Dodge Viper SRT 2013

February 26, 2013
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Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

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Most of what we thought about the development of the new Dodge Viper SRT 2013 has come true. And this generation snake is an even more venomous evolution. The show Dodge Viper SRT 2013 displayed here is essentially the same car that Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, secretly showed to dealers back in 2010 just after the Viper plant was closed. Back then we’d devoted an issue to the Viper having reached the end of the line and not surprisingly speculated on its return. At the time Dodge’s CEO Ralph Gilles, who also happens to be responsible for all product design at the Chrysler Group, talked freely of his hopes that the car would return. And if he had his druthers’ it would be an evolution of the second generation and arguably more shapely Viper. He’s now the CEO of SRT and directly responsible for the Dodge Viper SRT 2013. As it turns out while he was talking to us he already had a clay model of the next car in the design studio, that same car they showed to dealers. And here it is at the 2012 New York Auto Show less than two years later.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Heart of a Snake

The Dodge Viper SRT 2013 has retained its all aluminum 8.4-liter V-10, but with a stiffer block casting, lighter valvetrain, forged pistons and sodium filled exhaust valves. Its output is now a Corvette-ZR1-beating 640 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s also 25 lb. lighter thanks mostly to an aluminum flywheel and composite intake. That composite intake flows better and rejects heat easier. For added refinement the engine mounts are now hydraulic units and the exhaust is better insulated from the passenger compartment. The engine’s unique pushrod cam-in-cam design for variable-valve timing has been retained, as has the 6200 redline with a 6400-rpm limiter.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

 Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Most of what we thought about the development of the new Dodge Viper SRT 2013 has come true. And this generation snake is an even more venomous evolution. The show car displayed here is essentially the same car that Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne, secretly showed to dealers back in 2010 just after the Viper plant was closed. Back then we’d devoted an issue to the Viper having reached the end of the line and not surprisingly speculated on its return. At the time Dodge’s CEO Ralph Gilles, who also happens to be responsible for all product design at the Chrysler Group, talked freely of his hopes that the car would return. And if he had his druthers’ it would be an evolution of the second generation and arguably more shapely Viper. He’s now the CEO of SRT and directly responsible for Viper. As it turns out while he was talking to us he already had a clay model of the next car in the design studio, that same car they showed to dealers. And here it is at the 2012 New York Auto Show less than two years later.

 

Click here to order your new Dodge Viper SRT 2013 rival for only US$20,000 from Audi USA Motors.

Heart of a Snake

It has retained its all aluminum 8.4-liter V-10, but with a stiffer block casting, lighter valvetrain, forged pistons and sodium filled exhaust valves. Its output is now a Corvette-ZR1-beating 640 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s also 25 lb. lighter thanks mostly to an aluminum flywheel and composite intake. That composite intake flows better and rejects heat easier. For added refinement the engine mounts are now hydraulic units and the exhaust is better insulated from the passenger compartment. The engine’s unique pushrod cam-in-cam design for variable-valve timing has been retained, as has the 6200 redline with a 6400-rpm limiter.

 

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

 Dodge Viper SRT 2013

A Serpent’s Spine

Although the plant that built the Viper was emptied, the newest Dodge Viper SRT 2013 will retain much of the past car’s structural design. That means the use of a steel space frame will continue. However this iteration is 40 lb. lighter, helping to bring the entire car down to roughly a 3300-lb. curb weight. That’s about 100 lb. lighter than before. And, more important, the chassis is 50 percent stiffer while retaining a 49/51 weight split front to rear.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Sneaky Pete, Fangs and Stryker

Those are the names of the Viper badges since the car’s inception in 1992. Each carries a unique personality, for good or bad. The newest “Stryker” embodies the new Viper’s intent as a track toy. It’s also the first Viper being introduced with a fixed roof; every other Viper started life as a roadster.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

A Tale of Two Vipers

The new Dodge Viper SRT 2013 will come in two flavors, original Viper and more expensive GTS. On display here in New York is the GTS. The regular Viper has the familiar 5-spoke polished alloy wheels, body-colored venting front and rear, and hood vents like the last generation Viper’s. The GTS adds a full leather interior, carbon-fiber panels, red brake calipers, multi-spoke lightweight wheels and dual stage electronically adjustable Bilstein dampers. The intent isn’t to make a faster Viper, but a more upper-class Viper.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Track Pack

As an option you can upgrade a Viper or GTS into an ACR, though without a wing. The option package is expected to save more than 40 lb. It replaces the Brembo all-steel rotors with lightweight 2-piece brake rotors from Stop Tech and incorporates a unique suspension with monotube Bilstein dampers and stiffer spring rates.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

