The Snake’s back and it looks better than ever.
The all-new 2013 SRT® Viper was unveiled to the world today at the New York International Auto Show, marking its highly anticipated return to the high-performance sports car market.
Canadian driving enthusiasts will truly enjoy the fifth generation of the iconic two-seat supercar that has been deliberately evolved to incorporate superior craftsmanship, a host of new technologies and ergonomic improvements while respecting its visceral legacy of outright performance.
“After a gut-wrenching period of uncertainty, the Street and Racing Technology brand team is extremely proud that our hand-built in Detroit, flagship supercar is back and ready to take on the performance car world,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “Beyond being the flagship for the new SRT brand, the launch of the 2013 Viper proves that we simply would not let the performance icon of the Chrysler Group die. Willed to live on by a very special group of performance enthusiasts inside the company and across Viper Nation, 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.”
And the very best is what we find under the hood of the new SRT Viper: a hand-assembled 8.4-litre all-aluminum, V10 overhead-valve engine pouring out 640hp and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission has been improved with a shorter throw shifter, closer gear ratios and a final drive ratio that has been shortened to 3.55 from 3.07. The V10 redlines at 6,200rpm, not bad considering the 8.4L displacement here.
The Viper’s of old always got ragged on for their less stellar interiors, not so this time around. The all-new, driver-oriented interior cabins of the SRT Viper models have been totally revamped for 2013 with superior craftsmanship, premium material appointments and performance-oriented technologies.
For the first time, all major interior surfaces are sewn and wrapped with additional padding applied in comfort areas. On the Viper GTS model, all surfaces are fully leather skinned, and standard accent colours are applied to the seats, doors, centre console and stitching.
The all-new, timeless exterior design blends contemporary execution with evolutionary refinement.
All-new carbon-fibre hood, roof, decklid and aluminum door panels are firsts for SRT Viper models resulting in significant weight reduction, improved high-speed stability and a slippery .364 drag coefficient.
The forward-hinged hood carries the redesigned Viper badge – aptly named “Stryker” by the Viper Club of America – positioned in the centre; and offers unobtrusive access to several service points and the SRT-engineered V10 powerplant.
The classical low-stance and the extreme cab rearward proportions that have become the unmistakable silhouette of the iconic supercar, return on the 2013 SRT Viper models along with the dramatic fender “gills” – another traditional Viper design cue that helps to extract heat from the engine compartment.
The 2013 Viper models feature a contemporary take on the traditional “double-bubble” roof configuration that maximizes headroom for the driver and passenger while maintaining a low frontal area – allowing additional room for helmets during recreational competitive driving.
Dual-function, bi-xenon projector headlamps are tightly packaged with white light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps and LED turn signals in a sinister “snake eye” configuration.
Functional “blisters” incorporated into the 70 mm projector headlamp lenses create a three-dimensional view that gives Viper a distinctive glare.
The lower-front grille is purposefully designed as an evolution of the traditional Viper low-profile cooling opening configuration and discretely carries a refined V-shape structure.
The exhaust system continues to exit forward of the rear wheels and now carries further refinement with cast aluminum, sill-mounted exhaust bezels.
For the first time, the 2013 SRT Viper models carry LED taillamps that integrate stop-and-turn illumination in one element. Snakeskin texture in the lens carries the surface work seen in the gills and hood textures. With dark-masked lenses, the horizontal lamps appear dark until the LED elements fire. Each lamp carries 50 LEDs that provide a unified “crystallized” illumination effect.
2013 Viper SRT news and photographs cortesy of Chrysler Canada.
Find Kanishka Sonnadara on Twitter @autoKsS