Get Your SRT Viper Before They Slither Away

by mbethard


Although the blackjack tables are always alluring, I can assure you there was something slithering around Las Vegas that was a little more exciting earlier this week, as Chrysler held its annual meeting to show dealers what’s coming up for the next few years.

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2013 SRT Viper GTS

The official announcement was made regarding pricing for the all-new 2013 SRT Viper. The first 2013 Vipers will go on sale in mid-November, priced from just under $100,000, making it the most expensive car in Chrysler’s US lineup.

According to Edmunds.com, The first Vipers off the assembly line in Detroit will be coupes. The original Viper, introduced in early 1992, was a two-passenger convertible. At this point, Chrysler has not announced any plans for adding a Viper roadster to the new lineup.

The standard Viper will start at $99,390, while the uplevel Viper GTS will be priced from $122,390. Both stickers include a $1,995 shipping charge.

2013 SRT VIPER

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2013 SRT Viper

The 2013 SRT Viper is all-new, from front-to-back and top-to-bottom, from the lightweight carbon-fiber roof right down to its road-scorching wheels. It features less weight, stiffer chassis, a more powerful engine, beefed-up close-ratio transmission, more powerful brakes and new electronic technology. It’s all wrapped in aggressive exterior styling with gorgeous interior design, materials and appointments to make Viper more comfortable and capable, better riding, more agile and faster accelerating to a higher top speed. Advancements in materials and engineering lead to a new output of 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque.

Awe Inspiring Power Train

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Under the hood of the 2013 SRT Viper

The updated V-10 engine has an estimated power rating of 640 horsepower at 6,150 rpm, an increase of 40 horsepower over the 2010 Viper. Producing 600 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,950 rpm, the Viper puts out the most torque of any naturally aspirated sports car in the world.

Viper’s legendary 8.4-liter V-10 engine features a new composite intake manifold, lighter forged pistons, stiffer pushrods, a revised camshaft profile, sodium-cooled exhaust valves and freer-flowing exhaust catalysts – all contributing to the 40-horsepower increase.

The new intake manifold is tuned using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), a high-performance computer-based simulation that has improved everything from Formula 1 car aerodynamics to nuclear submarine performance for silent running. The new forged pistons are not only lighter, but stronger and more durable to ensure precise piston/cylinder wall tolerances for consistent ultra-performance on the road and at the track.

Stiffer pushrods enable more precise valvetrain performance, while the revised camshaft profile works better with Viper’s variable-valve timing (VVT) for enhanced power as well as lower emissions and fuel consumption. Sodium-filled exhaust valves run cooler to help protect against fuel mixture detonation in the cylinders which, along with better engine cooling, enables more aggressive spark timing for more torque and power. A revised catalyst wash-coat process enables a 20-percent reduction in back pressure that also helps improve power output.

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A Tremec TR6060 close-ratio six-speed manual transmission is standard on both the SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS. Closer ratios make Viper even more responsive, while a new sixth gear, combined with a shortened final-drive ratio of 3.55 to 1, produces noticeably better high-speed performance. New gear manufacturing techniques produce precision-formed teeth for smooth meshing while fine-pitch synchronizers reduce synchronizer travel, giving lower shift efforts and room for 15% wider first, second and third gears for better torque handling. Reverse selection is eased by the use of a double-cone synchronizer. Shift throws are 12.5 percent shorter.

The aluminum housing of the transmission is beefed up with thick flanges and cast-in ribbing to lower stress. It is also strengthened in the shift rail area, and the rails are held in place with shorter spans. This reduces the possibility of rail flex during spirited shifting while improving shift feel.

A new lighter flywheel, aluminum for the first time-ever in a Viper, gives a further tenth-of-a-second improvement in quarter-mile performance. A self-adjusting twin-disk clutch completes the package.

Outstanding Ride, Handling and Capability
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A leap forward in handling to the SRT Viper has been made via changes in the basic structure and refinements to suspension geometry. Performance is increased, weight is shed and Viper keeps its near perfect 50/50 weight distribution through its mid-front engine configuration – classic Viper since its inception in 1992.

