the Viper. If you buy a MP4-12C or GT2 RS you will have bought a better car. However, when all is said and done, the 2013 Viper is a considerable improvement over its previous incarnations, worthy of the title supercar, and proving once bitten, twice deadly.

    But I’d rather have a GT2 RS… Twisted Evil [b][u]

    Clarkson on a car he didn't like very much: "It has the zip of a chairlift. The only thing this car will make you feel like is a cup of Horlicks with a splash of hemlock."

    Posts : 138
    Join date : 2012-07-07
    Location : UK

    Re: Forza Nation

    Post by jim1 on Fri 13 Jul 2012, 1:58 am

    Nicely written review.

    I have only driven the 2013 Viper for the Once Bitten rivals challange to try and win the R32 unicorn.

    It was stock, and I found it very tricky to get a decent time on the Top Gear track. Its very easy to off balance the car on a small track like that with S-bends and tight corners.

    Cars much better with upgrades though and some tuning to sort the handling out.

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