In China, a new Dodge Viper could cost you nearly half a million dollars

High-end automakers like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bentley have sold thousands of cars in China over the past few years, yet the Dodge Viper is not officially available there. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a demand for it, though, and a dealership in Beijing has reportedly started to import gray-market Vipers purchased from a dealership in California.

Driving a rare, powerful American muscle car in China comes at a hefty price. While the Viper carries a base price of $90,000 in the United States, buyers in China have to pony up about $480,000 to get their hands on a brand-new model. Paying Rolls-Royce money for a Viper gets you a bone-stock coupe powered by a hand-built, all-aluminum 8.4-liter V10 engine that makes 645 horsepower at 600 foot-pounds of torque. Bolted to a six-speed manual transmission, the ten-cylinder sends the Viper from zero to 60 mph in a little over three seconds.

Surprisingly,  the Viper is fully street-legal in China despite the fact that it has never been type-approved.

The Viper sold in China is identical in every aspect to the model sold in the United States, so what is it that makes it so expensive? Part of it undoubtedly comes down to the sheer novelty of owning a rare car, but the bulk of it is attributed to the Chinese government’s policies on imported cars. Any car shipped in from abroad that has an engine bigger than 4.0-liters is subject to a steep 60 percent tax.

The astronomical price tag isn’t putting off buyers. The owner of the dealership told CarNewsChina that he has sold three Vipers in the past few months, and he predicts that many more will be brought into the country before the end of the year. That is, unless Dodge decides to take matters into its own hands and send a couple of Vipers to the world’s largest new car market.

Emerging Tech

Virtual newscaster wants to know: Is this the real me or just a fantasy?

China's state news agency introduced a virtual newsreader. The voices, lip movements, and expressions of real news presenters are used to synthesize the virtual readers. The agency says virtual readers will cut production costs.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Buster Scruggs,’ ‘Missing Link,’ ‘Mowgli’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mortal Engines, and the first trailer for Missing…
Cars

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.
Cars

Martell Webster's Ferrari 458 Spider is big and fast enough for former NBA player

Former NBA player Martell Webster loves his Ferrari's 458 Spider. It's not his daily driver, but in this episode of Behind the Wheel, he tells us why he always dreamed of owning this ride.
Cars

Honda HR-V vs. Honda CR-V: The differences explained

The Honda HR-V and CR-V may overlap in some regard, but they're not the same vehicle. In this comparison, we highlight the design, technology, performance, and fuel economy unique to each ride.
Cars

This hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Silverado looks like it’s straight out of Halo

General Motors' defense division has released video footage of a rugged, Halo-like truck called Silverado ZH2. The pickup is powered by the next evolution of GM's hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain.
Mobile

Google Maps tests feature that will help drivers avoid crashes, speed traps

Google Maps is testing a feature that lets drivers report crashes and speed traps so the app can plan efficient routes for others in the area, or warn of upcoming hazards. Waze, which Google owns, already offers such a feature.
Cars

Tesla appoints Robyn Denholm as chair, Elon Musk steps down

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk agreed to step down from his role as chairman as part of a settlement deal with the SEC. Tesla has named a 55-year-old Australian businesswoman named Robyn Denholm as his successor.
Cars

Ares turns the Tesla Model S into a two-door roadster with Italian flair

Italian coachbuilder Ares has done what Tesla won't. It's taking a Model S, chopping off the roof, and sending the rear doors back to the parts bin to create a roadster that's ready for the French Riviera.
Cars

Ford buys scooter-sharing service Spin as it looks to expand beyond cars

Ford has acquired San Francisco-based scooter-sharing company Spin. The Blue Oval believes mobility services like scooter sharing can complement its existing car business going forward.
Cars

Bosch, Daimler team up to deploy autonomous Mercedes-Benz S-Classes in San Jose

In 1986, when Bosch and Daimler joined an autonomous car research project, the technology seemed overly futuristic. Now, the partners are aiming to make a production self-driving car by the early 2020s.
Cars

Thinking of driving for Uber? These cars are safe, comfy, and fuel-efficient

Uber is a viable means for making money on the side, but you won't earn much if all of your profits are going direct toward fuel and maintenance. Thankfully, these five cars are a perfect fit for those looking to shuttle passengers from…
Cars

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best 'Top Gear' episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, 'Top Gear' has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 25 seasons.
Cars

Roborace wants human drivers and machines to work together

Roborace believes the future of racing is autonomous, but it's keeping human drivers in the picture for now. For its first race season, Roborace will use a car called DevBot 2.0 that can be driven by humans or machines.