Comparisons

Did The 2015 Corvette Defeat The Viper In The Battle For Supercar Supremacy?

Comparisons
@WesLungwitz

Wes grew up around cars at the family business. He makes no attempt to hide his love of early 90s GM products, and still repents selling his sweet '94 Pontiac Sunbird a few years back.

Imagine you are an engineer on the new 2015 Dodge Viper SRT. You’ve helped create one bad-ass supercar. But you can’t sleep at night. The reason? The 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06. The new C7 Corvette was already robbing sales from the Viper – and now the Z06 comes along to do even more damage.

Before it seems like I’m stepping on the Viper too much, let me be clear – I would LOVE to own either of these vehicles. I’ve owned my share of Chevy and Dodge products through the years, and it’s safe to say that they are my two favorite brands. But when it comes to the 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 vs 2015 Dodge Viper SRT, there appears to be a clear victor – for now.

2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 vs. 2015 Dodge Viper SRT

2015 Chevy Corvette Z06
vs.
2015 Dodge Viper SRT
$78,995MSRP$84,995
6.2-liter V-8Engine8.4-liter V-10
650Horsepower645
650 lb-ftTorque600 lb-ft
YesAuto TransmissionNo

While price isn’t probably as big of a factor in this vehicle segment as others, I’m sure it does play in a bit for consumers. And this is where the troubles begin for the Viper. The Z06 is priced significantly lower than the Viper SRT. Obviously, the folks at Dodge saw a problem on the horizon when they decided to reduce the Viper price by $15,000 recently.

2015 chevy corvette zo6Simply being more expensive wouldn’t be a huge problem for the Viper if it weren’t for the fact that the lower priced Z06 offers more bang for the buck. The 6.2-liter V-8 engine on the Corvette Z06 has output of 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Yet the larger 8.4-liter V-10 on the Viper SRT falls short at 645 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. The numbers don’t lie – the Corvette Z06 figures are simply more appealing. Making the situation even worse for Dodge is the fact that someone could also pick up the new 2015 Corvette Stingray, which has output of 460 horsepower, for a starting MSRP of $54,000.

The Corvette Z06 might gain a few sales from its automatic transmission option as well. I’m not very fond of this personally – but it’s a good move by Chevrolet. I feel that if you are going to own a sports car, you need to know how to drive stick – end of story. How could you feel good about yourself driving a high-end Corvette and not shifting it yourself? Sadly, I’m sure there is a market for this, and the paddle-shift 8-speed automatic will end up being a selling point for the Z06.

As for the styling of the vehicles, it’s difficult to believe that the new Viper wasn’t at least somewhat designed with the Corvette in mind. Whether looking at it from the front or back, many would agree that the vehicles look more like each other than ever. Did that come from one copying the other or just a need for certain cues to be present for performance, etc? We can’t be sure.

2015 dodge viper srt frontAgain, my intention is not to dump on the Viper. I actually love this car. And stats aside, what really matters is how it drives. Dodge has done an amazing job distributing weight on the vehicle, which allows it to corner perfectly. Also helping the Viper handle are features like electronic stability control, traction control, and launch control to get it off the line in a hurry. There’s also nothing to say that Dodge won’t come back with an even more powerful Viper next year. But at this point, both Chevy and Dodge have to be getting to the limit of what they can offer in the horsepower vs vehicle weight game. A car can only be so light and so powerful and still be a street car. They are both inching dangerously close the race car segment.

To make the Z06 lighter, Chevrolet employs an aluminum space frame, carbon-fiber hood and removable carbon-fiber roof panel. To keep this light car on the ground, downforce was key, with wider flared fenders that mesh with the aerodynamics of the entire car, creating maximum downforce. The vents on the hood also play a role in keeping the Corvette grounded.

So while the Corvette Z06 might have taken the supercar battle to the next level, it will be interesting to see if Dodge answers. Even more interesting will be which car is declared the eventual winner on world-renowned courses like the Nurburgring in Germany. Something tells me that this battle isn’t over. At least I hope not. Competition brings out the best in companies – and when that happens between Dodge and Chevy – car lovers win.

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. Todd

    Sep 18, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I was surprised to find out that the Viper curb weight is 170 lbs less than the Corvette, I would have thought the corvette would be 200-300 lbs lighter than the viper :(.

    I wonder which car handles better?

  2. Rick

    Dec 22, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Not difficult to see the author of this article is a Corvette fanboy. He makes a comment about how the 2013 Viper looks like the 2014 Corvette. Um….hmm…Ok, let’s go back to first grade here boys and girls: which car was built first? The 2013 Viper or the 2014 Vette? He says the Viper makes less HP (yeah….A whole FIVE less) and it has a “bigger engine”. Ok, now again (back to first grade everyone)…which one has a blower!? Are you freaking kidding me!? Where I live Corvettes are like Camrys. One on every corner. Wow…cool, look, *another* Corvette.

  3. Kyle

    May 17, 2015 at 10:24 am

    It is mind boggling that the author spends an entire paragraph beating up the idea that a sports car can shift itself. The fact is GM spent a lot of resources developing the 8 speed auto which can shift faster than some dual clutch transmissions in cars that cost many times more. The 8 speed auto is light years a head of the outgoing 6 speed and the dated manual design that has not progressed much in the last 3 generations minus adding a 3rd overdrive ratio keeping everything else the same. If the author is of the mindset that real men shift their cars, then he should spend some time in a Model T where you have to manually advance your ignition timing as you accelerate (now that is a real man’s car…). Kudos to GM for developing their own world class 8 speed auto (only car manufacturer in the world to do so) and prove that automatics can be faster than manuals (look at 0-60 and 1/4 times on this Z06). The author should have been criticizing GM for not being able to beat the last generation’s naturally aspirated LS7 without lazily adding a supercharger thus adding a significant amount of weight over the nose of the car in addition to added heat. There is a reason the LS7 lives on in the Camaro.

  4. Ben

    Sep 17, 2015 at 1:36 am

    The Corvette is so that every AARP member can feel young again

  5. Matt

    Mar 20, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Viper hands down. Vipers are much more exotic and dont offer a girlyman transmission

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