Only one in five Chrysler Group dealerships will offer the redesigned 2013 SRT Viper, according to Ralph Gilles, the head of the high-performance SRT brand. For dealerships to get the chance to offer the sportscar, they would need to train staff, purchase special tools, and improve their facilities.
Gilles said that the opportunity will be open to any dealer who could put up the money, set up the facilities, and conduct the training aside from having been able to sell Vipers and SRTs. He said that about 15 or 20% of its dealers will carry the redesigned Viper, which debuted last April at the New York auto show. It is powered by a 640-hp, 8.4-liter V-10 that delivers 600 pounds-feet of torque.
The modified engine offers 40 more hp than what the previous Viper uses. This older Viper carried a Dodge brand and was phased out in 2010. Chrysler has yet to reveal the pricing information for the 2013 Viper. The previous hardtop had a sticker price of slightly below $100,000. It is slated to start selling this fall. Gilles said that the company can’t prevent dealerships that had sold a Viper in the past from selling it but then, it will be a “little difficult” with their expectation that there will soon be a “new breed of customer.”
Gilles wants these customers to get a “great experience." According to David Kelleher, chairman of the Chrysler National Dealer Council and a dealer in suburban Philadelphia, the car has a limited production run so it won’t be possible for all of 2,400 dealerships to offer even one unit each.
Utilizing the SRT Viper’s architecture, the SRT Viper GTS adds solutions that can be described as being more advanced technologically. An example of this is the two-mode active suspension and with this, the highly-acclaimed GTS is able to establish new limits when on the track. But then, it also a more mature and premium evolution of the extreme classic performance formula.
It is not just about performance as the Viper GTS was developed by making sure that only high-quality materials are used and fitted with premium features. This is because in order to go against the world’s best performing vehicles, this model should also have a wide range of technologies on the interior, the use of an innovative powertrain, and features that enhance comfort.
Like the new SRT Viper, the SRT Viper GTS will also come with new designs for both the exterior and interior. As mentioned earlier, it will integrate the use of premium materials. Further, the surfaces on the exterior help with the aerodynamic function while being incorporated beautifully to the skin, composed of aluminum and carbon-fiber.
On the inside, both design team and engineering teams made sure to redesign all touch points while making sure that the technologies and material appointments are all upgraded. According to Gilles, the SRT Viper model was designed to have extreme performance that is mixed with a careful preservation of the Viper’s now iconic DNA. The company wanted to come up with a supercar that would allow the driver to be closer than ever to the machine, he added.
Gilles continued by saying that the company deliberately evolved the raw performance formula and the iconic soul that the Viper made sure to maintain for a long time. He said further that in the 2013 Viper, customers, especially the returning ones, will get to see and experience new levels when it comes to hand-craftsmanship, quality, and pride.
With the offering of two price classes through the SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS, Gilles said, the company is making sure that it is attractive to the tradition core customer and at the same time bring in a new group of customers.
These are for customers who prefer a top performance model that offers more premium comforts and new technology, he said further. The models of the 2013 Viper will be hand-built at the company’s Conner Avenue Assembly Plant located in Detroit. This has been where the Viper has been manufactured going all the way back to 1995.