The Viper is back!
by Michael Ouellette
The 2013 SRT Viper has more power and creature comforts than its predecessors, all in a lighter package
Auburn Hills, Mich.—Chrysler is reintroducing its SRT Viper in 2013. The super car was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show, marking its highly anticipated return to the high-performance sports car market.
Two new models will be hand-built at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit.
The 2013 SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS are powered by a hand-assembled 8.4-liter all-aluminum, V-10 overhead-valve engine with 640 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque—the most torque of any naturally aspirated engine in the world.
It was built with an ultra-high flow composite intake manifold, forged pistons, sodium-filled exhaust valves, new catalysts to reduce back pressure and an aluminum flywheel that reduces reciprocating losses.
More than 25 pounds has been shaved from the fully dressed engine.
An aluminum “X” brace under the hood ties the suspension pickup points to the magnesium cowl super casting and contributes to improved torsional rigidity and stiffness.
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 100 pounds.
A driver selectable, two-mode suspension system with Bilstein DampTronic Select shock absorbers has both street and track settings.
All 2013 Viper models will come with a steering-wheel-mounted launch control switch for optimal acceleration from standing starts.
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.
Carbon-fiber hood, roof, decklid and aluminum door panels are all firsts for SRT Vipers, resulting in significant weight reduction, improved high-speed stability and a slippery .364 drag coefficient.
Take a look at this video from Chryslers SRT team: