2013 SRT Viper GTS-R: Racing Viper hits the track August 4

2013 SRT Viper GTS-R front three-quarter no paintThey say racing improves the breed, and that is true of both horses and snakes. The Dodge Viper has a glorious racing history, something Chrysler wanted to continue with the 2013 SRT Viper. The Viper’s caretakers at Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology Division built the Viper GTS-R to dominate on the track.

The SRT Viper GTS-R debuted alongside the street-going Viper at April’s 2012 New York Auto Show, but it won’t turn a wheel in anger until August 4, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. SRT started testing the GTS-R at Mid-Ohio on July 4, so it should be ready.

The Viper GTS-R will compete in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), with two cars racing a “limited schedule” this year, and competing in all 2013 races. The ALMS features the types of cars that race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, divided into two types: prototypes (LMP) and sports cars (GT).

The Viper will be on the same track as exotic prototypes like the Audi R18 e-tron, although due to class rules it will not compete directly against them. Instead, the Viper’s main competition will be other racers based on production cars, including rival Chevrolet’s Corvette.

Racing in ALMS meant SRT had to tailor the Viper GTS-R to that series’ rules. That means, to keep things fair, the racing Viper will actually be less powerful than the street Viper. A stock Viper GTS’ 8.4-liter V10 makes 640 horsepower, but the GTS-R will only put out 450 to 500 hp. However, at 2,745 pounds, the racecar will weigh less than the street car. The GTS-R’s top speed is 180 mph.

Mid-Ohio will not be the Viper’s first race. Viper GTS-Rs won the FIA GT championship in 1997 and 1998. Also in 1998, it placed second at Le Mans, and did the same in 1999 and 2000. That same year, it won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and took the manufacturer’s and driver’s championships in the ALMS GT class.

A few years later, another generation of Viper made its mark on the track. The outgoing 2003-2010 model spawned the Viper Competition Coupe. This most recent Viper racecar won the 2004 Speed World Challenge GT championship and the 2007 and 2008 British GT Championship.

Clearly, the 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R has some big tire tracks to fill. Whether it wins or loses, just building this racer shows SRT’s commitment to making the new Viper a serious performance car in the mold of its predecessors. Maybe some of the knowledge its engineers glean from racing will show up in future Vipers, too.


Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.

See the hotly anticipated 2020 Toyota Supra in motion before its unveiling

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.