“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. Willed to live on by a very special group of performance enthusiasts inside the company and across Viper Nation, this SRT team under our new leadership was challenged to not just continue the legendary Viper, but to create a world-class supercar that would showcase the very best we have to offer.”
Whew. Lucky us. Unlike the other scares by the media, this one almost happened. Thanks to Gilles and his team, the Viper lives on.
With the two variants of the SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS priced differently, Chrysler is playing it safe by having offerings for both the traditional core Viper customer and for the new customer who wants the same performance in a package with more technology and premium creature comforts.
All-new carbon-fiber hood, roof, decklid and aluminum door panels are firsts for SRT Viper models resulting in significant weight reduction, improved high-speed stability and a slippery .364 drag coefficient. The forward-hinged hood carries the redesigned “Stryker” Viper badge.
Low-stance and the extreme cab rearward proportions have been maintained and fender “gills” in addition to making the beast look good, also extract heat from the engine. The “double-bubble” roof configuration maximizes headroom for the driver and passenger while maintaining a low frontal area. SRT says there is enough headroom for the occupants to wear helmets during track days and the like..
Dual-function, bi-xenon projector headlamps are tightly packaged with white light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps and LED turn signals in a sinister “snake eye” configuration. Functional “blisters” incorporated into the 70 mm projector headlamp lenses create a three-dimensional view that gives Viper a distinctive glare.
The taillamps are LED and have integrated blinkerds. Snakeskin texture in the lens carries the surface work seen in the gills and hood textures. Each lamp carries 50 LEDs that provide a unified “crystallized” illumination effect.
SRT Viper gets the five-spoke, forged-aluminum “Rattler” wheel in either fully polished (standard), fully painted Hyper Black or fully painted low-gloss black finishes.
SRT Viper GTS has a split six-spoke forged-aluminum “Venom” wheel design with three available finishes, including polished face with graphite-painted pockets (standard), fully painted Hyper Black or fully painted low-gloss black.
Also on offer are the SRT Track Package wheels are ultra-lightweight, track-ready wheels in Hyper Black or matte black finishes.
The 2013 SRT Viper is powered by a hand-assembled 8.4-liter all-aluminum, V-10 overhead-valve engine. Improvements for 2013 include a new, ultra-high flow and lightweight composite intake manifold, high-strength forged pistons, sodium-filled exhaust valves, new catalysts to reduce back pressure and an aluminum flywheel that reduces reciprocating losses. More than 11 kilograms have been lost in the process. The SRT-engineered V-10 Viper is said to be good for 640 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque – the most torque of any naturally aspirated engine in the world.
The Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission has been improved with a shorter throw shifter, closer gear ratios and a final drive ratio that has been shortened to 3.55 from 3.07. The 2013 Viper models will be more engaging to drive and top speed is now achieved through 6th gear with maximum engine speed (redline) at 6,200 rpm.
A stiffer structure provides 50 percent more torsional rigidity in the chassis of the 2013 SRT Viper. Major updates include the addition of a new aluminum “X” brace under the hood that ties the suspension pickup points to the magnesium cowl super casting and contributes to improved torsional rigidity and stiffness. A new aluminum impact beam at the front of the car contributes to overall mass savings and improved weight distribution while providing excellent crashworthiness.
Structurally, many areas of the chassis were reworked to take advantage of new materials, reduce thickness in some areas and reshape components for more structural rigidity in others. The result is an overall weight savings of approximately 45 kilograms.
At the rear, the suspension has been re-engineered with the toe link moved forward of the axle for better tow control and dynamic stability.
A new, driver selectable two-mode suspension system, featuring Bilstein DampTronic Select shock absorbers with both street and track settings, is standard on GTS models.
For 2013, SRT Viper models ride on standard Pirelli P Zero, Z-rated tires with substantially improved overall performance, cold weather performance, enhanced overall grip and steering response on a variety of road surfaces while also broadening the performance envelope. An optional SRT Track Package features Pirelli P Zero Corsa, “soft”-tuned, “racing-type” compound tires that improve handling and precision further on the road or the race track.
For the first time, standard safety technologies such as electronic stability control and traction control help to maximize traction performance at virtually any speed and driving environment.
Four-piston Brembo brakes with fixed-aluminum calipers, and vented rotors with a diameter of 355 mm by 32 mm, are used at all four corners. Brake calipers are forged and weight optimized by fully machining all surfaces. The calipers are among the stiffest available with distortion from heat nearly eliminated even under the most demanding braking conditions.
All 2013 Viper models will come with a steering-wheel-mounted launch control switch, allowing for optimal acceleration from standing starts. Ah, American muscle.
SRT is moving up the game by ensuring the interior of the Viper is as premium as its performance is. For the first time, all major interior surfaces are sewn and wrapped with additional padding applied in comfort areas. On the Viper GTS model, all surfaces are fully leather skinned, and standard accent colors are applied to the seats, doors, center console and stitching.
The cluster bezel, HVAC outlets, window switch bezels, shifter base, park brake bezel and the integrated passenger grab handle on the center console are all triple-paint-finished with Gun Metal appliqués.
Standard high-performance racing seats from Sabelt feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell created by a state-of-the-art resin transfer molding technology for mass reduction and long-term durability. Thigh support is improved and the deep side bolsters should help keep the occupants in place when the V10 does it job.
For the first time, seat height can be adjusted by up to 40 mm – manually on the SRT model and power controlled on the GTS.
Designed specifically for the 2013 SRT Viper, the new 7-inch, full-color, customizable instrument cluster display uses a full-time analog tachometer readout in the center. Drivers have a wide range of custom and personal options such as an additional digital speedometer readout just below the tachometer. The vehicle information is clearly communicated with easy-to-understand icons. Intuitively controlled through a simple four-way steering-wheel control, the driver can configure the screens to display the information they desire, easily mixing and matching information.
The 2013 SRT Viper lineup includes the new, next generation Uconnect® Access in-vehicle connectivity system that provides drivers with access to more information, emergency services, more entertainment and improved graphics.
The system includes an 8.4-inch touchscreen along with a set of hard keys for commonly used functions, including traditional knobs for tuning the radio bands and radio volume. Touchscreen buttons along the bottom of the screen allow drivers to easily access the radio, climate controls, navigation, phone, and new, select, certified applications. The new, highly sculpted steering wheel has a host of finger-tip mounted controls for audio, Uconnect, cruise control (first application) and launch control.
A range of Harman Kardon® surround-sound systems are available across the SRT Viper lineup that feature the latest in audio system technology. All Harman Kardon audio systems include a high-voltage class D amplifier with tracking power supply and up to 11 channels of amplification. The Harman Kardon system with exclusive Logic 7 surround-sound processing is available in the Viper GTS model with a total of 18-speakers, including four subwoofers located behind the seats. All Harman Kardon systems in the 2013 SRT Viper lineup include high-performance, high-efficiency GreenEdge technology loudspeakers that are extremely light and include rare earth magnets. The magnets inside each speaker ensure efficient speaker operation and enhanced performance. The audio systems operate on 32 volts – so the new and improved sound system achieves more than double the acoustic power of the current system.