Performance car enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting the debut of the SRT Viper, formerly the Dodge Viper, after the line went dormant some time ago. The new model, no longer a Dodge, was recently unveiled at the New York Auto Show.
Snake in the grass
The Dodge Viper was something of an icon; it was an uber-powerful American supercar that packed more horsepower than many European cars that cost several times as much. The striking looks didn’t hurt either.
The last generation Viper ceased production in 2010, according to the Chicago Tribune, and gearheads everywhere have been waiting patiently in the wings for the next one to finally debut, which it has at the New York Auto Show.
The new model is no longer a Dodge but rather is made by Chrysler’s in-house tuning division, Street and Racing Technology or SRT, which has unleashed a monster.
The centerpiece for any Viper is, naturally, the beast under the bonnet, which in the 2013 SRT Viper is an 8.4-liter V-10 good for 640 horsepower. Turbo or supercharging simply will not do, as the engine is naturally aspirated. Top speed, according to Motor Trend, is estimated at 205 miles per hour.
According to the Wall Street Journal, it gets a six-speed short-throw manual transmission. A paddle-operated automatic is probably about as likely as winning the lottery. The transmission is by Tremec, the same company that makes the transmission for the Corvette ZR1.
However, according to AutoBlog, the new Viper does come with traction and stability control as well as cruise control, a standard option for the first time. Three different styles of wheels are available. Buyers can choose between gloss or matte black with five or six spokes. A special lightweight set are available as part of the SRT Track package.
The leather seats are by Sabelt, the same company that does seats for Ferrari. In the middle of the dash sits an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Chrysler’s Uconnect Media Center. The sound system is by Harmon Kardon.
There are two trims available, the back-to-basics SRT trim and a plush GTS trim. According to Motor Trend, the car is launching as a coupe first, but a convertible edition is not likely too far behind.
Expect to pay a lot
Price hasn’t been announced yet, but Motor Trend estimates it will be $95,000. It will go on sale by fall.
The closest competitors are the Nissan GT-R and the Corvette ZR1. The ZR1 is the most similar in terms of performance, with 638 horsepower, and design, being a rear-wheel drive two-seater, but costs $111,600. The Nissan GT-R is less powerful, with its 545 horsepower twin-turbo V-6, but closer in price, at $96,820. The GT-R also has the benefit of all-wheel-drive, giving it more traction.