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Unread 2012-09-10, 08:18 AM   #126
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2013 SRT Viper First Drive
Charmed and Dangerous: Despite ESC, Cruise Control, and Glove Leather, Viper's Venom is Deadlier than Ever






In chat rooms and at owner events, the Viper faithful like to beat their chests and rail against all efforts to domesticate their sacred serpents. But get them alone and loosened up a little, and the story changes. "Yes I track my car a lot, and I still want to win, but I wouldn't mind winning in a less deafening, roomier cockpit with cruise control. See, these rich guys also own other fancy GT cars, and they're a smidge smitten by the creature comforts those cars offer. So the SRT Viper team set out to deliver a no-compromises car this time around, and at long last they've invited us to grade their efforts by letting us take the 2013 SRT Viper out for a few hot laps around western Michigan's GingerMan Raceway.
But before we strap in, let's recap the new Viper's program highlights. On the creature comforts front, in addition to the aforementioned cruise control, new Sabelt thin-shell seats boost comfort and provide greater seat travel both back and down to better accommodate taller and helmeted drivers. Chrysler's 8.4-inch console screen controls features including Uconnect Bluetooth telematics, navigation, and satellite radio, and a choice of two Harman Kardon stereos sprinkle either 12 or 18 speakers throughout the tiny cabin. The exhaust note all those speakers are shouting down is also greatly improved, thanks to new plumbing with no crossover, revised resonators, and better control of the combustion itself courtesy of VVT and savvier engine control computers. Unabashed sybarites can upgrade to the GTS model, which gets standard Napa leather upholstery, 40 pounds of sound deadening, and a comfier ride afforded by new Bilstein Damptronic two-way adjustable shocks. And if Napa leather proves too "domestic" for them, there's an Italian Laguna leather package that swathes the entire cockpit in Gucci-grade sepia-toned hides.



Purists will want to order the base car (also a coupe, but with manual seats and "protein vinyl" trim) and tick the SRT Track Package box (it's also available on GTS). This brings superlight black wheels shod in Pirelli P Zero Corsa soft-compound, non-run-flat tires (275/35ZR18 front, 355/30ZR19 rear) and StopTech composite rotors (slotted, vented, 14-inch steel discs on aluminum hubs). Carbon ceramic rotors are not offered for two good reasons: They're super expensive to replace if an owner nicks one while changing tires at a track day, and they don't absorb as much heat as steel rotors do, so that heat ends up in the pads and calipers. Sizing them large enough to prevent boiling the fluid offsets the rotors' weight savings and would force 19-inch front wheels.
To help ensure that this charm-schooled Viper can defend track records set by its predecessor at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the Nurburgring Nordschleife (each of which is immortalized by track maps on interior cubby mats), the car is 100 or 140 pounds lighter (GTS or base), and stronger by 40 hp and 40 lb-ft, for a total of 640 hp and 600 lb-ft. (Fun fact: you can call it an even 800 hp created in the cylinders, because powertrain chief Dick Winkles claims that the first 160 hp are spent overcoming engine friction.) According to vehicle development chief and dynamics guru Erich Heuschele, the SRT Viper's handling is improved enough that, along with the improved weight-to-power ratio, it should be a half-second/mile quicker around most challenging circuits. But enough of the preamble -- let's saddle these snakes and see how they slither.
I start out with some refresher laps in a 2010 Viper, which feels slightly crude and dangerous compared to the Corvette ZR1 I've driven to the track. Its cockpit is confining, the seat feels like an upholstered half-whiskey barrel, the shifter seems industrial-sourced, and the helm gives a sense of swinging the nose into turns. Sure, it's crazy fast and big hairy fun to drive -- but in a brute force, blunt-instrument way.
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Unread 2012-09-10, 08:20 AM   #127
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Next I strap into the all-new base Viper with the SRT Track Package and suddenly it's the ZR1 that feels like the antique, lacking Viper's high-def reverse camera, modern crisp screen graphics, connectivity, etc. Relative to the 2010 Viper, the seat is vastly more comfortable and supportive, though I find I now have to motor the pedals rearward to meet a seat position that puts me far enough away from the (non-telescoping) steering wheel. From the first touch of the start/stop button (keyless go is now standard), the engine barks to life more eagerly and settles into a less guttural but still uniquely ten-cylinder lope.
Charging off into the first series of turns, the car rotates much more eagerly. Steering feel is about on par with that of the outgoing car, and it's almost hard to believe the ratio is the same (16.7:1) because the yaw response is so much quicker. Credit the 50-percent stiffer chassis (see that under-hood X-brace?), the wider front track (62.4 inches versus 61.7), stickier Corsa tires, and myriad suspension geometry tweaks. Chief among these is a set of new rear toe-control links that permit more compliant understeer -- a good thing that helps put power down in corners less, um, dramatically.

