Gorgeous exterior styling; powerful V10; precise 6-speed manual; available creature comforts; driving aids now standard
The Viper is back, now officially the SRT Viper, and it's changed a lot in the two years it's been gone. But it's also stayed the same.
For starters, its exterior styling retains the sexy shape of Vipers past, with a low nose, long hood and rounded, flowing roofline to an upturned tail, with each side punctuated by massive side exhausts. This is the most refined Viper shape to date. Underneath is the familiar 8.4L V10, now boasting 640 hp and 600 ft-lb of torque, which drives the rear wheels through a Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual transmission. Driving aids such as launch control and stability control are now standard on the Viper, though both can be switched off.
The Viper sits on a new chassis, which SRT claims is 50 percent stiffer than before and the whole package is about 100 pounds lighter than the previous car, thanks to super-formed aluminum on the doors and sills and extensive use of carbon fiber in the body panels. Overall weight distribution is 50/50 front to back, and the whole car rides on coil springs with gas-charged Bilstein dampers and tubular stabilizer bars. Braking is done by 14-inch Brembo disc brakes all around, which necessary to stop this rocket; SRT claims a top speed of 206 mph and 0 to 60 mph in the low 3-second range.
Two models are available. The base Viper lacks amenities and is aimed at the enthusiast, and SRT claims it to be "a modernized adaptation of the original." The interior is vastly improved over previous models, with a higher standard of materials as well as fit and finish. Sabelt racing seats are standard, as is seat height adjustability -- a first for the Viper. The Viper GTS features leather seating with power adjustability, cruise control, and a two-mode adjustable suspension with Bilstein DampTronic Select shocks. Both cars feature bi-xenon projector headlights with LED daytime running lights and turn signals, while LED taillights feature at the back. A host of interior colors are available, along with three different audio systems from nine to 18 speakers, and eight different alloy wheels.
A number of packages are available for the Viper, including the Track Package, which shaves another 57 pounds by offering two-piece StopTech brake rotors, along with ultra-lightweight wheels multi-spoke wheels, and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. The Grand Touring Package adds 3D graphic navigation, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, satellite and HD radio, a rear backup camera and more.
After a 2-year hiatus, the SRT Viper returns. The name "Dodge" has been dropped from the title, but what remains is a hard-core performance machine that's new in just about every way. The styling retains the familiar long, low nose and sweeping cabin, but every surface is updated for an attractive, modern-day super car look.
The new Viper is still powered by an 8.4L V10 engine, which is still mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, but it now produces 640 hp -- 40 more than the previous model -- and 600 ft-lb of torque. Gear ration are now closer and shift throws have been reduced on the transmission. One big change in the new Viper is its lighter weight; in fact, at 3,354 pounds, it is nearly 30 percent lighter than the car it replaces. The Viper also rides on an all-new chassis, which SRT claims to be 50 percent stiffer than its predecessor.
Two models are available--the base and the loaded GTS, which features goodies like leather interior and 2-mode adjustable suspension. Unlike the utterly raw driving machine the Viper once was, the new car features driving aids as standard, such as launch control and stability control, though both can be switched off.
The 2013 SRT Viper starts at $97,395.
The Viper's evolution from a raw, violent roadster in 1992 to the sleek, world-class super-coupe of today is proof of its lasting appeal. With vastly improved creature and driving comforts -- like seat height adjustability, available leather, navigation and driving aids -- the Viper seeks to attract a more gentile crowd. But its brute power and precise 6-speed manual place it strictly in the "driver's car" category, and it's not for the faint of heart. Strictly speaking, no other car offers a visceral driving experience quite like the SRT Viper--certainly not for under $100,000.
Vehicle Price: 101,990.00
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