Chrysler Group's 2013 Viper with a more powerful variant of its former engine will be available in dealerships late this year. The 2013 Viper is the company's fastest-ever production automobile at 206 mph. Last week at the New York Auto Show, the company introduced the two-seater high-performance vehicle with a new brand badge: SRT.
It has a back-lit snake emblem above the license plate at the back. The 2013 SRT Viper will be fitted with a more powerful variant of the automaker's largest engine -- the 8.4-liter, 640-hp V-10 -- which produces 600 pounds-feet of torque. The improved engine has 40 more horsepower compared to the one in the previous Viper, which was marketed as a Dodge and was phased out in 2010.
Ralph Gilles, who oversees Chrysler's SRT brand as well as the design for Chrysler Group, related that they have been "very conscious" of what the Viper is all about.
The refurbished Viper will come only with a six-speed manual transmission. At 3,320 pounds, it is around 100 pounds lighter compared to its predecessor. The Viper also features electronic stability control as well as the 8.4-inch information screen utilized in the flagship 300 sedan of Chrysler.
This information screen will enable drivers to chart lap times. Gilles commented that the weight and powertrain of the Viper "were an obsession" for the automobile's team. Texas-based dealer Bernie Katz at Tomball Dodge disclosed that he already has 26 people waiting for the vehicle. The dealership sells the performance coupe through its website at viperexchange.com.
On the other hand, some fans were worried that the Viper might lose some of its American DNA after the takeover of Chrysler in 2009 by Ferrari-owner Fiat S.p.A. However, Gilles stated that while he did check with Maserati and Ferrari on working with low-volume suppliers, the only "real" component that they have a common supplier for is the seats.
Regarding the 2013 SRT Viper and the 2013 SRT Viper GTS, the brand made sure that the design of the exterior would combine evolutionary refinements with a more modern implementation. This particular mix also managed to bring in new surfacing with the use of world-class materials and excellent technologies. The overall result is that it becomes more than a true driver’s car. Despite being new models, the two versions continue to have the well-known proportions that were first observed on the three prior body styles of this world-class two-seater iconic supercar.
The main difference is that the 2013 versions deliver functional statements and offer visuals that are more refined. One feature that has been redesigned is the "cold-air" intake which has been assimilated to the hoods of the two models. Despite being made larger and having a new design, the intake continues to have the same visual style as that of the first Viper coupe, the same one created in 1996.
There is also now a scoop that measures 9x2 inches (229 mm x 51 mm). It ensures that the cooler air is immediately channeled to the engine and at the same time makes sure that it does not mix with any of the air that is transmitted for its radiator. Because of this, the temperature of the ambient temperature is merely 10 degrees lower than the incoming air.
This results in having a power output that is more consistent. Redesigned as well is the Viper badge which the Viper Club of America has nicknamed as “Stryker.” This particular badge has been placed in the middle of the all carbon fiber and clamshell hood. In addition, the forward-hinged hood brings with it some benefits.
It helps lower the weight and allows discreet access not only on the suspension areas in the front but on the SRT-engineered, mid-engine, front V10 powerplant. The hood can even make Viper purists satisfied.
Three air extractors have been included as well and have been placed strategically on both sides of the hood’s centerline. This allows heat in the engine compartment to be removed while air turbulence is lowered.
For the Viper GTS in particular, there are dual extractors on the hood which gives it a more organic and refined appearance. These hood designs were all refined in the full-scale wind tunnel of Chrysler Group located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The hoods were refined to optimize aerodynamic performance and allow for maximum thermal performance.