he new billet shift mechanism's greater precision is appreciated, though over the course of several laps, I frequently have trouble finding the desired slot in the narrow gate. More practice (and some wear) might eliminate that issue. The shorter axle ratio (3.55:1 versus 3.07:1) and better spacing between the six transmission ratios mean that normal driving will have folks rowing this box more than before. The briefest blip of a heel on the throttle gets the revs matched perfectly, thanks to the new 21-pound aluminum flywheel (a Chrysler first). Roaring off toward the next turn, the car flaunts a fatter, more linear torque curve that owes much to a new composite intake manifold with smoother, longer runners and more uniform air distribution. This box also keeps the charge air (sucked directly in through the center hood scoop) cooler too, all of which combines to let every cylinder burn more fuel more effectively.



I keep the new stability control switched on for the first session (the car must be stopped to switch it off), and only detect its intervention once, exiting turn six in second with a provocative jab of throttle that dials up at least 20 degrees of slip angle before the system straightens things out. My next stint is in the GTS Launch Edition (150 cars to be sold in blue over white stripes -- the only cars that will be built in that combo -- with StopTech discs, but base P Zeros and the heavier, polished wheels). This one's four-mode stability system features full-on, Sport, Track, and full-off modes. It is designed to let owners step down through the levels as they build confidence during a given track day. Sport allows a bit more longitudinal and lateral slip before intervening, and track uses the same intervention thresholds but controls them via engine power only -- no brake intervention. I could fib about discovering an intervention threshold 14 percent farther out in sport, and achieving further 4 degrees of slip angle in track, but such declarations will have to wait for our 2013 Best Drivers Car showdown. That event's lapping session at Laguna Seca will provide the ultimate fade-test for these steel brakes (which proved indefatigable at GingerMan), and its road-looping day will give us a better sense of how these two-way adjustable Bilstein Damptronic shocks tame road imperfections. (Heuschele prefers their ability to provide two different damping curves to GM's magnerheological shocks, which simply slide an identical damping curve up or down the harshness scale.)



With the memory of 2012's Best Drivers' Car competition still tingling in my fingertips, the temptation to prognosticate on Viper's prospects for 2013 is irresistible. It's still a night-and-day different car than this year's BDC-winning Porsche 911, but it weighs only 50 pounds more and boasts over half-again as much power and nearly double the 911's torque. Better yet, it puts that power down with remarkable efficiency. The Viper's broader stance and savvier suspension inspire greater confidence than the big Americans (Camaro ZL1 and Shelby GT500) did this year, and nobody will complain that the computers did all the work during the hottest lap, as was the case with the McLaren. It's a very heavy favorite to lay down the fastest Laguna lap (applying Heuschele's half-second/mile prediction, that's 1:34.0 on our clocks -- a BDC record), and my sense is that such a lap will put a much broader smile on the driver's face than the the last Viper ACR and Corvette Z06/Z07 did. And that just might bring BDC bragging rights home to Detroit.
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Unread 2012-09-10, 09:01 AM   #128
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Woooooooow. I thought the last and original Vipers looked good. This design is a completely different monster, in a very great way.
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Unread 2012-09-10, 09:18 AM   #129
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http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/drives/2013-srt-viper



2013 SRT Viper - First Drive

The all-new Viper makes a compelling case for the theory of evolution.

