Automotive

Monstrous new SRT (Dodge) Viper at New York Motor Show

The original Viper was an outrageous and unsubtle statement of muscle-car intent, but this seventh incarnation is a much-refined beast
The original Viper was an outrageous and unsubtle statement of muscle-car intent, but this seventh incarnation is a much-refined beast
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
The 2013 SRT Viper interior
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The 2013 SRT Viper interior
The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest 2013 SRT Viper is almost pretty
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The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest 2013 SRT Viper is almost pretty
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest 2013 SRT Viper is almost pretty
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The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest 2013 SRT Viper is almost pretty
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The original Viper was an outrageous and unsubtle statement of muscle-car intent, but this seventh incarnation is a much-refined beast
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The original Viper was an outrageous and unsubtle statement of muscle-car intent, but this seventh incarnation is a much-refined beast
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest 2013 SRT Viper is almost pretty
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The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest 2013 SRT Viper is almost pretty
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest 2013 SRT Viper is almost pretty
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The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest 2013 SRT Viper is almost pretty
The 2013 SRT Viper engine bay
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The 2013 SRT Viper engine bay
The 2013 SRT Viper engine bay
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The 2013 SRT Viper engine bay
The 2013 SRT Viper engine bay
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The 2013 SRT Viper engine bay
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest 2013 SRT Viper is almost pretty
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The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest 2013 SRT Viper is almost pretty
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
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Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
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Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
The 2013 SRT Viper interior
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The 2013 SRT Viper interior
Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
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Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
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Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
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Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
The 2013 SRT Viper full-color display
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The 2013 SRT Viper full-color display
The 2013 SRT Viper full-color display
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The 2013 SRT Viper full-color display
The 2013 SRT Viper full-color display
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The 2013 SRT Viper full-color display
The 2013 SRT Viper full-color display
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The 2013 SRT Viper full-color display
The 2013 SRT Viper interior
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The 2013 SRT Viper interior
Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
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Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
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Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
The 2013 SRT Viper interior
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The 2013 SRT Viper interior
The 2013 SRT Viper interior
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The 2013 SRT Viper interior
The 2013 SRT Viper interior
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The 2013 SRT Viper interior
The 2013 SRT Viper interior
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The 2013 SRT Viper interior
The 2013 SRT Viper interior
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The 2013 SRT Viper interior
The 2013 SRT Viper interior
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The 2013 SRT Viper interior
The 2013 SRT Viper interior
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The 2013 SRT Viper interior
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The 2013 SRT Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim with the STR Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim with the STR Viper
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim with the STR Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim with the STR Viper
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim with the STR Viper
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The 2013 SRT Viper GTS in race trim with the STR Viper

After a period when financial crisis threatened the very existence of Chrysler’s SRT performance brand, the company came back to the New York Motor Show with a fitting flagship, the brand-new Dodge... sorry - SRT Viper and Viper GTS. The original Viper was an outrageous and unsubtle statement of muscle-car intent that unfortunately was unable to hide its uncouth truck-based roots. A loud and powerful beast that featured a comically small cockpit, no particular interest in going around corners and the torsional stiffness of a blancmange. The statement of intent remains but this seventh incarnation is a much-refined beast.

The defining elements remain of course - the front-mid mounted 8 liter V10, the side-mounted exhausts, the massive front wheel-arch vents and the rear-biased cockpit - but the design is much sleeker and more coherent with an Italian flair to the front fascia and integration of the snake-eye headlight clusters. The Viper was always a striking vision but the latest version is almost pretty ... almost.

If the design of the exterior is an improvement, the quality of the interior is a revelation. Ergonomics have advanced significantly with increased legroom, increased seat travel and, for the first time, seat height adjustment. Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather. There’s even a built-in cubby hole for your iPad.

Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather
Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt, Ferrari’s seat-maker, feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell and generous bolsters, and in the GTS virtually all surface are beautifully trimmed in stitched leather

These days any car with race pretensions must feature a trick dashboard. Designed specifically for the 2013 SRT Viper, a new 7-inch, full-color, customizable instrument cluster display uses a full-time analog tachometer readout in the center. Drivers have a wide range of custom and personal options such as an additional digital speedometer readout just below the tachometer.

The vehicle information is communicated with icons and controlled through a four-way steering-wheel control. The driver can configure the screens to display the information they desire, mixing and matching information. A range of Harman Kardon surround-sound systems with up to 18 speakers complete the cockpit entertainment. Hours of fun and distraction await.

The 2013 SRT Viper full-color display
The 2013 SRT Viper full-color display

None of this effort would be worth it if performance wasn’t up to snuff and great strides have been made here also. The mighty aluminium 8.4 liter hand-built V-10 engine has been breathed on. Improvements for 2013 include a new lightweight composite intake manifold, high-strength forged pistons, sodium-filled exhaust valves, new catalysts to reduce back pressure and an aluminum flywheel that reduces reciprocating losses. 25 pounds (11 kg) has been shaved from the fully dressed engine.

Preliminary performance ratings for the SRT-engineered V-10 Viper are 640 horsepower (460 kW) and 600 lb.-ft. (814 Nm) of torque - the most torque of any naturally aspirated engine available.

