2013 SRT Viper is Still Mean, Now Beautiful Too: 2012 NY Auto Show

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2013 SRT Viper is Still Mean, Now Beautiful Too: 2012 NY Auto Show

If there’s one car that we’ve been looking forward to seeing at this year’s New York Auto Show, more than any other, it’s the next generation Viper. Very nearly sold off during Chrysler‘s turbulent years under Cerberus, like any great icon, it managed to endure. 

Not only that, but even before the last fourth generation SRT 10 examples were rolling out the door, a plan was underway to introduce a new one; an American super car re-imagined for the 21st century. Now it’s been revealed to the world for the first time.

Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology Brand perhaps summed it up best. “Beyond being the flagship for the new SRT brand, the launch of the 2013 Viper proves that we simply would not let the performance icon of the Chrysler Group die,” he said to raucous reception. Indeed.

The fifth generation car, now called SRT Viper, will be offered in two forms a regular hardtop and GTS coupe (with two mode active suspension). Advancements in material technology mean the new Viper is both lighter (by some 100 lbs) and stronger than its predecessor. There’s a massive X-brace that links the suspension attachment points to the cowl, which itself is a magnesium super casting.  The rear suspension has been updated to improve stability while weight distribution is also better than the old Viper.

Under the hood is a 8.4-liter V10, but it’s gained new high strength forged pistons, lightweight composite intake manifold, aluminum flywheel and changes the exhaust. The result is a lighter but more powerful engine. How powerful exactly? Well horsepower is an honest 640 hp and torque a monster 600 lb-ft, ranking the Viper as the torquiest naturally aspirated production car engine in existence.

To help harness the performance, the Tremec six-speed gains a shorter final drive, while the Viper now gets driver aides, including stability control, traction control and a launch control feature to enable those 355 (yes 355 mm wide) tires to hook up. However, it is after all a Viper, so there are four different modes for the driver aids, ranging from full on to non existent; which should still please hard core Viper fans.

On the outside, the clamshell hood reappears, while carbon fiber construction for this, the roof panel and rear decklid, plus aluminum doors contribute to the overall weight savings.

However, one of the biggest changes concerns the interior. There are a few parts bin pieces, like the Dodge Dart sourced instrument cluster, but the rest of it looks and feels like a high pedigree European hyper car. There’s high quality materials and stitching everywhere while the driver and passenger now get enveloped by a pair of Sabelt racing seats with lightweight Kevlar/Fiberglass shells. Thanks to greater seat travel (some 90 mm) tall people can now actually drive the Viper too.

Techie features include a 7-inch fully customizable instrument panel screen, UConnect Media (offered in two different forms) available Sirius Travel Link and a range of Harmon Kardon surround sound systems.

As has been the case since 1995, the 2013 SRT Viper will be hand assembled in a special corner of Chrysler’s Conner Avenue plant in Detroit. If there was ever something for the Motor City to celebrate, this American supercar, which goes on sale late this year, surely must be it.

GALLERY: 2013 SRT Viper

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Watch the video reveal of the 2013 SRT Viper, and some driving footage below:

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  • Rob

    While you make 355mm tires sound large, the previous generation Viper had 375mm or 385mm tires… so this is actually a downgrade.

  • Tommy D

    There has never been a 375 or 385mm tire on a Viper… not even sure if that size tire exists…………

  • Rob Laidlaw

    Kind of looks like the Ferrari 599 front-end cut and pasted onto the previous-gen Viper body. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002754595138 Roy Harrigill

    OMG……….PURE AWESOME!!!!!!

  • Seethundr

    I’ll hang on to my 2003.  I’m not impressed at all with this style.  Looks more like a 2nd gen. Oh well, Microsoft had its “Vista” guess now Dodge does too. Guess I’ll start looking at some used F430’s.
    Thunder Struck!

  • Therobotz

    No Roadster Are you serious ???
    Guess I’m keeping my 05 copperhead a bit longer

  • 09 AERO “Vert”

    Most likely the roadster will follow soon ! Any educated guesses what the price will be for the 2013 ?

  • Jimmy

    I’m not impressed with the looks so much. Makes it look weaker particularly in the front corner curves, i’ll stick with my 99 R/T! Gen II is the REAL Viper.

  • Jimmy

    Looks like a Gen II GTS Rear with a ferrari front end and a previous years Viper hood. Just does not flow to me. Still it is a Viper so i bet it has some nice power!

  • Learn2live

    You had to be at the event in Soho to really appreciate this new Viper. It is classy, comfortable, beautifully engineered, powerful, and just pure mean. I have had a Gen II, currently own a Gen III Copperhead with 750 hp, and while I will keep my Copperhead, I will own one of these. This is the best designed, engineered, and performing Viper to date. Ranked 3rd on power to weight ratio of all production cars. Bugatti Veyron is 1st and Ferrari F12in 2nd. Considering the price of these other cars, how can you get more value for your dollar. Ralph and his team did an outstanding job. This car has the best chance of securing the future for the Viper.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1574205846 Arikukata Katakuna Hiroshi

    Didn’t know of the rank. I’m surprised about that info. Maybe I’ll consider making an investment into Viper someday if it’s ranked so well in the Super Car world. Wonder with Ford and Chevy will do now with the GT40 and Corvette to keep a good competion going for both sales and in races.

  • autoguide

    I have never liked the Viper, but this 

  • Tigon

    OMG. WHAT A MEAN MEAN MACHINE!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Sellers/1030793340 Adam Sellers

    finally and american performance car worthy of being called such

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1574205846 Arikukata Katakuna Hiroshi

    With Chrysler being owned majority by FIAT (who also owns Maseratti, Alfa Romao, and Farrari) The USA can kiss the Viper away now. It’s more Italian than American super car now. Should prove to be an interesting car with all the new F1 tech dropped into it like how Farrari has. Even the Bosch system managing the electronics on the new Viper should improve the car greatly. All the Chryslers, Viper, and new Dart will be interesting to look at and see the performance of in the near future.

  • Viper1

    The Viper is still very much American, with the original V10 cam-in cam engine mildly redesigned, the carry over Tremec 6060 to the upgraded frame and the carry over cowl and windshield- research the car,  it is still American in every way that counts with an infusion of only the best Italian bit’s where needed (seats, electronics…) – truly the best of both worlds!

  • Mopar fan

    By the way this car was designed to completion in DETROIT!  not Europe

  • Jeep’R

    Looks to much like a cartoon Ferrari and with all the borrowed tech put into it Ralph did not accomplish much,,,100 lb-ft of torque more than my Stage 1 GS (when stock ). 43 years later. Hopefully it handles better than the Gen III does.

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