During the festivities leading up to and during the Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach in Monterey, California, the putting green in front of the club house temporarily becomes the Concept Lawn. Featured like rounded-up wagons in the lap of luxury, supercars and luxury sedans co-mingle behind the polite barriers to automotive society. This year, for August 18th and 19th, the All-American supercar favorite came to play and the SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition was revealed with a less-than-subtle nod to the history of its marque and the setting.
When we were invited to step over the fence and experience this specimen up close, there was no denying or return from the divine sepsis that only a venomous beast like the Viper can deliver.
While we would have done gymnastics to get behind the wheel of the Viper and actually hear the thunder and feel the speed, we were quite content to just linger, multiple cameras in hand, in and around the concept under the scrutiny of its charismatic but cautious handlers who had handed over the exclusive press pass like they were passing on a sacred pungi.
Read on to have an intimate look at the 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition.
Exclusive to the GTS level of the 2013 SRT Viper, the hood features a carbon fiber clamshell with two air extractors and center air intake. Lighting at night comes from HID lamps while the daytime running lamps are LED. Shown on the lawn in the traditional Shadow Blue Pearl, the painted dual racing stripes — also a GTS exclusive design — can be had in Black, Billet Silver or Gunmetal. Stryker Red Tinted Pearl will be a GTS exclusive color.
Perched on 18-inch Pirelli P Zeros in the front and 19s in the back, the Viper GTS Launch Edition at Pebble sported five-spoke, polished aluminum "Rattler" wheels. The one loss on the new Viper is the option to kill yourself easily with a V10 engine as the new design incorporates traction control on the model for the first time. Peeking from behind the Rattlers are Brembo disc brakes with gloss red calipers.
Just in front of the doors of the Viper are air extractors that take the heat away and give the sides their gills. On the 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition, the GTS badging is placed just in front of the serpentine outlets.
From Ralph Gilles, Viper Mastermind and more officially and wordily-titled, President and CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand (SRT) and Motorsports and Senior Vice President – Product Design, Chrysler Group LLC, himself: “Our American-built supercar showcases the very best we have to offer by incorporating superior craftsmanship, the finest materials, a host of new technologies and ergonomic improvements while respecting its focus on outright performance.”
Outright performance, in this case, means 640 horses in one lightweight, slippery machine. Let's peek inside.
As the door pops open, courtesy of a handle that is not at all a handle but a button that seductively pops the door open and guides us inside, a first look at the cockpit draws the driver in us into the lair. That's it. We are being pulled, mind, body and soul, into a quiet room filled with SRT Laguna Premium leather in black with sepia contratsing stitching. Only this room fits us like a sleeve that will propel us to the moon. It's like a cozy Holodeck just for us and one friend. Get in. We don't have a choice anymore.
Let's talk about one of the many onomatopoeia to be found in the realm of the SRT Viper. It isn't the vroom we are talking here. It is the aptly named and sounding "Stryker" found in the center of the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The GTS edition has an exclusive blue background for the sinister little snapper, named in 2010 by the Viper Owners Club of America. The controls on the wheel hint at the technology that lies beyond.
The pedals on the 6-speed V10 are power-adjustable cast aluminium and standard on both the GTS and its less-contented sibling. It may not be trim-exclusive in this area but it still looks like a high performance stock interior designed for serious high performance drivers and collectors.
Remember: This is an SRT. This is not a Dodge.
While we didn't get to power up the sound system, the 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition can apparently rock your world with either a standard 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system including two subwoofers or upgrade to a 18-speaker, 32-volt Harman Kardon audio system with four subwoofers and Logic 7 surround sound. Dang. We don't know what the overall cubic space is in the Viper, but that is a lot of speaker to nano-inches ratio.
For the copy/paste portion of this interior tour, here is the rest of the tech available on the 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition:
The styling, performance and interior in the 2013 SRT Viper may point to a lot of European influence but let's remember that this supercar is American in its soul and so, there are two adequately endowed cupholders between the seats. Just enough room for a Gatorade or two. In addition, the creature comforts between the seats also offers USB and AUX inputs right next to the source of life for your iPhone, aka, the 12V DC outlet.
In lieu of the traditional glove box, storage in the 2013 SRT Viper is a bit of a 90s-style CD case but at least it will hold a manual, insurance card and breath mints. It is attractive. It holds stuff. What else would you need?
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition sports a serialized dash plaque, which according to SRT, "... further improves collectability by aligning the build sequence number to the vehicle identification number." It is time to cash in the Thomas Kincaid collection, collectors!