A car this outrageous must be hard to get approval for within the halls of a manufacturer's headquarters, especially when the decision makers aren't necessarily sports-car nuts. An extreme supercar that will cost millions to develop and end up selling in very low quantities doesn't make a business case when all you're looking at is the profit column.
Luckily, the notion of a halo car hasn't disappeared at Chrysler. The mighty Viper will make a comeback for the 2013 model year, redesigned and packing something new: refinement. Fortunately, not too much of it.
First of all, as you may have noticed, the car has been taken out of Dodge's product lineup, and is now called the 2013 SRT Viper
. Last year, Chrysler announced that SRT would become a separate performance brand, and The Snake is the first official standalone SRT model. The hand-built supercar will be offered in base and GTS trims.
The new 2013 Viper still relies on the massive 8.4L pushrod V10 engine, albeit with some modifications in order to reduce weight. All dressed up, the engine is now 25 pounds lighter. Output is estimated at 640 hp and 600 lb-ft. A reworked version of the Tremec TR6060 6-speed manual transmission will have the arduous task of managing all that power.
|The 2013 Viper is equipped with traction control and electronic stability control systems, as well as a launch control system. (Photo: Dodge)
The 2013 SRT Viper's chassis is said to boast a 50% stiffer structure, while the use of aluminum components allows for weight savings of about 100 lbs. In addition to a reworked rear suspension on both trims, the GTS gets a new two-mode adjustable suspension (street and track) with Bilstein shocks.
For scrubbing off extra speed, four-piston Brembo calipers pinching 14" vented discs are fitted to each wheel. StopTech slotted two-piece rotors are also available on the 2013 Viper as part of an SRT Track Package.
For the first time ever, the 2013 Viper is equipped with traction control and electronic stability control systems, as well as a launch control system.
The 2013 SRT Viper's cockpit is all new and features higher-quality materials as well as more comfort and convenient amenities. Never before seen in a Viper are a stitched dash and door panel surfaces, skinned in leather in the GTS model.
|The 2013 SRT Viper's cockpit is all new and features higher-quality materials as well as more comfort and convenient amenities. (Photo: Dodge)
Racing seats with Kevlar/fibre glass shells are included in both trims, now installed 20 mm lower and with an extra 90 mm of seat travel for added room and comfort. The height-adjustable seats are also power-controlled in the GTS.
Two Uconnect media centre systems are offered in the 2013 SRT Viper, which features an 8.4" touchscreen and wheel-mounted controls. An 18-speaker Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 sound system is also available in the GTS; and for the first time, the Viper gets cruise control.
Exterior highlights include the traditional double-bubble roof, bi-xenon headlights as well as LED daytime running lights, turn signals and taillights. Viper and Viper GTS get their own alloy wheel designs, wrapped around 295/30ZR18 front and P355/30ZR19 rear Pirelli P Zero tires.
The 2013 SRT Viper will arrive in Canada by the end of 2012 with a base MSRP of $99,995, while the Viper GTS will retail for $119,995.