Enthusiasts enjoy speculating about the 2013 SRT Viper that will appear at the New York Auto Show this April. It could very well be the most eagerly awaited sports car from Chrysler. The Viper ended its 18-year production run in 2010 because of financial difficulties as well as revisions in the safety regulations.
There are plenty of rumors out there about the next generation Viper as there haven’t many details confirmed about the model.
So far, we don’t know how much the new Viper will cost yet. According to MSNBC’s The Bottom Line, initial ownership will be reserved for current Viper owners who are members of the Viper Club of America.
Those who own a used Viper from the local car lot don’t qualify. In fact, a lottery will probably take place to decide who among the club members will receive the 2013 Viper.
SRT, the Chrysler brand that had backed the new Viper (as well as the SRT8 versions of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger), expects that the demand during the first year will be much higher than what the automaker is capable of building.
It’s estimated that a production quantity of 3,083 units (a record set by the Viper in 1994) won’t be able to satisfy the mounting demand.
The core of the 2013 SRT Viper is the hand-assembled classic: the 8.4L all-aluminium V10 overhead-valve engine. 2013 version of this unit has been upgraded with a new, ultra-high flow and lightweight composite intake manifold, high-strength forged pistons, new catalysts that lessens back pressure, sodium-filled exhaust valves and an aluminium flywheel that decreases reciprocating losses. In all, the fully dressed engine is lighter by more than 25 pounds.
Initial tests for the SRT-engineered V10 Viper show a 640hp power output with 600 lb.-ft. torque, which exceeds the torque of all other existing naturally aspirated engines.
Upgrades have been made for the Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission. The throw shifter is shorter, gear ratios closer and final drive ratio reduced to 3.07 from 3.55. Thus, the new Vipers will drive more dynamically and engagingly, as they are able to reach top speeds through 6th gear with maximum engine speed (redline) at 6,200 rpm.
Exhilarating ride, handling and performance
2013 SRT Viper’s chassis has been improved in many ways based on racing experiences from the Viper GTS-R and Competition Coupe models. The chassis’ torsional rigidity is now increased by 50 percent.
Other enhancements include the added aluminium X brace under the bonnet. This links the suspension pickup points with the magnesium cowl super casting, resulting in more stiffness and torsional rigidity. The front also incorporates a new aluminium impact beam for improved crashworthiness while achieving better weight distribution at a reduced total weight.
The chassis has also been strategically redesigned and reconstructed. Selected areas have been modified with new materials while also changing the thickness and shape of some parts and components. Overall, structural rigidity is increased but mass has been lessened by an estimated 100 pounds.