The 2013 SRT Viper
The Viper is back, with more sting and stryke than ever.
Revealed in April at the New York International Auto Show, Chrysler Corporation’s two-seat sportscar, first produced in 1992, will be available in two 2013 models: the SRT Viper and the SRT Viper GTS. The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company’s Street and Racing Technology division creates the flagship Viper and other high-performance vehicles.
In June, the first production-model 2013 SRT Viper GTS was auctioned for $300,000 at Barrett-Jackson’s Orange County to benefit The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.
The two models will be hand built at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit — the Viper home since 1995. Both SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS models offer new interior and exterior designs.
From all perspectives, the new supercar is better than its legendary predecessors: faster, lighter, better handling, more luxuriously appointed and ergonomically appealing — much of this inspired through racing efforts with the Viper GTS-R and Competition Coupe models. Celebrating this are “Stryker” emblems on the forward-hinged hood and steering wheel — an idea contributed by the Viper Club of America.
The all-aluminum, mid-engine V-10 generates 640 horsepower. SRT has also worked the chassis for 50% more torsional stiffness, and the car’s reduced weight results in its highly improved power-to-weight ratio. The new aluminum and carbon-fiber skin provides for a low drag coefficient, and standard features such as traction and stability controls and a 4-channel ABS system deliver outstanding roadability, track and street.
“We’ve purposely evolved the iconic soul and raw performance formula that Viper has maintained over the years,” says Ralph Gilles, president and CEO, Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports for Chrysler. “Our returning customers will see the world-class levels of pride, quality and hand craftsmanship built into the 2013 Viper.”
Good Looking, High Performing
The new Viper recapitulates the low-stance and the extreme cab-rearward design of its heritage. Its traditional “double-bubble” roof configuration maximizes headroom for driver and passenger, and dramatic fender “gills” — another traditional Viper design element — help extract heat from the engine compartment.
In the rear, the exhaust system continues to exit forward of the wheels; this is accentuated by new cast-aluminum sill-mounted exhaust bezels. For the first time, the LED tail lamps integrate stop-and-turn illumination in one element; the lens’ snakeskin texture reiterates the theme in the gills and hood textures. Each lamp carries 50 LEDs for a “crystallized” illumination effect.
The hand-assembled 8.4-liter overhead-valve engine outputs 600 lb.-ft. of torque — the most of any naturally aspirated sports car engine in the world. Inside is a new ultra-high flow intake manifold, made of lightweight composite, and the engine features high-strength forged pistons, sodium-filled exhaust valves, low-back-pressure catalytic converters and an aluminum flywheel to reduce weight and reciprocating losses.
The engine is more than 25 pounds lighter than before. Structural changes to the chassis reduced overall weight by another 100 pounds.
The remaining drivetrain has also been improved by the SRT team. The Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission features a shorter-throw shifter, closer gear ratios and a final drive ratio shortened to 3.55 from 3.07 for quicker acceleration. The sixth gear delivers an exhilarating redline of 6,200 rpm.
The Drive to Even Better Drives
With the new aluminum “X” brace under the hood, the suspension is tied to the magnesium cowl super casting — improving torsional rigidity and stiffness. Also new is an aluminum impact beam at the front, saving mass, improving weight distribution and crashworthiness.
At the rear, the toe link has been moved axle forward, improving stability. Standard on the GTS models, a driver-selectable two-mode suspension system has been added, with Bilstein DampTronic Select shock absorbers which can be dialed in for street or track settings.
Electronic stability control and traction control help to maximize traction performance at virtually any speed and driving environment.
SRT Viper models have as standard Pirelli P Zero, Z-rated tires with improved grip and steering response on a variety of road surfaces. Optional is an SRT Track Package with Pirelli P Zero Corsa, “racing-type” compound tires to improve handling and precision on the street or track.
Available for the SRT Viper is the five-spoke, forged-aluminum “Rattler” wheel design as fully polished, standard, or optional as Hyper Black or Low-gloss Black.
For the Viper GTS, the split six-spoke forged-aluminum “Venom” wheel is available with polished face with graphite-painted pockets as standard or optional as Hyper Black or Low-gloss Black.
Also available are the SRT Track Package wheels — ultra-lightweight track-ready wheels in Hyper Black or Matte Black.
Stopping performance for the 2013 SRT Viper has also been enhanced, featuring four-piston Brembo brakes with fixed-aluminum calipers and vented rotors. The forged brake calipers have been weight optimized by machining all surfaces, nearly eliminating performance-impacting heat distortion. Available is an SRT Track Package with lightweight and slotted two-piece rotors from StopTech.
High Performing Inside, Too
This is the most spacious Viper ever.
All major interior surfaces have additional padding in the comfort areas, and on the Viper GTS, all surfaces are leather skinned. Gun-metal appliqués appear on the cluster bezel, HVAC outlets, window switch bezels, shifter base, park brake bezel and the grab handle on the console.
Racing seats from Sabelt feature a lightweight Kevlar/ fiberglass shell for mass reduction and long-term durability. Seating position is lower for more room and enhanced performance-driving ergonomics. And, for the first time, seat height can be adjusted — power controlled on the GTS.
Two Uconnect Media Centers, RA3 and RA4, are available, providing easy control of media in the vehicle. The system includes an 8.4-inch touchscreen along with a set of traditional knobs for tuning the radio bands and radio volume.
The touchscreen buttons provide drivers easy access to climate controls, navigation, phone and other controls. In addition, the steering wheel has finger-tip controls for audio, Uconnect, cruise control (on first application) and the launch control, allowing for optimal acceleration from standing starts.
SiriusXM Travel Link also is available, providing premium data services and information through the vehicle’s navigation system such as traffic speed and traffic-flow and accident information. The SiriusXM channel lineup has been significantly expanded.
Harman/Kardon surround-sound systems include a high-voltage class D amplifier, with tracking power supply and up to 11 channels of amplification; high-performance, high-efficiency GreenEdge technology loudspeakers including rare earth magnets to maximize speaker operation; and enhanced performance from a powerful 32 volts.
Available in the Viper GTS is an upgrade sound system with Logic 7 surround-sound processing and 18 speakers, including four subwoofers behind the seats.
MSRP for the 2013 SRT Viper model is $97,395 (excluding $1,995 destination) and the 2013 SRT Viper GTS $120,395 (excluding $1,995 destination). Dealer orders are expected to open in mid-November.
“The launch of the 2013 Viper proves that we simply would not let the performance icon of the Chrysler Group die,” Gilles says. “This SRT team under our new leadership was challenged to not just continue the legendary Viper but to create a world-class supercar that would showcase the very best we have to offer — a supercar that continues to bring the driver as close as possible to the machine.”
For more information on the new Viper, see www. drivesrt.com, www.chryslergroupllc.com and www.youtube.com/pentastarvideo.