Chrysler Group – SRT Viper GTS and Viper GTS-R 2013
The fifth generation of the iconic American supercar known up to now as the Dodge Viper was introduced at the 2012 New York Auto Show under the name SRT Viper. SRT goes for Street and Racing Technology a specific brand from Chrysler Group for performance vehicles.
“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 road legal models include SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS coupe. All-aluminium, front mid-engine naturally aspirated 8.4 liter V10 delivers an estimated 640 hp and 600 lb.ft of torque. 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.
The chassis enhancement brings 50 percent improvement in torsional stiffness. Major updates include the addition of a new aluminium “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 aluminium impact beam at the front of the car contributes to overall mass savings and improved weight distribution while providing excellent crashworthiness.
Triple digit weight reduction results are Viper best power-to-weight ratio. Structurally, many areas of the chassis were reworked to take advantage of new materials, reduce thickness in some areas and reshape components for more structural rigidity in others. The result is an overall weight savings of approximately 100 pounds.
Standard safety features include electronic multistage stability control, traction control and new 4-channel anti-lock brake system (ABS). All-new carbon fiber and aluminium skin is sculpted for high-speed stability and a slippery .364 drag coefficient (Cd).
“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.”
SRT VIPER GTS-R
The purpose-built, non-street legal and competition-ready SRT Viper GTS-R also was revealed as part of the Chrysler Group’s announcement that a factory-backed SRT Viper Racing team will return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2012.
“Racing has been a significant part of the illustrious history of Viper not only with wins on the track, but also in the continued development of the street cars – and our new 2013 SRT Viper models are proof of those lessons learned,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “Now with our new team and the launch of the GTS-R, we’re excited and proud to begin writing more chapters in the racing history of the Viper later this summer.”
SRT Motorsports has partnered with Riley Technologies, based in Mooresville, N.C., on the design-and-build process of the new SRT Viper GTS-R.
Two identical SRT Viper GTS-Rs will compete in the production-based GT class in the series. Four drivers currently are signed to drive including Dominik Farnbacher, from Ansbach, Germany; Marc Goossens from Geel, Belgium; Ryan Hunter-Reay from Dallas and Kuno Wittmer from Montreal. Additional driver and team announcements will be forthcoming.
Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series, hails the SRT Viper’s return to the Series as one of 2012’s top announcements.
“I don’t think it’s possible to overstate the significance of the SRT Viper returning to the top level of professional sports car racing,” Atherton said. “The Chrysler Group has a long, storied and very successful history of competing with the American Le Mans Series. The fact that they’re coming back concurrently with the introduction of the new production car and doing it simultaneously, we would be hard-pressed to come up with a better-case scenario. What a great way for SRT Viper to come back to racing.”
All ALMS teams compete in the prestigious MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge. Entering its fourth season, the program objectively ranks the competing cars in terms of their environmental footprint, their energy efficiency and speed on the racetrack. A separate, season-long award is given by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International, acknowledging the vehicle manufacturer and its technology contribution to improving efficiency and reducing environmental impacts of racing. The scoring system for the program was developed by series officials and the U.S. Department of Energy, and it is based on a combination of on-track performance and energy consumption. The LMP and GT teams that win MICHELIN GREEN X Challenge championship will earn an entry to the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Viper has enjoyed a successful racing heritage that began in 1996 with the first Dodge Viper racing entry, the original GTS-R, which earned five international GT championships and the 1997-1999 FIA GT championships. It also posted an amazing overall win at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2000 – the first for a production-based American car.
Viper finished one-two at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in GTS class in three consecutive years - 1998–2000 - and also captured GTS class, and driver’s championships in the American Le Mans Series in 1999 along with the Series class, manufacturer’s and driver’s championships in 2000.
The Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, introduced in 2003, delivered the next chapter of that history with its coupe-shaped carbon/Kevlar body and a track-ready chassis, based on the Dodge Viper SRT10®. The Viper Competition Coupe continued the on-track prowess by capturing the 2004 SCCA Speed World Challenge GT title, championships in Formula D Drifting series in 2004 and 2006 and the British GT Championship in 2007 and 2008.
No technical details have been released for the 2012 SRT GTS-R as yet.
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