By Steven Cole Smith / Photos by John Lamm
September 9, 2012

Slideshow >>
Video >>


When the Dodge Viper emerged from the swamp in 1992–crude, brutal, carnivorous–who knew that 20 years later it would evolve into a civil, almost friendly presence…sort of what King Kong would have been if he were allowed to attend finishing school.
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Indeed, there is no better automotive example of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Recall the 1992 Viper–400 horsepower from the 8.0-liter V-10, a price of $50,000, and for that you got, or possibly didn’t get, a horrible little vinyl toupee-like top designed by sadists; plastic side-curtain windows; no air conditioning, no anti-lock brakes, no outside door handles, no door locks, no place to put your left foot except under the clutch pedal.
From that, the Viper has evolved into a poised, seemingly responsible member of society. Who, if necessary, can still kick your ass, but he would at least take you out back.

2013 SRT Viper




Darwin Would Be Proud
We were, literally, the first to drive the 2013 SRT Viper, which returns after a two-year hiatus. In the movie, Charles Darwin is played by Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of the SRT performance brand, and head of motorsports, and senior vice-president of product design.
Even during the car’s hiatus, Gilles managed to keep the Dodge Viper Cup racing series going, in which he often drove, and quite well. Russ Ruedisueli is the Viper’s vehicle line executive, and the head of SRT motorsports engineering. In a week or two, you will find Ruedisueli at the Sports Car Club of America Runoffs, where he has competed for years. You will not find Erich Heuschele, SRT manager of vehicle development, at the Runoffs, because as a driver, he has won so many SCCA races that now it’s like clubbing baby seals.

2013 SRT Viper




Bottom line: Yes, there is a civility to the new Viper, but the people who developed it are serious about performance. And that showed in our drive, which occurred at Gingerman Raceway, a 1.88-mile private road course in western Michigan. SRT provided a 2010 Viper–that was the last model year– and a pair of 2013s, one a base Viper, and the other the slightly more uplevel GTS. The “Launch Edition” will feature traditional blue paint and dual white stripes.
Gilles and his crew said the 2013 Viper started out as a mild-to-moderate refreshing of the 2010 model, but it turned into a much more involved makeover–right down to an all-new frame. They planned to tweak the 8.4-liter overhead-valve V-10 for a few more horsepower, and ended up with 640—that’s 40 more than the 2010 model had, but the same as the not-quite-street-legal 2010 ACR-X Viper. Torque is rated at a stump-pulling 600 lb.-ft. Top speed should be 206 mph–SRT test drivers have had it to 203 mph, in 6th gear, but the test track was too rough to squeeze out the few additional mph they believe is in there.

2013 SRT Viper GTS




Slimming Down the Beast
Always during the process, the development team was looking to save weight, and they did–a startling 150 pounds, which is indeed noticeable as you stuff the 2010 model, then a 2013, into a tight corner on the track. That original, topless 1992 Viper with virtually no equipment weighed 3272 lb. This new one, with all the creature comforts and electronic safety features you’d ever want, starts at a svelte 3297 pounds, for a base Viper with the SRT Track Package.
And you’ll want the Track Package, which includes upgraded Brembo brakes and stickier Pirelli PZero Corsa tires (295/30ZR-18 up front, steamroller-sized 355/30ZR-19 in the rear).

2013 SRT Viper




The base Viper and the GTS both have stability control: In the base car, it is two-mode with launch control. The GTS has a four-mode system–full-on, sport, track, and full-off. The engineers said repeatedly that the stability control, even in “full-on” mode, is designed to intervene only when it’s really, really needed, and they are correct. You can go very fast in the turns, and brake very hard, and never engage the stability control or ABS.
So how does it work on the track? The sensation is surprisingly different from the 2010 model. The new Viper’s shifter for the 6-speed manual transmission has a much shorter throw than before–even shorter than the ACR’s, it seems—which takes some getting used to, as do the new gear ratios. Coming out of a short straight into Gingerman’s turn one, 3rd gear was just fine for the 2010 Viper. It was much a more frantic section in the 2013 Viper, what with the engine revving very near its 6400-rpm fuel cutoff.