New Rubber Makes for a Happy Snake

Wider Pirelli tires replace the Michelins of the past car. Fronts are a staggering 295 width and rears are a massive 355. Rims are 18 x 10.5 front, 19 x 13 rear. Standard tires will be Pirelli P Zeros, but sticky Corsas are optional. Because of the significantly wider front tires, the front track has grown on the Viper by a half inch.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

It’s Still a Viper

Although there were rumors of sharing its architecture with the Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS, it didn’t happen. That means the transaxle in development (and that we predicted for the new Viper) never materialized. However, the carryover 6-speed Tremec has been revised with tighter gear ratios that allow a predicted top speed of 206 mph to be achieved in sixth gear. The differential is a carryover speed-sensing GKN Visco Lok limited slip with new 3.55:1 final drive. Most important, the federally mandated stability control can be disabled. Launch control is standard on all New Vipers, but on the GTS stability control adds both a sport and track setting; the Viper has just an on/off button. The ABS is now a full 4-channel unit.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Snake Skin

Clearly the Viper is still a Viper. Nobody is going to mistake it for something else. But it has been thoroughly redone. The hood, roof and deck lid are all carbon fiber. The doors and side sills are aluminum. Only the front and rear caps and rear quarters are RIM plastic like the old car. The headlamps and taillights feature 21 and 50 LEDs respectively. Look carefully at details and you’ll see a snake-skin pattern in the lights, vents and many other places. Every vent is functional in moving air; those on the B-pillar cool the differential. Giving the Viper a lower stance is a 0.4-in. decrease in wheel openings compared to those of its predecessor. The windshield glass and side-view mirror pods are the only carryover body parts. In typical Viper fashion the hood release pull handle is on the outside of the car, but has been moved to the driver’s side air vent. For the first time on a Viper, sound deadening is used, 16 lb. of it.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts

Leather and refinement abound on the new Viper. Gone is the sea of black plastic and rubber. The gauge cluster is dominated with a center tachometer that’s actually an LCD panel. A shift light in the shape of the Styker logo appears near redline. Seats sourced from Sabelt are a thin shell type and allow more headroom, as well as 1.6 in. of enhanced height adjustability. Adjustable pedals remain, as does the tilting steering wheel. From the driver’s seat the center tunnel is noticeably lower and the shift lever throws shorter. The steering wheel is a proper sporting 3-spoke job with thick grips. Choices of color and leather are abundant, and should help keep each car unique. There are no standard cup holders, but they are available as an insert into the center tunnel storage area. A removable pouch sits between the seats and is convenient storage. Navigation isn’t standard, but the 8.4-in. touch screen with backup camera is. The GTS, of course, gets most of the options standard. There are three levels of stereo with the top of the line being a 900-watt Harman-Kardon 18-speaker tour-de-force that will rival the thrumming V-10.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

If the old Viper had to end production prematurely so that this one could arrive, I’m glad it did. And as much as Ralph Gilles will tell you it was a team effort—and that it’s as much Sergio’s as his baby—we know better. All the Viper fans should thank Ralph for shepherding his team of Mark Trostle who headed exterior design, Klaus Busse who crafted the interior and Russ Ruedisueli responsible for making the mechanicals work. Just as Ralph helped build a car for Viper fans to love, he built one for himself. Beware the black Viper GTS with track pack that’s sure to be haunting Detroit by next summer: Ralph has most assuredly already spec’d out his personal car, the well-known VooDoo.

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

Dodge Viper SRT 2013

SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 SRT Viper
Curb weight est 3300 lb
Weight dist w/ driver 49/51
Height 49.1 in.
Width 76.4 in.
Length 175.7 in.
Wheelbase 98.8 in.
Track f/r 62.9 in./61.0 in.
Seats 2
Trunk space 14.7 cu. ft.
Body/frame composite/steel
Suspension f/r upper & lower A-arms, coil spring, (elec. adj. on GTS) tube shocks, anti-roll bar
Wheels Forged aluminum; 18 x 10.5 f, 19 x 13 r
Tires Pirelli P Zero; 295/30ZR-18 f, 355/30ZR-19 r
Brakes 14.0-in. vented rotors w/4-piston Brembo calipers
Engine 8.4-liter ohv V-10
Transmission 6-speed manual
Horsepower 640 bhp @ 6150 rpm
Torque 600 lb-ft @ 4950 rpm
Top speed est 206 mph

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Dodge Viper SRT 2013

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