The Viper is coming back to performance car showrooms. “The Street and Racing Technology brand team is extremely proud that our hand-built-in-Detroit, flagship supercar is back and ready to take on the performance-car world,” said Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of Chrysler’s SRT brand.
“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 added.
Dan Reid, communications manager for the SRT brand, said the last Viper rolled off the assembly line at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit in the summer of 2010 when the company was going through bankruptcy.
“We had to take a very hard look at all of our vehicle lines and we put the Viper on at least a temporary hiatus, just because we had so many other things to take care of,” he said.
Reid said in the fall of 2010, Gilles, who was then head of Design, was having some of his designers sketch what the next Viper would look like even before they were given the green light to resume production.
“The car’s been a flagship for the company since 1992 when it first appeared in the market,” Reid said. He noted that since 1992, only 20,000 of these cars have been built, which means customers know they’re getting something very special. “It’s a true, low-production, niche vehicle. It’s got its own personality . . . We’re very proud to say it’s hand-built here in Detroit,” Reid said.
For members of the Viper Nation, it’s all about the performance, and, according to announced stats, the Chrysler Group and Street and Racing Technology (SRT) team have loaded this returning favorite with plenty of goodies, including:
• A top speed of 206 mph
• From 0-60 mph in the low 3- second range
• From 0-100-0 mph elapsed time in less than 12 seconds
• Quarter-mile elapsed time in the mid-11- second range.
Performance car enthusiasts can select from two new models for the 2013 model year, the SRT Viper and the SRT Viper GTS. “The SRT Viper model offers a perfect blend of extreme performance and a deliberate preservation of what has become the iconic DNA of the Viper,” Gilles said. “We strove to deliver a supercar that continues to bring the driver as close as possible to the machine.”
Viper fans will be happy to know that engineers have been able to up the Viper’s torque and horsepower while reducing its weight, resulting in the best power-to-weight ratio ever, Reid said.