Discontinued since 2010, the legendary Dodge Viper was revived two years later under Chrysler's SRT (Street Racing and Technology) brand. Unveiled at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the first new SRT Vipers were scheduled to leave the Detroit assembly plant in 2013. And so they did, as Chrysler announced just a week ago that the first 800 vehicles had already been shipped to their customers in North America.
Speaking on the sidelines at this year's New York Auto Show, SRT boss Ralph Gilles revealed that the performance automaker is expecting to ship 1,800 two-door coupes this year, with the facility building 14 handmade vehicles a day. "The business case works at far less than 2,000 a year. It's a handmade car. It's really a laborious process,", said Gilles.
Viper Roadster coming in 2014
Now that the new SRT-designed "Snakes" are on their way, there's more news coming from Detroit on future models. Surprisingly enough, SRT started the fifth-generation Viper with a Coupe variant, though the Viper was known to be offered at first as a Convertible and gain a hardtop version later. As you might have guessed, the current generation Viper will get a droptop counterpart as well, but it seems that SRT is not in a hurry to deliver it.
"The car was designed to be a convertible. Under the skin is a convertible chassis. It's already there - the stiffness is there. It's extremely easy should that come, but we're not in any rush", said Gilles a while back, hinting at the 2014 SRT Viper Roadster. No images have been released yet and we don't know when it'll be unveiled, but we expect it to be highly venomous, just like any Viper so far.
Viper TA - the Corvette ZR1 killer
While taking their time to develop the Viper Roadster, the guys over at SRT haven't been wasting their pace kicking it around. With the Corvette ZR1 in mind, Chrysler's performance brand has designed the ultimate "Snake" for 2013, the track ready TA version, a moniker which stands for "Time Attack". What's this got to do with the Corvette? Glad you asked. The Viper TA just smashed the above-mentioned Vette's record lap at the Laguna Seca Raceway, becoming the ultimate American sportscar in the eyes of most motorists. To do that, SRT didn't engineer a bigger powerplant, but a lighter vehicle, updating the 8.4-liter V10-engined musclecar with new carbon fiber components, aerodynamic enhancements, new anti-roll bars or Bilstein Damptronic dampers, just to name a few. Painted in a special "Crusher Orange" paint, the Viper TA will be built in only 33 units and delivered starting third quarter 2013.
"We’re re-launching some of the fastest production-built cars that people can buy straight from the factory. Our engineers revised the suspension settings to refocus the Viper specifically for track duty, using a blend of components from the GTS and the SRT models, add in the extensively developed aero package and the new Time Attack package is born. We’re not only saluting the existing capabilities of our current models, we’re also targeting another niche in our customer base with a tremendously capable track machine," SRT CEO Raplh Gilles said.
24 Hours of Le Mans comeback
2013 is going to be a busy year for SRT, who has announced that the Viper will return to race in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. SRT Motorsport has readied two GTS-R version for the LM GTE Pro class, to be driven by Tommy Kendall, Marc Goossens, Kuno Wittmer, Dominik Farnbacher and Jonathan Bomarito. As expected, SRT also fielded their cars in the 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), which has debuted last month. Given that the Viper had successful campaigns at Le Mans in the past, we can only hope for new impressive results.
The Viper ACR storms in 2014
You thought SRT has forgotten about the ACR? We all know it's Detroit's most powerful and agile Viper. Chrysler knows it as well, so they're going to bring it back next year. However, the development got delayed because of tire issues, as SRT had asked Pirelli to develop superior rubbers rivals for Corvette ZR1's Michelin wrappers. Now there's another rumor that surfaced on the web thanks to Motor Trend, who claims that the new ACR will be more powerful than its predecessor only if Fiat agrees on the HP numbers. This sounds outrageous, but it seems the Italians are worried the new Viper ACR could boast more horsepower than the Ferrari F12. We do hope that's not the case and we will get to see a no nonsense SRT sportscar yet again. According to other reports around the internet, the 2014 Viper ACR will come with several weight reduction features, a bigger rear wing, adjustable dampers, stiffer springs and a lower ride height. Bring it on, SRT!
Facelift slated for 2015?
Although the fifth-generation Viper just left to its first customers, we know some of you are wondering when will the Viper get an update. There's no official word from SRT yet, but it seems that an updated should take place in 2015. Since we don't have any info about this, we'll just have to wait for more information to surface. Be sure to stick around to find out what's hot about the SRT Viper!
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Exterior Color Options
There is no official information on available colors but six exterior color choices are offered on the '13 SRT Viper models including Bright White, Adrenaline Red, Gunmetal Pearl, Black Venom, Race Yellow and Shadow Blue Pearl. The SRT Viper GTS model offers bonus color options with the availability of Stryker Red Tinted Pearl and GTS Blue.
We don't have definitive information on what the '14 SRT Viper TA will cost but when the price is make known, we'll post here.
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