Ready your best snakebite cliches, the Viper is back

Today marks the official release of the SRT Viper. It feels like only yesterday we were standing at the New York Auto Show, our mouths agape, admiring the reincarnation of America’s most infamous super car. Accordingly, we felt it appropriate to give those of you who might have missed the stats on the Viper a rundown of its power and its heritage.

The first Viper (then under the Dodge moniker) was released in 1992 to the delight of the world. Although the original one — and let’s face it, most of the models since — was woefully arcane, it quickly became the heartthrob of both elementary school-aged children and Saudi princes alike. If you’ve ever driven one, you’ll know the sheer discomfort, fear, and outright joy of driving one is what made it special. Interestingly, even though the Viper seemed to be based upon a tractor platform, it actually had a rather clever chassis; so clever in fact that when Daimler (Mercedes-Benz owner) merged with Chrysler, it took a good look at the Viper for inspiration for the Mercedes SL.

The 2013 SRT Viper has dropped the Dodge name and picked up the SRT badge in its place. It has retained the infamous V10 engine but the displacement has been upped to 8.4-liters and it now produces 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, which makes it the most torqu-filled, naturally aspirated sports car engine in the world. Accordingly, it’ll make a 0-60 run in the low three second range and is capable of going zero to 100 MPH back to zero in under 12 seconds.

SRT offers the 2013 Viper in two models: the standard Viper and the Viper GTS. The GTS is essentially the more luxurious model. With more tech features like electronically adjustable shocks and a bit nicer interior trim, the GTS is for those who want the time space continuum warping powers of the Viper without feeling like they’re forced to drive a stripped-down racecar.

The pricing, however, it is a bit higher than we were expecting for the 2013 Viper. The regular Viper starts at $97,395, which doesn’t include the $1995 destination charge. The Viper GTS makes a big leap up to $120,395, again without the destination charge.

We haven’t driven the 2013 Viper but in spite of that, we’ll leave you with our knee-jerk reaction. We’re not sure the Viper is worth that money. With Vehicles like the Nissan GT-R around or below that base price and vehicles like the Porsche 911 Turbo up near the GTS, we wonder who would actually choose a Viper? We suspect it’ll be the man in a cowboy hat and a death wish.


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