Autobytel was recently invited to a special showing of Mopar’s SEMA cars at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, CA where we were lucky enough to get Mark Trostle, Head of SRT, Viper, Mopar and Motorsports Design to give us a quick walkaround of the all new 2013 SRT Viper. Powered by a 640 HP 8.4 Liter V10 and weighing in at under 3500 lbs the all new Viper is a 200 MPH beast, and is even better when dressed up with a host of Mopar goodies like a carbon fiber X-Brace, high speed down force kit and bespoke racing harness to make it the all out track machine that Chrysler intended.
Mark tells us: “When we set out to do the new Viper we really wanted to make sure it retained the iconic flavor and character of the original Viper. You look at a lot of cars in the industry, and many of them are not as recognizable as the Viper. The Jeep Wrangler though is an example of a vehicle that is very recognizable. We wanted to make sure we held true to its roots but we did want a more voluptuous flavor of the surfacing. We have also gone back to a full clamshell hood where the whole front of the car opens up. There is something kind of heroic about that and the proportions of the car and the car in general. It really is a great car. We focused on making everything on the vehicle functional and beautiful. The new Viper has a top speed of over 200 MPH so you can image we spent a lot of time in the wind tunnel refining the surfaces. Up front there is something called an air curtain which is an inlet in the front bumper that is open to the wheelhouse inner which helps with both down force and brake cooling. On the hood, every little flick in front of each vent helps control air so that the car actually exhausts the hot air out of the engine bay. The hood scoop feeds fresh cool air into the intake box. Everything is functional including the blisters on the roof which give the driver and passenger enough headroom to wear a helmet. One of the other iconic parts of the Viper is what we call the gill. That is an identifier of Viper that we have had since the 1992 model. Obviously the shape has been evolved but this is still one of the great Viper cues.”
“The 640 horsepower V-10 Engine puts out 600 lb-ft. of torque making is a blast to drive. The Viper now has launch control and traction control which lets the customers use all the potential of the engine to its fullest. Mopar had a hand in some of the accessories on the SRT Viper including an X-Brace that is made entirely from carbon and weights half of what the stock aluminum piece weights. The X-Brace helps control the chassis flex on the body making the car handle that much better on the racetrack. We have developed aluminum and carbon fiber valve covers and aluminum oil fill cap. If you notice even all the logos are decals instead of a hard badge in an effort to remove weight. The heroic clamshell hood is great for being able to show off the engine.”
“Moving to the rear of the car, the Mopar carbon fiber wing is another piece that has been developed to increase down force alongside the front splitter. This full carbon fiber piece can generate 300 lbs. of down force at 150 MPH. or 500 lbs. at top speed. It’s a beautiful and functional piece. On the inside, we have developed with Mopar aluminum and carbon shift knob, racing harness, seat set, and carbon fiber satchel with a GoPro camera mount since a lot of customers like to take their cars to the track. “