A new lighter and stiffer space frame structure uses high-strength steel, magnesium, aluminum and carbon fiber to form the basis for all that’s good with the 2013 Viper. SRT engineers designed the Viper with 50 percent more torsional rigidity and re-engineered nearly every chassis system to make the new Viper ready for both street and track.

Starting with a new chassis, SRT engineers improved torsional rigidity while shedding weight with strategic use of high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium in critical areas. The frame is completely boxed for more strength and stiffness, aided by a new structural “X” member that ties together all four corners of the engine bay, similar to the all-conquering GTS-R competition car of 1996-2000. A cast-magnesium front firewall/dash structure, the largest such automotive casting in the world, enables unmatched strength, stiffness and mass reduction in that portion of the car.

The rear trunk pan is now a part of the overall structure, contributing to the new Viper’s improved torsional rigidity. Viper has shed nearly 140 lbs., with the use of the latest lightweight materials, including composite body panels, lighter wheels and reduction in overall engine weight. Curb weight is as little as 3300 pounds with available SRT Track Package.

Suspension Enhancements

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All of those characteristics provide an optimum platform for the four-wheel independent suspension system. All four corners incorporate aluminum unequal-length upper and lower “A” arms in a “SLA” (Short upper arms and Long lower arms provide optimum camber to keep tires in maximum road contact). Performance coil springs, gas-charged, aluminum body Bilstein® monotube dampers and tubular stabilizer bars front and rear complete the race-type suspension system.

The new suspension system and wheel package provides a wider front track. Rear suspension geometry is revised to move the toe link from behind the rear axle centerline to the front for increased stability on maximum acceleration and cornering. Wheelbase is 2,510 mm (98.8 inches), overall length 4,463 mm (175.7 inches) and width is 1,941 mm (76.4 inches).

Stabilty control is available for the first time on Viper and has been tuned by SRT’s experienced in-house racers. The core SRT Viper has just two modes, “Full On” and “Full Off”. GTS has four modes, “Full On,” “Sport,” “Track” and “Full Off.” The settings affect the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC). Full Off deactivates both, but leaves active both the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD).

Both the core SRT Viper and Viper GTS take advantage of these electronic controls to optimize acceleration from a complete stop with standard launch control. The driver actuates launch control via a steering-wheel-mounted button, floors the throttle as the system holds rpm to the predetermined launch rpm, then releases the clutch. The TCS controls wheelslip by throttle only to maximize longitudinal acceleration. Viper accelerates smoothly and as quickly as possible without over-spinning the drive wheels and without over-revving the engine. Tuned clutch hydraulics ensure optimal clutch actuation.

The newly-available performance-oriented “Track Package” contributes a nearly-50-pound weight reduction through the use of Pirelli Corsa competition tires, two-piece brake rotors and ultra-lightweight wheels. The six-lug wheels are 18 by 10.5 inches in front and 19 by 13 inches in the rear on both Track Package and standard offerings. Tires are P295/30ZR18s on the front and P355/30ZR19s on the rear.

The ultra-performance steering system incorporates a premium power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering gear with a 16.7:1 steering ratio. Turning circle is 12.34 meters, 2.4 turns lock-to-lock. The system is tuned to provide exceptional on-center precision and linear response, enhancing the driver’s communication with tires to the road through the steering wheel and offering increased effort gradient relative to cornering load.

Benchmark Braking

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While the SRT Viper is known for its sheer speed and acceleration, it also has an ultra-performance braking system. Engineered using 14-inch (355 mm) vented rotors front and rear and Brembo® 44/40 mm four-piston calipers in front and 42/38 mm four-piston calipers in the rear, the Viper has the capacity to take full advantage of the grippy Pirellis. The system is designed to deliver shorter stopping distances, better brake modulation, firmer pedal feel and less brake fade than other high-performance luxury cars. The lightweight aluminum Brembo calipers are fully machined on the exterior to maintain their striking appearance for years.

