2013 SRT Viper: First Drive

Posted on 07. Sep, 2012 by in Auto News

If you told me three years ago that I wrote my post last Dodge Viper, I would not have blinked. Surely this is loud, raw survive, gas-guzzling ode to testosterone would not define an era of hybrids, rising gas prices and their own manufacturer bankruptcy.

Nobody counted on such a quick recovery for the Fiat-owned Chrysler Group or the lunatic vision of Fiat / Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and designer / transmission / speeders / executive Ralph Gilles, now CEO of the SRT division. We found out. At the New York International Auto Show earlier this year that the Viper would be back as a 2013-model

As I made clear what I thought to be my last Viper review, which was the second-generation model in 2008, I liked the car. I respected them. But a car like that has no place in today's market. To make any sense at all, the need 2013 more refined and grown-up. When my time in two development Vipers in South Haven, Michigan's Gingerman Raceway is an indication, SRT has nailed it.

Technically, I have written my last Dodge Viper SRT10 review but only because Chrysler continues its war against the Dodge brand by selling their strongest and / or most iconic models. As the non-Dodge Ram pickup, this car is now known as SRT Viper.

The interiors were not ready for photography and some outside Macken reinforced that this very early engineering vehicles, but the chassis and drivetrain are done basically. Some optimization is safe to continue, but with the exception of an all-powerful exhaust resonance at high speeds, I have not noticed much change I would. (The exhaust work is not finished, and I actually prefer over the car at low speeds sound that the 2010 model.)

After a few laps in a Refresher Course 2010 Viper, the last model year for two conditions, I took about a dozen rounds in a yellow base Viper, which carries only a SRT badge and a blue uplevel Viper GTS. Both were coupes, like the convertible will be introduced later. The awards will be announced in about a week, all we know is now the difference between the two trim levels around $ 20,000. When new, the 2010 Viper Coupe started at $ 91,935, including destination charge. The exclusive use of a manual transmission car is sure to narrow its audience more than its price. And so it should be.

The difference between the two generations could not be clearer. Although they both have 8.4-liter V-10 engine output with outrageous that they are driven to 60 mph in the first Transition (and enough torque to drive in virtually any gear at any speed) allows the 2013, the world is a dynamic front.

Honestly, felt the 2010 easier to control than I remembered, but at the present time it is practically squirrely by anyone's standards, and it is extremely sensitive to sudden inputs of any kind What always worried me about the earlier Vipers was their unpredictability and inconsistency of breaking with a tendency to oversteer / understeer tug of war with the driver in the middle and pulled in both directions.

You could comb over every inch of the car as do the Zapruder film and career of driving it, such as the Millennium Falcon training to detonate the Death Star from – and still approach it with trepidation every time in it. With mastery of a car is always an illusion, but if it seems impossible, the challenge seems pointless. Ultimately, then the car itself.

Is changed. The 2013 has all the acceleration rage of 2010 – more, actually, with 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque from 600 hp and 560 pounds-feet, thanks to a variety of engine upgrades, saying lead his engineers it is virtually a new engine. The difference here is the ability of the car to manage the power and weight. Of the first corner, his composure is evident. On the 50th, it is their consistency.

For 2013, the six-speed Tremec transmission has closer gear ratios, and gone is the previous car StairMaster style clutch pedal resistance. (No longer is asymmetric Viper owners are simply picked out of a crowd.) Along with the lighter clutch a satisfactory shorter stick comes with shorter throws and more precisely defined goals. SRT says the center console itself is a little low, but that depends on where you position the new sports seats, height adjustable now, either manually or powered.

Equipped with the optional Track Package included the yellow car lighter wheels (25 pounds ago, compared with more than £ 30 storage), two-piece slotted rotors and sticky tires: Pirelli P-Zero Corsa. Regardless of trim and equipment variants, the tires measure P295/30ZR18 in front and P355/30ZR19 in a barn-wide rear and the brakes include the same four-piston calipers and wheel diameter, which supplied all of Brembo.

The car turns elegant and precise as the engineers say, the steering feels faster, even though the relationship has not changed. Credit belongs partly stiffer torsional rigidity and a redesigned rear suspension, which fought draw compliance. A wider track front minimize understeer.

The brakes provide exceptional bite of minimal pedal travel, especially when compared with the 2010 model year.

I learned more from the GTS, the standard tires wore (also P-Zero, but not Corsa), and had several settings for the electronic stability control system in which the car is based only on or off. (As required by law, the Viper now has stability.) When is the base model of stability admirably discreet, but the GTS adds two more liberal settings between sport and track. The track setting, SRT says, will be spinning even the car. I stayed with sports. There is also a standard launch control function for the fastest sprints, but it is not yet fully calibrated and was not verified yet.

Between the less conservative stability setting road tires and the GTS "two-mode suspension is softer street settings updated, I was able to throw the car around more, which showed her better manners. No amount of rubber can hold as much torque in check and while the rear end loose, put him back in line more predictable.

The 2013 is about 100 pounds lighter by the liberal use of carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium over a steel frame. But it feels even lighter, and the weight distribution is now 49.6/50.4 percent front / rear. In the Viper, the driver sits far behind the car yaw center, a sense of what the car seems to do it – once you get adjusted.

Between his better steering feel and newfound spirit of cooperation, the 2013 Viper ride feels much more like teamwork. In the old car, it was like playing with a ball hog – one that occasionally went into his own thing, which involved too often do dislike pavement.

Unfortunately, I have not the cars on the road, but the base model was quite comfortable, and there is a dramatic difference between the GTS comfortable Street and solid track settings.

Many would argue the Viper always needed stability control. Now he has it, and when it needs them less than before, the 2013 Viper still seems to have a narrow margin of error. It is a car that can be learned over time and many rounds must, and I believe this is a very good thing. Nobody wants a pet viper. There is no shortage of tame sports cars on the market. But we want a tamable Viper, and the previous generations do not bear this feature.

If the Dodge Viper has improved a notch between the first and second generation, then it increases SRT five notches this time. I'm still not sold on the new auto styling, but each love is blind there is much to love. There are supporters who always buy the next Viper. For those who were on the fence, it's time to get excited.

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