2013 SRT Viper




Also different–quite different–is the steering. While the overall ratio remains 16.7:1, SRT has quickened the steering significantly. At first, it feels twitchy, but with more laps, you get used to it. Still, it may be the only thing on the new car I’d probably change back to 2010 specs.
Inside–that’s where the new Viper really shines. The car has always had a functional but fairly rudimentary dashboard and instrument panel, but now, sliding into the excellent new leather-clad seats, the Viper finally looks and feels like a luxury sports car. There’s plenty of headroom, even wearing a helmet. It’s also much quieter–it’s tough to eliminate all the road noise from these massive tires, but SRT has come pretty close.

2013 SRT Viper




Production should start in early November at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit–at, incidentally, a rate of maybe three cars a day, just like in 1992. The plant would max out at 12 Vipers a day, if the demand is there, and given the early dealer orders, it is. One limiting factor: The huge, complex carbon-fiber hood can only be made in one factory in Vermont, and that company is capacity-limited.
You Get Change Back From Your $100,000 Bill
The price? We’re guessing $99,995 to start, and when the price is announced later this week, you’ll find we were correct. For the GTS, add about $20,000.

2013 SRT Viper




This just-shy-of-$100,000 starting sticker makes the 2013 SRT Viper officially double the price of the 1992 model, and almost double the price of the Viper’s longtime domestic competition, the Chevrolet Corvette, which starts at $50,575 for a base coupe. Of course, to get Viper-like performance, you’d need the $113,575 Corvette ZR1.
Merely the existence of this new, fifth-generation Viper is a triumph, given the turmoil Chrysler has suffered in the last five years, including the new European ownership. That the 2013 SRT Viper is an excellent, much-evolved car–that’s just gravy.
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Unread 2012-09-10, 09:21 AM   #130
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http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...t-drive-review



First Drive Review
[*]COMMENTS (22)[/LIST]2013 SRT Viper / Viper GTS Coupe


All the venom with a little less sting.


[*]BY MICHAEL AUSTIN[/LIST] The Viper is back, new and vastly improved after more than two years in stasis. Chief among the tweaks to the fifth iteration of the new SRT brand’s headline supercar (it’s no longer a Dodge) are a more upscale interior and increased creature comforts. Has the Viper gone soft? In a single word, no. But after a half-day sneak preview at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan—where we previously captured some shakedown images and video—we can say with confidence that the new Viper is not only better than ever, it’s finally as appealing in person as it is on paper.

A Quantum Leap, Albeit Without Scott Bakula
At a distance, the Viper looks a lot like the previous car, and the two even share the same windshield. But up close, the new car is far more elegant. There are no hard creases despite some sharp-ish features, and the hood gives off a menacing vibe reminiscent of something dreamt up by H.R. Geiger. In comparison, the previous-generation Viper looks dated, even clumsy. There are two Viper models, base and GTS, most obviously differentiated visually by the number of hood vents; the uplevel GTS has only two versus the regular car’s six. Every vent or scoop is functional on both models, from the rear-brake ducts behind the side windows to the outboard inlets in the front fascia that funnel a drag-reducing curtain of air around the front wheels.




