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The return of the snake: Viper's back for 2013

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Our roads (and bank accounts) will never be the same — the 2013 SRT Viper slithered into the New York Auto Show this week. The fifth generation of two-seat supercar offers base and GTS models with new interior and exterior designs.

The base Viper boasts an all-aluminum 8.4L V10 with a new, ultra-high flow and lightweight composite intake manifold, high-strength forged pistons, sodium-filled exhaust valves, new catalysts and an aluminum flywheel — and preliminary performance ratings of 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, the most torque of any naturally aspirated engine on the planet.

2013 SRT Viper GTS
Photo: Chrysler

An improved Tremec TR606 6-speed manual features shorter throws, closer gear ratios and a shorter final drive ratio. The new Viper offers 50% more torsional rigidity than the previous incarnation.

Electronic stability control and traction control are standard for the first time. Four-piston Brembo brakes with fix-aluminum calipers are among the stiffest available. A steering-wheel-mounted launch control switch comes with every steering wheel.

The interior is completely redesigned, with all interior surfaces leather-skinned in the GTS. Sabelt high-performance racing seats are standard.

All-new carbon-fibre hood, roof, decklid and aluminum door panels are firsts for the Viper, shaving weight and improving high-speed stability and drag coefficient.