The Viper has always been obscenely loud, muscle-bound and vulgar -- traits that have made it a polarizing car. Judging by the numbers of the next generation model introduced at the New York auto show, the new Viper will only increase the divide. Here is everything you need to know about the car:
Get Out of Dodge
First of all, don’t call it a Dodge. The latest Viper is the first car from Chrysler to be badged purely SRT, the Chrysler/Dodge in-house performance tuner brand -- think AMG to Mercedes.
The 8.4-liter V-10 is an evolution of the last Viper engine. Lighter and stronger than its predecessor -- thanks to a composite intake manifold, sodium-filled exhaust valves and forged pistons -- the new V-10 produces 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, funneled through a 6-speed manual transmission.
The stiffer and lighter chassis is also an evolution. With a carbon-fiber hood, roof and rear decklid and aluminum door panels, the SRT Viper sheds more than 100 pounds from the previous model.
If a lighter, faster Viper isn’t enough for you, SRT is offering an optional Track Package, which comes with a tuned suspension and brakes, Pirelli P Zero Corsa “racing” tires and an even lighter weight, just in case you wish to knife around the circuit with greater agility.
Past Vipers have not been known to be daily drivers. The new Viper looks to change that. The revamped cabin boasts quality leather, improved headroom, sound insulation, LCD screens and an optional Harman Kardon audio system to add class to the domestic icon.
The car shown in New York was no concept vehicle. What you see is close to the real thing. In fact, production (which is in the U.S.) looks to start in the latter half of the year, with fresh Vipers going on sale next year. Start stacking your chips.
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