The old Viper SRT10 is on hand to help make dynamic comparisons, and driving it definitely brings back memories, the most dominant of which is that it was kind of a pain in the ass. You don’t get behind the wheel so much as you contort your body into something resembling a driving position. Visibility is poor, and the passing of time has only made the rental-grade interior look even more appalling. As for the chassis, a few laps around GingerMan remind that the old Viper’s high limits are best approached with caution.
Slide into the new Viper and it’s hard to believe it’s just three model years removed from its predecessor. Soft leather and vinyl replace hard plastic. The thin, firm seats (supplied by Sabelt, which also counts Ferrari among its customers) immediately feel more comfortable, and are more adjustable than before. They’re also mounted an inch lower, resulting in more headroom and a roomier overall feel. The center tunnel also is lower, putting the shifter in a more natural position that allows you to change gears more with your wrist than your forearm. And the cabin is less of a sweatbox now that the exhaust doesn’t cross over below the occupants, although the threat of seared calf flesh remains—while the pipes now run only along the side of the body, the still heat up the rockers and terminate behind the doors.
As Able as Ever—and Less Intimidating
Improvements extend beyond ergonomics and into the chassis. A revised steel frame and an extruded-aluminum X-brace that spans the engine bay increase stiffness by a claimed 50 percent. The front track is pushed out, and the front tires are wider by 20 mm. At the rear, rubber engorged by 10 mm (Pirellis that now measure 355/30-19) shrouds a revised suspension with a relocated toe link and softer anti-roll bar. The changes are immediately noticeable on the track. Steering loads increase more naturally in concert with cornering forces, and turn-in is more immediate. But mostly the Viper feels more stable, more confidence-inspiring. The front now leads the rear axle through a corner, a contrast with the impression in the old Viper that the two are fighting each other for control of the car’s vector. Breakaway behavior, both via brake-induced understeer or throttle-induced oversteer, is now entirely predictable. The limits are even higher than before, but this Viper is easier to drive quickly.
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Unread 2012-09-10, 09:22 AM   #131
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The dynamic improvements are underscored by the safety net of stability control, which now is essentially required by the government for all cars. Retired Viper chief engineer Herb Helbig used to opine that a good right foot was all the traction control anyone needed, and Viper purists might be understandably annoyed by the presence of electronic driver aids, but we doubt it will hamper sales. Plus, as it can in the rest of the SRT vehicle lineup (which retain Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep branding) the system can be fully switched off.
Further niceties like launch control (enabled by the stability-control computers), cruise control, and available satellite navigation are more a sign that the Viper has stepped into the 21st century rather than a transgression against its original intent as a modern Shelby Cobra. With a sticker price close to $100,000, a certain level of luxury is expected, especially if Chrysler is to succeed in attracting new buyers. As such, all Vipers come with a leather-topped dashboard, an 8.4-inch infotainment screen, and a digital IP display shared with the Dart that shows an analog-style tachometer. Plastic and fiberglass body panels give way to carbon fiber and aluminum, which not only save about 60 pounds but also yield more consistent panel gaps. (Or will on the final production version, as Chrysler stressed to us that the prototypes we drove were not representative from a fit-and-finish standpoint).
Viper die-hards might take solace in the base model, which comes with manual seats and simple on-off functionality for the stability control. The GTS is lined with more leather, and an optional Laguna interior raises the cowhide grade to something approaching Italian. Commanding a premium of roughly $20,000, the GTS also has a high-threshold Sport mode and traction-control-free Track mode baked into the stability control, along with two-mode cockpit-adjustable shocks. Those dampers, supplied by Bilstein, straddle the single tune of the base car’s and adjust both jounce and rebound rates for their respective street or track settings. The other main option is a Track package that yields lightweight wheels, two-piece aluminum-hat StopTech brake rotors, and stickier P Zero Corsa footwear. The pack was fitted to one of our preview cars, and the tires improve grip and feel so much that we wish they were standard. The cars can be outfitted with carbon-fiber trim inside and out, and all Viper buyers will get a one-day track experience.




Ferociously Quick
Chrysler’s quest to turn the Viper into a true GT—that is to say a car that can be driven across the country and then straight onto a racetrack—has not diminished its ferocity. The old 8.4-liter V-10 is massaged to 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, increases of 40 in both categories. Curb weight is down by about 100 pounds in the base model, and the track package drops about 40 more. The power-to-weight ratio of the Viper is as low as 5.2:1, on par with the Corvette ZR1 and better than the Lamborghini Aventador. And more evenly spaced gear ratios take better advantage of that power: We estimate a 0-to-60-mph run of 3.4 seconds and the 206-mph top speed is now reached in sixth gear, which previously only existed to boost highway fuel economy. That said, EPA ratings will be lower on this Viper, not that anybody will care.
Some might still wonder if any essential Viper-ness has been lost. Many of the traits that gave the Viper its charm were also glaring faults, though, and, as a rule, we’re not sad to see them go: At some point, a car’s essence transcends design and engineering peculiarities carried out in the name of heritage. The new car is more comfortable and easier to drive, but still feels authentic—you can tell it’s a Viper because of the way it is. View Photo Gallery
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Unread 2012-09-10, 09:28 AM   #132
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That blue/white combo looks really good! The yellow...*puke*. It is amazing what difference color can make in a car.

