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Hello Everyone!

I was wondering....can someone tell me the pro and cons of either cars? I'm debating between the 2 cars. I am leaning towards the Elise BUT I like the speed of the Viper. I don't know much about the mods for the Elise...but is it possible for the Elise to be faster than the Viper?

Thanks.
 

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Hi, rx7girl,

I've been considering a Viper GTS myself. I've never owned either of these cars, but I will tell you what I know. The Elise will never match the top speed or acceleration capabilities of a Viper. Even with a full engine swap a la $125k Esthi, it barely edges out the Viper. When compared to a modded Viper, there's just no way.

The Elise offers something that the Viper just can't, though - handling. Even the GTS, with it's low, wide stance, will never compare to the Elise. It's not even in the same ballpark.

So you've got two cars on two ends of the performance array - one that dominates acceleration and speed, and one that dominates cornering. Each can be modified to be a little more like the other, but you'll never have a 500 hp elise or a 2000# viper, so it all comes down to what's more important to you.

Each will get you lots of looks and will carry a good amount of prestige, so if that's part of your equation, you should weigh both equally. Cost should be about the same. There's a one-year waiting list on the Elise (something to consider), so unless you're willing to pay over MSRP, you might want to consider getting the GTS for a year, then selling it and getting an Elise :) (that's what I was thinking about doing).

Hope all that helps!!

Steve
 

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Well said Transio, very different cars, but when you do the math, they add up to similar performance, depending on the track.
 

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I owned a Viper for a few days (long story). I wouldn't really recommend the GTS, unless you plan on upgrading the brakes.

The GTS I had was an '01 which was the first year of anti-lock brakes. But stopping distances were on par with my father's Durango! Handling was on the twitchy side, which made the Viper transition faster than it's size appears and it actually handled rather well for its size.

One plus side was the exotic factor. The Viper's design and characteristics made it feel like an America Ferrari. Not to mention, there aren't too many in production (relatively speaking). Acceleration was good (for a car) but the gearing was a bit on the tall side.

Giving a choice between the GTS and SRT10, I'd go for the SRT10 because it improves on the GTS' braking weakness. If it's a choice between a used GTS or a new C6 Corvette, I'd go with the Corvette, again, because of the GTS brakes and similar power. Lotus v. GTS, I'd go with the Lotus because performance is more than just straight line acceleration. It requires the ability to stop. ;)
 

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transio said:
Hi, rx7girl,

Even with a full engine swap a la $125k Esthi, it barely edges out the Viper. When compared to a modded Viper, there's just no way.

Steve
If memory serves, the Esthi does the sprint to sixty in about 3.7 seconds. I don’t think the Viper can match that. Come on guys… You’re talking about a 420 BHP Elise for goodness sakes… Not sure there’s a production Viper made that can match an Esthi.

Esthi details

PS: Top speed is 189 mph
 

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A Viper in the right hands is a great track car. They are also easily modded up to insane hp numbers.

Different cars all together.
 

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The biggest difference between these cars regardless of how much you mod either one is the difference in weight and drivers feedback. Adding big HP will not erode the Elise feather weight tossibility of the car. The Viper can never gain this aspect no matter how much you pump $$$ into it. On the other hand the Viper will handle extreme speeds with finess while the Elise will always feel like your going faster then you really are. I choose the kart like handling of the elise with the option of adding more acceleration later over any numb Viper feedback experiance. I have driven a Viper, but found my Turbo Miata too be more fun to drive even though they had the same performance numbers. The Elise will always be way more fun to drive...performance numbers can't measure that.
 

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1FASTMX5 said:
The Elise will always be way more fun to drive...performance numbers can't measure that.
Hmm. I also remember that the V10 thrust was entertaining for the first couple of times (even thoughs there's a bit of a bog). After that, it was sort of like having a fast truck.

The Elise won't have the Ziper's thrust but will tell you what's going on ever foot of every mile you drive it. I think feedback and the feeling of balance is a more frequent and enjoyable experience than the occassional ability to accelerate.

Then again, I'm sure other will say nothing is better than being slammed back into your see as you jump into hyper space. But then again, if you want acceleration, a $10K racing bike is all you really need.
 

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The Elise will always be more fun.

In fact, my last track day someone rode in my Exige and a 650hp Viper back to back. He was crushing my lap times (great driver and the car is set-up very well) but the passenger said they would take my car any day - much more fun even from the passenger seat.
 

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I am getting the Elise as an autocross and track toy, when you look at both I think the Elise is the pick. For track only the Viper has a lot going for it. I have never seen a Viper do well in autocross though.
 

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James A said:
I have never seen a Viper do well in autocross though.
I have, but then maybe we have longer courses here. Typically about 1 mile long. Top speeds may also be a little higher.
 

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Derek said:
If memory serves, the Esthi does the sprint to sixty in about 3.7 seconds. I don’t think the Viper can match that.
Thus my statement that it "barely edges out" the Viper GTS, which does 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. See, where I come from, "barely edges out" means that it does just slightly better.

Come on guys… You’re talking about a 420 BHP Elise for goodness sakes… Not sure there’s a production Viper made that can match an Esthi.
The Esthi is not a production Elise. My point to her was that she's not going to get her Elise to perform like a GTS by modding the existing engine. The Esthi is a complete engine-swap. My point, if you had understood the context, was that comparing apples to apples (dollar-wise), you could never get an Elise to accelerate like a Viper nor a Viper to corner like an Elise. If you want to look at $125k Vipers (apples-to-apples, remember?) like the Venom, then I'll consider your comparison.

PS: Top speed is 189 mph.
The Viper GTS is rated at 195 mph, IIRC. So what?

PS - What the hell is with BS arguments like this? I mean, if you're going to debate something, at least debate the topic at hand! Please don't argue for the sake of arguing. It's a waste of everyone's time and doesn't accomplish anything!
 

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i owned a 97 Viper GTS. It was a fun car to own because of the attention that it drew but i was not impressed with the drive. The interior is super sh*tty. The car feels unbelievably heavy and it is REALLY big.

Also the chassis and brakes are not up to the engine at all. I'm not sure if i can really describe it but i'll try. When you really get on the throttle in first or second gear you can feel the power build up in the chassis and then spontaneously explode to the rear wheels. It feels like the chassis becomes a rubber band. This makes the car a real handful sometimes.

Overall i liked our C5 Vette much better. It wasn't even a Z06 but it was much better engineered, a pleasure to drive, and pretty quick. I would buy a Z06 way before a GTS unless you really want attention, then the viper can't be beat.

As far as Viper/Z06 vs. Elise, obviously you can see my decision based on the fact that i'm on this site.

-Steve
 

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Get the Elise! I never really have liked the Viper. I've only driven the Elise, but one reason I won't buy the Viper is this: 8 damn liter engine. The damn engine is 8 freaking liters, now it's 8.3L , ridiculous. It's engine alone is probably the same weight as the Elise itself. LOL!
 

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shay2nak said:
It's engine alone is probably the same weight as the Elise itself.
Pretty close! You can get the viper engine and a couple wheels to balance it on (i.e. a Tomahawk) for 1500 pounds - that's heavier than a 340R!
 

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You may also want to figure in other expenses. The viper will be out of warranty so you have the cost of any repairs. Also the Elise will get about 3x better gas milage FWIW

-Steve
 
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