If you’re an enthusiast, then yesterday’s news from the New York Auto Show borders on nirvana. If you’re a competitor to this all new serpent, then you may be staring purgatory in the face.
American muscle is back and it’s name is Viper. SRT Viper that is.
And it looks fantastic. Aside from a nose somewhat reminiscent of the current model Corvettes such as the Z06 and ZR1, the car has made a nice evolution and looks arguably quite Italian. And I’m quite happy to see Dodge tone down their signature cross-like grill. Now, rather than body colored, it’s blacked-out and far less obvious. Hopefully, as time goes on, the rest of the Dodge line up will see a similar styling change. But enough design analysis, let’s get right to the specs.
Horsepower…what’s the horsepower, you ask! With a compression ratio of 10.2:1, power is 640 bhp at 6,150 rpm and a max torque of 600 lb.-ft at 4,950 rpm. And, yes, unleaded premium is required.
The 40 horsepower bump can be attributed to a new composite intake manifold, lighter forged pistons, stiffer pushrods, a revised camshaft profile, sodium-cooled exhaust valves and freer-flowing exhaust catalysts.
The car is constructed as you might expect, with a tubular steel space frame and magnesium cowl. Carbon fiber is used for the hood, roof and lift gate. Going with the light-weight material for upper body pieces no doubt helps lower the cars center of gravity. Of course, with an overall height of only 49.1 inches, there’s not much of a chance you’re turning this car belly up.
By using the light weight materials, Dodge has done an excellent job of keeping weight down, with the standard Viper model tipping the scales at 3,353 lbs. The SRT version gets even lighter, weighing 3,297 lbs. The Viper GTS is the heaviest, weighing in at 3,431 lbs.
No word yet on pricing or when the car will hit showrooms. Just speculating here but it’s not uncommon for automakers to start the buying process by taking orders only. Then, several months later, the car is available to those who placed orders first. It’s pretty unlikely the new Viper will be a high volume car. But that will only help strengthen its exclusivity.
We’ve got a great photo gallery of the new SRT Viper. Take a moment and check it out.
What do you think about the new Viper? Is it great American muscle or something less? Tell us what you think in the comments below.