Before the world went horsepower-crazy at Dodge’s bonkers Challenger SRT Demon reveal, Penzoil showed up to honor another high-horsepower Mopar in the manufacturer’s stable. We speak of course about the Dodge Viper, which is currently making its farewell tour before being discontinued at the end of the 2017 model year. If you watched the hour-long Demon reveal online, you saw Penzoil’s short tribute film to the Viper, appropriately titled The Last Viper. If you didn’t see it, take a few minutes and watch the video, posted above. It'll bring you up to, ah, speed on things.
For starters, can we just say awkward? We’re referring to the Viper’s V8 EATR license plate that’s prominently featured several times in the film. Apparently Penzoil had no idea this tribute to the V10-powered Viper would have its world premiere at an event celebrating – among other things – the most powerful production V8 ever offered from a manufacturer. Never mind that said V8 is installed into a car purpose-built to go very fast in a straight line, certainly much faster than the V8-eating Viper. Oh to be a fly on the wall at Penzoil corporate, watching them watch this video play at the Demon reveal. Irony – it’s fantastic.
Of course, the Viper would most certainly eat the V8 Challenger Demon on anything other than a straight line. Lest we forget, the Viper evolved from a crude, windowless instrument of power to a world-class supercar that currently holds lap records at no less than 14 tracks, including Virginia International Raceway, Willow Springs, and Laguna Seca. With 645 horsepower, gobs of downforce, and a top speed north of 190 miles per hour, the ultimate evolution of the Viper is welcome company for the world’s best racing drivers.
Speaking of which, Penzoil nabbed professional racer and Hollywood stunt driver Rhys Millen to pilot the yellow Viper ACR for this tribute video. It was shot in Miami – hence the intro with shades of Miami Vice – and while it’s not necessarily a destroyer of V8s as the license plate suggests, in the hands of Millen it certainly destroys tires.
The awkward choice of venues for the premiere notwithstanding, we give kudos to Penzoil for putting together a short but properly cool video send-off for the Viper. Given the partnership between Penzoil and Dodge, could there be a Demon video in the future? We'll just have to wait and see.