After a prolonged absence that had some fans concerned that its serpentine form might never darken Mopar showrooms again the 2013 SRT Viper has burst onto the scene with a new name, an updated yet familiar look and all of the ground-shaking performance that drivers have come to expect from the rawest of factory sports coupes. The SRT Viper breaks new ground for the brand in a number of ways, with a host of improvements and a subtle shift in philosophy aimed at expanding the audience for the domestic supercar.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 SRT Viper.
01. The 2013 SRT Viper Features Fresh Styling
The 2013 SRT Viper shies away from the harder angles of the previous-generation of the car and instead returns to the organic, smoothed-out curves found on the late-90's GTS coupe. When viewed in three-quarter profile from the rear, the 2013 Viper presents styling that is a clear evolution of the original sports car's DNA, as opposed to the sharper lines offered by later models of the car.
From the front the Viper's new power bulge hood, crosshair lower grille, canted headlights and plethora of air intakes keep the aggression level high while also adding a modern element that shows well when compared against other exotic options in its segment. Perhaps most important is that the 2013 Viper returns to the clamshell hood opening that was such a crucial aspect of the original car's personality - and a feature that current Viper owners have been clamoring for for years.
02. The 2013 SRT Viper Offers A Heavily Revised Platform
The 2013 SRT Viper now comes with a chassis that is 50 percent stiffer when compared against the departed model, an achievement made even more impressive by the fact that the coupe is also lighter by 100 lbs thanks to the extensive use of low-mass materials throughout the entire design. Lessons learned on the track have informed how Chrysler approached the redesign of the Viper's platform, and those familiar with the vehicle will immediately notice the X-brace covering the engine bay as well as feel the changes that have been made to the automobile's suspension system in order to enhance handling and power delivery to the pavement.
03. The 2013 SRT Viper Maintains V-10 Power
For many Viper owners things just wouldn't be the same without a snarling ten-cylinder engine under the hood, and the 2013 SRT Viper doesn't disappoint in this department. The new SRT Viper features an 8.4-liter V-10 that has been refreshed with a new intake manifold and forged pistons, and it now delivers an astonishing 640 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of twist. Chrysler claims that this makes the Viper's motor the torquiest naturally-aspirated unit currently in production. The V-10, which is also 25-lbs lighter than the engine it replaces, redlines at 6,200 rpm and comes matched with a 3.55 rear end gear ration and a Tremec six-speed manual transmission.
04. The 2013 SRT Viper Comes In Two New Models
Chrysler has decided to try something new in terms of organizing the 2013 SRT Viper's lineup. The base SRT Viper is intended to fill the void for drivers seeking the purest possible driving experience, and this model that features basic traction and stability control systems that can easily be turned off. This allows owners can relive the glory days when the Viper was known for its ability to bite back when driven without sufficient respect being paid to its capabilities. The SRT Viper GTS trim expands the vehicle's mission to include buyers who are looking for a state-of-the-art performance car that leverages modern technology in order to flirt with the impossible on the track, in addition to providing a level of comfort not previously available with the super snake.
05. The 2013 SRT Viper No Longer Shies Away From Luxury
The Viper's raison d'etre has long been as the ultimate expression of the 'race car for the street' concept, and within that definition there was little room for features that did not enhance the goal of getting around the track as quickly as possible. The 2013 SRT Viper GTS wipes the slate clean and goes the extra mile when it comes to coddling occupants with additional padding on almost every surface on top of leather trim and upholstery generously distributed throughout the cabin, Sabelt seats gripping drivers through the curves and a seven-inch customizable gauge cluster that can be personalized to present a wide range vehicle information. The SRT Viper GTS is also offered with Uconnect internet and infotainment services as well as a navigation system to go with its high end Harman/Kardon audio setup.
06. The 2013 SRT Viper Can Be Had With High End Performance Technology
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS also debuts a new suite of driving technologies intended to give pilots an edge out on the track. The Viper GTS comes equipped with a two-mode suspension system that can be controlled from within the cabin. The system includes Bilstein DampTronic shocks that offer a comfort-oriented setting for commuting and a hardcore setting for on-track performance. The GTS model is additionally outfitted with a launch control system that can be activated by steering wheel-mounted buttons and which offers the quickest possible off-the-line start compared to simply dumping the clutch.
07. The 2013 SRT Viper Handles Better Than Ever Before
The 2013 SRT Viper's rear suspension has been re-engineered to push the toe link closer to the front of the vehicle in order to improve overall stability, and a wider front track matches up with new-for-2013 Bilstein shocks all around in order to help the car feel more planted. Four-piston Brembo brakes at each of the vehicle's corners haul the sports car down from triple digit speeds with a minimum of fuss and a multi-mode electronic traction control system found on the GTS allows drivers to select how much intervention they desire when pushing hard at the track. An almost 50/50 weight distribution between the front and the rear of the Viper helps keep everything balanced through the corners.
08. The 2013 SRT Viper Can Be Ordered With The Track Package
For those looking to further dial up the adrenaline from behind the wheel of the 2013 SRT Viper, Chrysler is also offering the SRT Track Package with the car. The SRT Track Package makes several important changes to the Viper's list of features, starting with the tires. In place of the standard Pirelli P Zero rubber is a set of Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires that feature an ultra-soft compound that is designed to better stick to the asphalt. The Track Package also includes two-piece slotted rotors provided by StopTech, which feature a lighter weight compared to the stock units alongside their improved stopping power.
09. The 2013 SRT Viper Is the SRT Flagship
By now it's become clear that the Dodge Viper is dead and the SRT Viper has taken its place. The 2013 SRT Viper has been positioned as the flagship of a new Chrysler division that is made up of each of the ultra-high performance models that the SRT builds out of existing Dodge, Chrysler and RAM vehicles. By making the Viper an SRT-exclusive the domestic automaker hopes to give some added credibility to the new brand. The Viper fits in alongside luminaries like the Charger SRT8 and the Chrysler 300 SRT8, and it could potentially be joined in the near future by a second SRT-only model designed to replace Dodge's retro-themed Challenger SRT8 392 muscle coupe.
10. The 2013 SRT Viper Remains True To Its Iconic History
After Chrysler was acquired by Fiat just a few short years ago there was immediate concern in the Viper community that the sports car would become simply a re-badged Ferrari clone borrowing bits and pieces from the Italian automaker's performance catalog. The 2013 SRT Viper is anything but, as it retains its fierce character, its traditional design language and its hand-built in the United States reputation. In fact, SRT chief Ralph Gilles claims that the only component that the Viper shares with any of its European compatriots is the Sabelt seats that are manufactured by the same supplier that services Ferrari.
You may also be interested in...
10 Often-Overlooked Family Car Options
A Top Gearhead’s Top Choices: Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, Jeep Wrangler
2012 USAA Best Values: From A (Audi Q7) to Z (Honda CR-Z)
April Jewels: 10 Vehicles That Posted Record-breaking Sales Last Month
Blue Oval Now Taking Orders for 2013 Ford Focus ST
Gaming the 2012 Scion iQ with a Free PlayStation