Is the Viper the new half-mile powerhouse?

Enthusiasts have been modifying Vipers ever since they came out in 1992. With a big V10, manual transmission, and a lightweight body, the Viper was not (nor has it ever been) a car for the faint of heart.

For decades, the Viper was known as a widow-making torque monster. With no traction or stability control for many years, far too many Vipers succumbed to ill-equipped drivers and telephone poles. 

As generations continued, the Viper got more refined, but was still a very raw car. Vipers were known to be loud, cramped, and hot due to the exhaust running straight out of the side door sills.

When the latest generation Viper (known as the Gen V) came out in 2013, many didn’t realize how big of a leap this car was from all prior generations. Coming from the factory with 640 horsepower, it was one of the highest-powered production cars you could purchase.

MUST READ: 1500hp TT Viper vs 2500hp TT Corvette – Half-mile Battle for the Money

Now with traction and stability control, different suspension setting modes, and updated technology in every way, this new Viper was something far and beyond the rowdy widow-maker it was once derived from.

People have long made big power with Vipers thanks to its eight+ liter, ten-cylinder foundation. Many Vipers were modified into drag cars as the owners and shops started throwing big turbochargers on top of the V10 and getting 1000+horsepower out of them.

However, in the past few years, the Gen V has really become something spectacular in the right hands. Calvo Motorsports, a performance shop out of Austin, Texas, is known as “the” place for going big with Gen V Vipers.

Owner Antonio Calvo started pushing the limits of the stock Gen V motor in his personal car, an Orange 2014 Viper TA nicknamed “The General”, with big turbos, a stand alone ECU, fueling, and a clutch (to start).

Problem was, the limits just kept going and he started seeing the potential in this platform. Soon the car had a built motor, sequential gearbox, and was breaking half-mile records.

Calvo Motorsports Viper
Photo Credit: Calvo Motorsports

Fast forward to now; Calvo Motorsports now makes multiple packages for the fifth generation Viper. Stock motor builds are capable of a reliable 1200-1500hp with supporting mods, which is absolute insanity. As can be seen in the video, Calvo made a big showing at the Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack, one of the largest half-mile racing events in the world.

On stock motor builds, these cars are doing 180-190+ in the half-mile. Cars with built motors are seeing 2000+ horsepower at the wheels (yes, AT THE WHEELS) and doing 215+ mph in the half-mile. Add an air-shifted sequential gearbox, and all you have to do is hang on for the ride of your life. 

To further put this into perspective, a Bugatti Chiron will do 60-130 in about 5.03 seconds whereas a Calvo Motorsports CM2000 package, on low boost, on the street, manually shifted, did 60-130 in 3.48 seconds. Figure at full boost on an event pass, this car could be somewhere in the high 2’s, and this isn’t even one of their biggest builds. 

Bugatti Chiron vs CM2000

Bugatti Chiron 60-130 acceleration vs 6 speed CM2000 on low boost. This should give you a nice comparison to see how insane our twin turbo builds get down on the street using a 19" R888 tire.

Posted by Calvo Motorsports on Wednesday, August 7, 2019

So… is the Viper the new half-mile powerhouse? Hell yeah it is. Not only is the Viper badass in and of itself, but adding another 1000+ horsepower to it just turns this American beast into one, big, steaming cup of Bugatti-roasting ‘Merica. Watch the video and see these monsters fly. 

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