5. Dodge Viper RT/10 (1992-95)
The folks at Chrysler really didn't like hearing that the U.S. couldn't make a supercar. They weren't thrilled that Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Maserati and their ilk were making U.S. muscle look flabby by comparison.
That's when they got creative. They decided to make a version of the fabled Shelby Cobra that would be more suited to the modern enthusiast and decided to load it up with the biggest beast of an engine they had: An 8.0-liter, V10 Dodge truck engine. Since Chrysler just happened to own Lamborghini at the time, they asked the company to give their bulky truck engine an aluminum makeover. "Team Viper" did its thing and, by 1991, a Dodge Viper was turning heads as the pace car at the Indianapolis 500.
Despite Chrysler's various ownership issues, bankruptcy, bailout and subsequent takeover by Fiat, the Viper has remained. The new Italian owners are so enamored of it that they've kept it going as the SRT Viper. Its current 8.4-liter, V-10 engine cranks out 640 horsepower and tops out at 206 miles per hour.
That first version, however, was a revelation. Its single-minded performance focus and six-figure asking price were reserved for European models before that point. The Viper opened the door for the U.S. supercar and has been pushing automakers to up the power and tweak design ever since.