- - Thursday, April 12, 2012

The all-new 2013 SRT Viper was unveiled to the world today at the New York International Auto Show, marking its highly anticipated return to the high-performance sports car market.

The fifth generation of the iconic two-seat, American-built supercar has been deliberately evolved to incorporate superior craftsmanship, a host of new technologies and ergonomic improvements while respecting its visceral legacy of outright performance.

“After a gut-wrenching period of uncertainty, the Street and Racing Technology brand team is extremely proud that our hand-built in Detroit, flagship supercar is back and ready to take on the performance car world,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO - Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “Beyond being the flagship for the new SRT brand, the launch of the 2013 Viper proves that we simply would not let the performance icon of the Chrysler Group die. Willed to live on by a very special group of performance enthusiasts inside the company and across Viper Nation, this SRT team under our new leadership was challenged to not just continue the legendary Viper, but to create a world-class supercar that would showcase the very best we have to offer.”

Two new models for any performance buyer

For the 2013 model year, two new models of the iconic supercar will be hand built at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit - the home for Viper since 1995. Both SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS models offer new interior and exterior designs incorporating premium materials and new exterior surfaces with aerodynamically functional details that are beautifully integrated into the high-tech carbon fiber and aluminum skin. On the inside, designers and engineers strived to rethink all touch points; and upgrade all material appointments and technologies.

“The SRT Viper model is meant to offer a perfect blend of extreme performance and a deliberate preservation of what has become the iconic DNA of the Viper,” Gilles added. “We strove to deliver a supercar that continues to bring the driver as close as possible to the machine.”

The SRT Viper GTS builds on the DNA of the SRT Viper model with more technologically advanced solutions, like two-mode active suspension, to allow this world-class GTS to find new limits on the track while also opening up its envelope as a more premium and mature evolution of the classic, extreme performance formula. Designed and built with premium features and materials inside and out, the Viper GTS will compete with the best performance vehicles in the world with a wide range of creature comforts, advanced drivetrain and interior technologies.

“We’ve purposely evolved the iconic soul and raw performance formula that Viper has maintained over the years,” Gilles said. “Our returning customers will see the world-class levels of pride, quality and hand craftsmanship built into the 2013 Viper. With two price classes of the SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS, we have offerings for both the traditional core Viper customer and for the new customer who wants the same performance in a package with more technology and premium creature comforts.”

At the heart and soul of the 2013 SRT Viper is the venerable, hand-assembled 8.4-liter all-aluminum, V-10 overhead-valve engine.

Improvements for 2013 include a new, ultra-high flow and lightweight composite intake manifold, high-strength 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.

Preliminary performance ratings for the SRT-engineered V-10 Viper are 640 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque - the most torque of any naturally aspirated engine in the world.

The Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission has been improved with a shorter throw shifter, closer gear ratios and a final drive ratio that has been shortened to 3.55 from 3.07. The 2013 Viper models will be more engaging to drive and top speed is now achieved through 6th gear with maximum engine speed (redline) at 6,200 rpm.

Starting with a stiffer structure that provides 50 percent more torsional rigidity, the chassis of the 2013 SRT Viper benefits from numerous enhancements - many learned through racing efforts with Viper GTS-R and Competition Coupe models.

Major updates include the addition of a new aluminum “X” brace under the hood that ties the suspension pickup points to the magnesium cowl super casting and contributes to improved torsional rigidity and stiffness. A new aluminum impact beam at the front of the car contributes to overall mass savings and improved weight distribution while providing excellent crashworthiness.

A new, driver selectable two-mode suspension system, featuring Bilstein DampTronic Select shock absorbers with both street and track settings, is standard on GTS models.

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