2013 Dodge Viper will appeal to a wider range of buyers

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 22, 2011

Dodge wants its next-generation Viper to attract a broader range of buyers. To accomplish this, Dodge had been working on its styling and engineering with owners of Porsche and other similar brands. Dodge wanted to know their preferences and to see what they think about the features in the Viper and in their own sports car.

In an interview at the New York auto show, Ralph Gilles, head of design at Chrysler Group and president of the Dodge brand,

said that the brand seeks to have greater understanding of this community since the company doesn’t normally deal with this type of customer unless it’s with regards to the Viper. Production of the Viper ended in July 2010. Last year, Dodge sold 392 Vipers. In 2009, it sold 482 Vipers and in 2008, it sold 1,172.

Dodge hasn’t given the details about this redesigned Viper yet. However, this car had been shown in 2010 to a dealer meeting in Orlando. One dealer said that the car has a resemblance to the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione but with a Viper face. The Competizione is a limited-edition vehicle that is available in several Maserati dealerships in North America.

The latest generation of the SRT Viper represents an evolution of this American supercar, now offered with excellent craftsmanship, ergonomic enhancements, an array of new technologies and superb on-the-road performance. SRT will be offering two new models of this iconic vehicle for the 2013 model year -- SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS models. To be handcrafted at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, both the SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS are specified with new premium exterior and interior materials, as well as new exterior surfaces made from the high-tech carbon fiber and aluminum.

Amazingly, SRT has been given numerous details that function to improve their aerodynamic performance. The interior of the new Viper rehashed all touch points, upgraded all material appointments and introduced better technologies. Ralph Gilles, President and Chief Executive for Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports at Chrysler Group LLC, remarked that following a “gut-wrenching period of uncertainty,” his team is proud to see the Viper back and ready to take on the world of performance cars.

He quipped that aside from being the flagship for the new SRT brand, the new 2013 Viper is proof that the performance icon of the Chrysler Group is not dead – its return was ushered in by no less than a special group of performance enthusiasts both inside Chrysler and across Viper Nation.

He added that the SRT Team was challenged to continue the iconic Viper and to create a world-class supercar that would flaunt the best they could offer. Gilles added that the new SRT Viper is built to offer a unique combination of extreme performance and the iconic DNA of the Viper. He noted that the SRT team went all-out to deliver a supercar that brings the driver closer to the machine. The SRT Viper GTS, meanwhile, builds on the genes of the SRT Viper and adds advanced technologies.

These additions include the two-mode active suspension that allows the SRT Viper GTS to further explore its limits on the track as a more premium evolution of the team’s proven extreme performance formula. SRT expects the Viper GTS to become a new world-class contender in the arena of performance vehicles in terms of comforts, advanced drivetrain and interior technologies. According to Gilles, the new SRT Viper GTS is an evolution of the iconic “soul and raw performance formula” that is the Viper.

He noted that with the SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS, the brand is presenting new supercars for both the traditional core Viper customer and for those seeking the same performance but with more technology and luxurious comforts. Serving as the core of the 2013 SRT Viper is an 8.4-liter all-aluminum, V-10 overhead-valve engine that has been augmented with the fitment of an ultra-high flow and lightweight composite intake manifold, sodium-filled exhaust valves and high-strength forged pistons.

This improved V-10 engine now boasts of new catalysts to achieve reduced back pressure. It also got an aluminum flywheel for reduced reciprocating losses. All of these improvements on the naturally aspirated V-10 engine have allowed it to become lighter by over 25 pounds.

In terms of power, the SRT-engineered V-10 Viper could deliver up to 640 horsepower of output and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. It is mated to the Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission that now features a shorter throw shifter and closer gear ratios. This manual gearbox also boasts of a shorter final drive ratio of 3.55 (from 3.07). Maximum engine speed is achieved at 6,200 rpm.

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