It’s big, bad and back. The unmistakable Dodge SRT Viper has been granted a new lease of life.
Following Chrysler’s bankruptcy in 2009 the Viper’s future looked bleak. However, last month’s New York International Auto Show saw the unveiling of the new model after a two year hiatus, with SRT chief Ralph Gilles declaring, “The Viper shows we still have a soul here at Chrysler”.
And no one needs to worry that the last few years of financial uncertainty have neutered the forthcoming car. At first glance it’s business as usual as the long nose, low slung body, side exhausts and dramatic overhangs all tip their hat to Detroit’s muscle-car heritage and the previous iterations of the Viper. Nestling under the bonnet will be an updated version of Dodge’s 8.4-litre V10 that sees it producing 640bhp and 600lb ft of torque – a record for a naturally aspirated production car. As such, it’s definitely still the no-holds-barred bundle of excess that we know and love.
However, the new model will also benefit from several other tweaks and improvements that seek to address some of the less attractive realities of previous versions. The rather unforgiving handling of earlier Vipers will be tackled via uprated Bilstein dampers and additional electronic driving aids, whilst the interior will feature luxurious leather, Harmon Kardon audio and a raft of electronic gadgets.
Could this be the first Viper that will be able to function both as an everyday car and a road legal weapon?
Although production is due to begin at the end of 2012 there is no word yet on whether the new Dodge SRT Viper will be available for purchase in Europe. Here’s hoping.