By the sounds and reads...this is going to be a monster of a car...
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Unread 2012-09-10, 09:35 AM   #133
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Really digging the new viper. Can't wait to see one in person.
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Unread 2012-09-10, 09:57 AM   #134
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Sounds beast. Looks way too much like a ferrari/masaratti to me. I kinda liked the previous front.
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Unread 2012-09-10, 10:07 AM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icemangsr View Post
Sounds beast. Looks way too much like a ferrari/masaratti to me. I kinda liked the previous front.
I can see that in the front end. Looking at it from the back, it looks more like the early vipers.
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Unread 2012-09-10, 10:12 AM   #136
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I've always loved the GTS blue with white stripes paint scheme.
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Unread 2012-09-10, 12:16 PM   #137
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Wow, I can't believe how tiny the 18" wheels up front look. I think they should've went with a 19" just to fill the arch a little better.
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Unread 2012-09-10, 12:26 PM   #138
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Still think the 89' concept viper looks better than the rest
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Unread 2012-09-11, 08:47 PM   #139
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Time to go find my 100,000 dollar bill....
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Unread 2012-09-28, 09:23 AM   #140
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2013 Dodge SRT Viper: Have It Your Way (In 150,000 Ways Or Less)



Burger King lets you have it your way, and apparently so does SRT when it comes to the 2013 Viper. When you go to configure your new Viper (should you be so lucky) you'll find there are nearly 150,000 different configurations to choose from.
First you'll need to choose which Viper model you want. You can go for the less is more theme with the base Viper, priced from $97,395, or treat yourself to some amenities in the GTS model which will run you another $23,000 for a total of $120,395 not including the $1,995 destination fee.

Now that you've picked your Viper's trim level, it's time to move over to the wheel of color where you'll find six choices sitting before you: Adrenaline Red, Black Venom, Bright White, and Gunmetal Peal in standard color choices or for an extra $1,000 you can get go bright with Race Yellow and Shadow Blue Pearl. For those opting for the GTS model, you can also choose Stryker Red Tinted Pearl and GTS Blue. Yes, we noticed all the color names sound aggressive, but this car is named after a snake after all.

Don't forget about the racing stripes, they make you go faster, and are priced between $4,500 and $5,000. We can't help but recommend them.

By our count, SRT is offering a total of three wheel choices, but each of those wheel choices are available in one of two or three finishes. Your choices include: polished, hyper black, and matte black.

For the audiophiles in the group, you can upgrade to a 12-speaker audio system for $1,995 in the base Viper, but those who already opted for the GTS model will have this system thrown in at no extra cost. If you really want to get serious, the 18-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system will run $2,995 in the base Viper and $1,000 in the GTS model.

All base Vipers feature Sabelt seats with black premium ballistic covering. Adding Nappa leather and Alcantara will cost $3,000 for base model Vipers and are standard in the GTS model. Anyone opting for the GTS with the Laguna interior package will be treated to Laguna leather on their seats and the entire interior.
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Unread 2012-09-28, 09:26 AM   #141
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If this is 'stryker red tinted pearl', then sign me up

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Unread 2012-09-28, 10:08 AM   #142
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I bet that color is sick in person.
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Unread 2012-09-28, 10:17 AM   #143
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Damn!
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Unread 2012-09-28, 10:23 AM   #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69Mach351 View Post
Really digging the new viper. Can't wait to see one in person.
word.

I absolutely love the design... Jaw-dropping.
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Unread 2012-09-28, 11:18 AM   #145
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I am in love with this car. I'll take mine in white with hyper black wheels please!
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Unread 2012-09-28, 11:37 AM   #146
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That red looks amazing!
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Unread 2012-09-28, 01:38 PM   #147
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Just don't forget about the last model's "venom red"
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Unread 2012-10-02, 09:48 AM   #148
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Default The Viper is Back!

Something went wrong. Please make sure you added the video correctly.

Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9JOgYvyP3s

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Unread 2012-10-02, 12:03 PM   #149
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That thing is so much better than the old vipers... sheesh. Daddy liek.
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Unread 2012-10-02, 02:17 PM   #150
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OH, they're nice. I drove one last weekend. Interior is gorgeous. Fit and finish is terrific, especially considering these were pre-production and the engineers I spoke with said that they have "approximately 300 tweaks" that will be made to the production models.

I'll save my multi-paragraph review for another time. But this Gen V car will definitely be a contender.
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