The Tremec six-speed manual transmission has been improved with a shorter throw shifter, closer gear ratios and a final drive ratio that has been shortened to 3.55 from 3.07. Top speed is now achieved through 6th gear with maximum engine speed (redline) at 6,200 rpm.

Power is nothing without chassis control - an area in which the Viper has been traditionally weak. Starting with a stiffer structure that provides 50 percent more torsional rigidity, the chassis of the 2013 SRT Viper benefits from a number enhancements learned through racing efforts with Viper GTS-R and Competition Coupe models.

The 2013 SRT Viper engine bay
The 2013 SRT Viper engine bay

Major updates include the addition of an aluminum "X" brace under the hood that ties the suspension pickup points to the magnesium cowl super casting and contributes to improved torsional rigidity and stiffness. A new aluminum impact beam at the front of the car contributes to overall mass savings and improved weight distribution while providing excellent crash-worthiness.

Structurally, many areas of the chassis were reworked to take advantage of new materials, reduce thickness in some areas and reshape components for more structural rigidity in others. The result is an overall weight savings of approximately 100 pounds (45 kg). At the rear, the suspension has been re-engineered with the toe link moved forward of the axle for better tow control and dynamic stability.

A new, driver selectable two-mode suspension system, featuring Bilstein DampTronic Select shock absorbers with both street and track settings, is standard on GTS models.

It may seem an anachronistic vehicle in these times but the effort that Chrysler/STR have put into improving the iconic Viper is impressive. One can’t help but root for the success of the hand-built beast from Detroit.

Race versions will once again be competing at this year’s Le Mans 24 hour.

18 comments
Sydneysider
This car is ridiculous. Its at least 20 years too late. No one in their right mind will buy an 8 litre sports car other than retired fat plumbers. They certainly won't have an Apple product (if they do Apple should take it off them as it will damage their brand). Now if it was a 3 litre 6 cylinder bi turbo, it might have a chance. Who approves this nonesense at these companies? They are like kids when you say 'don't do that' and they go and straight away do it again... bizarre.
Bill Bennett
for speed I find my Son's daily driver 2002 rsx type s Acura modded with a LSD (yes me installed) and computer mods to allow a 9,500 rpm shift point with headers and no cat to be more than adequate, this 8 litre monstrosity is a dinosaur from a GONE ERA on a road course the 2.0 litre Acura RSX would spank the penis impaired Viper driver or the decades old tech from twin turbo 2.7 Audi v-6. good luck correcting me, , I have a road for you to try, as in try to keep up. Regards, Bill
Guy Robertson
You guys say why .. when the blokes at Chrysler are saying why not ... they have gone from being bankript to back in the black largely on the backs of cars like these, the rubicon jeeps etc .. nieche marketing .. .and come on 810 Nm of torque .. that just screams drift any corner you like. I love a high tech turbo .. but there is something about a big block as well ...
Gee whiz
@Sydney & Bill Look at the 2010 viper acr Nurburg ring time & 24 hours @ Le Mans 3year in a row win streak Then talk about performance!
Mr Stiffy
Hmmm my first words, "Oooo that is pretty".... that is a good looking car. Lovely paint job etc.. See if FUEL was totally unlimited, and there were NO environmental damage from extracting it, refining it, and using it - and it was like 10c a gallon. And there were trans-state and national highways, that had more or less no speed limits... And I had shit loads of money - I'd have one. Not sure how long I'd end up living.... As much as force fed little 2 liter engines have going for them... there is something inherently wonderful about a HUGE hard running monster blue printed V8 engine... just idling at 100mph. Kind of like comparing a steak sandwich to rice crackers.
mommus
the dash and steering wheel are VERY audi R8. @Gee whiz the vipers driven round the ring are specially set up by a team of dozens of professional engineers, specifically for the Nurburgring. The car you'd buy in a dealership would have little to do with the 'ring car. It would have even less to do with a Le Mans racing car, which cost $500,000 and are almost completely stripped and rebuilt with bespoke components
Rocky Stefano
Love everyone's opinions. However keep in mind that not everyone lives in Australia or the UK. There are PLENTY of people in the US and other places that will jump on that car..because they can, because they have tons of open road to travel on as well and because frankly, they prefer a big block noise to the pussy whine of a turbo
rconaway
Apparently none of you have owned or driven a Viper. It's pure adrenalin, especially in the 90's. If you were an experienced driver, they handled great. They were difficult to drive on the street for newbies due to the overly stiff suspension and massive breaks without anti-lock. Bumpy roads were a handling problem but you know that going in. However, on a track, they were pure magic. It was a no-compromise car with emphasis on track. It didn't need any help on a track to pretty much dust anything on the planet at half the cost of any other SuperCar. It was a kit car with more torque than the rear tires could cope with. It still is an American icon that every man or boy looks at with awe. If you are a wanna-be-racer with no actual experience and think that a 2.0 liter anything is going to be as exhilarating as driving the viper, then you just don't get it. No amount of discussion is going to change your mind, it's guy thing.
Mateus Campos
Crap! No DOHC; No double clutch; No straight injection; No recovery system; CRAP!
John Alexander
I don't even own a car anymore. Prefer my bikes. But rconaway is spot on, it's a guy thing.
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