Back when it was introduced in 1992, the Dodge Viper was notable both for what it had – 10 cylinders and gobs of horsepower – as well as what it didn’t, which was most of the electronic nannies that keep you from getting into trouble. That lack of traction control, launch control, ABS brakes . . . etc, meant that driving the Viper was a skill to be mastered after learning the intricacies and proclivities of the platform.
In contrast, the 2014 Corvette will blip the throttle for you at every shift because you’re either too stupid or have such freakishly huge feet that heel and toeing is a skill beyond your muster. And the current Viper is as well saddled with the same kind of mechanical features that make driving the car far less a challenge, and in my mind, less of an accomplishment.
It’s not just the Americans that are saddling their performance machines with enough computer horsepower to make the engine’s horses manageable by even a holder of but a learner’s permit- Porsche, whose apocalyptic 930 would kill you if not treated with respect, has now tamed their cars to the point they advertise them as suitable for car line duty at the local private school.
The question is, while these enhancements expand the enjoyment of driving such cars to a broader audience, do they limit the sense of achievement for those who eventually master them? What do you think, do modern performance cars rely too much on technology these days?
Image: [General Motors Media]