Second generation models increased engine power, improved suspension, and reduced braking distances; the 1996 to 2002 Viper GTS had a 450 bhp (336 kW) engine, which could complete the quarter mile 0.7 seconds faster and increased top speed by 35 km/h (22 mph) or so. A number of third party firms have modified the car to boost performance.
A coupe model, called the GTS, was also introduced in 1996. An interesting feature of the coupe was the "double bubble" roof contours; two small humps to accommodate drivers wearing helmets. Indeed, the Viper's performance has made the vehicle popular for both amateur and professional racers. Vipers can be seen participating often in drag racing, road racing and drifting. The GTS, like its predecessor, was chosen as the pace car for the 1996 Indianapolis 500.
Dodge contracted French racing team Oreca to build a racing version of the Viper known as the GTS-R in the FIA GT Championship's GT2 category, where they won the series in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002 (the last two with Larbre Competition). The car also won its class in the Le Mans 24 Hours from 1998 to 2000.
In the first six years of production almost 10,000 Vipers were sold. The second generation Vipers were exported to Europe, where they were sold as Chryslers.
The 1999 model was the last Viper that had forged pistons. Subsequent years had lighter-weight, hypereutectic pistons similar to other sports cars, as well as, improved exhaust systems. Also in 1999, the American Club Racing (ACR) model was introduced. This model featured suspension and engine enhancements focused on maximizing performance in road racing and autocross environments. Horsepower was bumped to 460 bhp in these models. Continuing chassis refinements, ABS braking was introduced in 2001. In 2002, the end of second generation production was celebrated with the release of 360 commemorative "Final Edition" models. These models were painted red with white stripes, paying tribute to the famous race-winning Oreca cars.