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NY Motor Show: 2013 SRT Viper

Just don't call it a Dodge...

SRT has officially unveiled the 2013 Viper at the New York Auto Show. SR-who? We hear you ask…

Well, Dodge has decided that their new sports car deserves its own brand, named SRT which stands for Street and Racing Technology. You may remember that the previous model was called the Dodge SRT-10 due to some legal issues with the Viper name, but all that has been resolved now and we have the all-new SRT Viper.

The looks are certainly evolutionary not revolutionary, but SRT want the new model to be instantly recognisable as a Viper whilst still having a modern feel. It takes on many of the current design cues seen of recent Dodge models and wraps them over the short tail, long nose body. There are bi-xenon headlights, a double-bubble roof and side-exiting exhaust tips to add to the drama too. The rear end is low and wide with a Kamm-tail look and has a wide carbon panel housing the rear lights.

One of the major failings of the old Viper was the interior – there were parts from all over the Dodge group and quality was not commensurate with the pricing. SRT have addressed this and the new cabin is significantly improved with higher quality materials and advanced technology. Notable highlights include plush leather upholstery, a digital instrument cluster and Sabelt racing seats which sit 20mm lower and have an additional 90mm of travel. There are also metallic accents, a Harman Kardon audio system and an 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system. It’s not exactly an inspiring design, but certainly leagues ahead of the predecessor.

The powerplant of this modern day muscle car is an 8.4 litre V10 which has been equipped with a composite intake, high-strength forged pistons, sodium-filled exhaust valves and new catalysts. Thanks to these modifications, the aluminium lump now produces approximately 635 bhp and 600 lb/ft of torque. It is connected to a chunky six-speed manual gearbox which sends power to the rear wheels via a speed-sensing limited-slip differential.

Besides being more powerful, the Viper has gone on a much-needed diet of lightweight components. The car's tubular steel space frame has a magnesium cowl and is covered by a body which features a carbon fibre bonnet, roof and tailgate as well as aluminium doors and plastic wings. This enables the entry-level model to tip the scales at 1,521 kg which is approximately 45 kg less than the previous Viper.

To ensure the car handles like a proper supercar, it rides on a new chassis which is 50% stiffer than its predecessor. In order to get this impressive figure, engineers installed an aluminium cross brace that "ties the suspension pickup points to the magnesium cowl super casting and contributes to improved torsional rigidity and stiffness." Elsewhere, there's a new rear suspension, Brembo brakes, electronic stability / traction control and 18- / 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero tires.

The standard Viper will be offered in base or GTS variants, with an optional SRT Track Pack. The Track Pack adds Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, a four-mode traction / stability control system and unique Brembo brakes. The GTS has a leather-wrapped dashboard and driver selectable Bilstein DampTronic shock absorbers, along with more standard spec which has yet to be decided.

It’s not yet known whether the SRT Viper will be available to buy in the UK officially, but as always specialist importers will always be able to get hold of one.

Images courtesy of SRT

 

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - www.ecurie25.com Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more