Aggressive and Functional Exterior

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The classic Viper look with a new flair. Bodywork on the Viper has been shaped more closely around the structures underneath, to look more compact and purposeful, while evolving the classic earlier-generation Viper form. The side “gill” shape inspired by the original Viper R/T 10 and GTS remains a focal point. The gills are the extraction route for engine compartment heat. The inner surface of the gills is finished with a snakeskin texture, just like the front grille. The front grille opening has a much different and more aggressive race-car shape, breaking new ground for Viper. The intake includes functional brake-cooling ducts.

The new hood, roof and lift gate are made of lightweight carbon fiber. Weight savings are significant, compared to the former sheet-molded compound (SMC) panels of previous-generation Vipers. Stiffer doors are now made of superformed aluminum for more weight savings. The new hood features the classic Viper NACA duct cold-air intake that rams cool air to the engine intake. Air temperature is only 10 degrees above ambient at the intake, compared to 50 degrees above ambient on most other vehicles.

The new roofline is longer and tapers more toward the rear, exposing more area on the rear fender tops. When viewed from the rear, the fenders have broader shoulders and a much more aggressive race-car look, especially when the huge-section of the rear tires is in sight.

Quick-firing LED tail lamps are masked by the dark-tinted snakeskin texture on the lenses until lit. In the front, bi-Xenon projector headlamps and white light-emitting diode LED daytime running lamps are packaged within a “snake-eye” shape. The lenses are blistered for an even more reptilian appearance.

Race Inspired and High Performance Interior

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The new Viper has the most finely detailed interior in Viper history. Using high-grade materials and surfaces in a contemporary and spacious driver-focused environment, the SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS interiors provide comfort and luxury at every turn. Premium touch points include hand-cut, sewn and wrapped leather and soft organic grain vinyl throughout, including the leather-wrapped steering wheel unique to Viper.

Interior appointments have been greatly enhanced. The triple-paint-finished gun-metal appliques on bezels, color accents in the seats, doors and air outlets and matching color stitching on the instrument panel, doors, console, steering wheel, and grab handle all add to the breath-taking interior of the Viper.

Clamshell configured seats were developed in partnership with race-equipment manufacturer Sabelt and feature six-point harness preparation. The driver’s seat is mounted 20 mm lower, but is height adjustable to suit virtually any driver when combined with adjustable pedals. The center console is also lower-mounted, as is the shift knob for enhanced driver ergonomics, including a short throw shifter. Seats are mounted on an extended floor pan for more legroom with more seat-track movement range.

Electronics in Motion

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State-of-the art electronics are part of Viper for the first time, including an 8.4-inch color touch screen for entertainment center and other types of driver interface. There’s also a cluster-positioned multi-configurable 7-inch LED-backlit TFT electronic vehicle information display (EVIC) with steering wheel-mounted controls. It provides a high-definition presentation of performance-oriented feedback to the driver, including but not limited to memorized/resettable data for 0-to-60 mph; 0-to-100 mph; quarter and eighth-mile acceleration times; braking distance; and G-force duration and top speed performance.

Steering wheel-mounted controls also include audio, cruise, Bluetooth-enabled phone, and electronic stability and Launch Control.

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The Generation Five Viper continues the brand’s reign as the undeniable standard bearer for SRT, Chrysler and the world of high-performance cars.

Now everybody can have the Viper they want: the classic no-holds-barred SRT Viper focused on the enthusiast’s core performance needs, or the well-appointed SRT Viper GTS, a more premium and mature evolution of the classic, extreme performance formula.

Well….when we say everybody, we really mean to say twenty-five hundred of you….because that’s all that Chrysler is offering. So act fast….we all know how hard it is to catch a snake.

Call, or stop by Safford Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Fredericksburg today, for more information, or to place your order.

SAFFORD CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE OF FREDERICKSBURG

Your VIRGINIA SRT VIPER DEALER

5202 Jefferson Davis Highway, Fredericksburg, VA

540 898 7200 / 888 544 8122

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