2013 SRT Viper: North American International Auto Show
- 04/05/2012 |
- by Tara Baukus Mello |
- Total Car News / Auto Show
After a three-year hiatus, the SRT Viper is back as a 2013 model, intending to take the high-performance sports car market by storm, not to mention the American Le Mans racing series.
The 2013 SRT Viper is part of Chrysler's SRT brand, which stands for Street and Racing Technology, and is no longer considered a Dodge as it was when it was last on sale as a 2010 model. Two trim levels will be offered, Viper and Viper GTS, which features a two-mode active suspension and some additional comfort features.
The soul of the snake is a hand-assembled 8.4-liter, all-aluminum V10 engine that is now lighter than the previous model and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission with a new short-throw shifter, closer gear ratios and a shortened final drive ratio. Preliminary numbers for the 2013 Viper are 640 hp and 600 ft.-lbs. of torque. A stiffer chassis, traction and stability control (which can be disengaged) and additional weight reduction mean that the new Viper will be more engaging to drive than the previous generation, say SRT execs.
The design of the Viper, now in its fifth generation, is unmistakably Viper with a low-stance and long nose with the passenger cabin pushed rearward. There's a new take on the classic double-bubble roof design that now increases headroom to allow additional room for helmets for weekend racers. The 2013 Viper's new front fascia has dual-function, bi-xenon projector headlamps as well as LED daytime running lights and turn signals, while the rear features LED tail lamps with a snakeskin texture on the lenses. The exhaust exits in front of the new five-spoke, forged aluminum Rattler wheels on the base model and the split, six-spoke, forged-aluminum Venom wheels on the GTS.
The interior has been fully redesigned with premium materials will all surfaces now covered in leather with additional padding added in numerous areas to increase the comfort level of the two occupants. Sabelt high performance racing seats are made from Kevlar and fiberglass and feature deep side bolsters and improved thigh support. They are positioned slightly lower than the 2010 Dodge Viper for improved ergonomics, while the seat height can be adjusted for the first time. The new design increases both legroom and rearward seat track travel compared to the previous generation.
Drivers get key information via a new full-color, 7-inch screen instrument cluster display that the driver can customize to his personal preferences. The 2013 Viper features the next generation Uconnect system, with an 8.4-inch touchscreen to access audio, climate, navigation and phone, while the new steering wheel features some redundant fingertip controls as well as cruise control and launch control functions.
The 2013 SRT Viper will be hand built in Detroit. It will go on sale in late 2012.
Here's what others are saying:
Autoblog: "The wait is finally over. Dodge...excuse us, SRT has officially pulled the wraps off the 2013 Viper, and it's everything we were hoping it would be."
Automobile: "We suspect that even the most diehard members of Viper Nation were never really fans of the previous Viper’s down-market interior and will very much appreciate the increased room, the premium finishes, and the modern equipment that they’ll find in the 2013 Viper."
Chicago Tribune: "The SRT Viper is a special vehicle with only one distinct purpose: Go fast. Secondarily, it may be to look menacing. It seems it will achieve both."
Washington Post: "There's not much and everything to say about the new Viper. It has cues that evoke thoughts and feelings about the first Viper, with smoother surfaces, similar lines, and some of the bulbous awkwardness, too. But at the same time, it has the size, the low-slung ferocity, and the don't tread on me stance that all Vipers have had…"