SRT Viper GTS

With all due respect, it bites

"The Viper is both all-American and a true exotic"

"The 2014 Viper is the most spacious model in the history of the nameplate"

"Premium GTS models come fitted with two-mode Bilstein DampTronic shock absorbers"

"Viper's manual gearbox excitingly perfunctory in action" said Issam

I remember that during my early childhood days, in the 90s, I used to have a miniature Viper. It was blue with white stripes. At that time, I had imagined that the car was not driven on road, but was rather only available as a toy or in video games. Years passed by, and I finally realized that in fact, this car is drivable and on public roads. My imaginary delusion had turned into a truth. I can even talk about how I drove a Viper in genuine dimensions around the dazzling streets of Dubai.

For the 2014 model year, two new models of this iconic supercar were hand-built at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit - the Viper's home since 1995. Both SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS models offer new interior and exterior designs incorporating premium materials and new exterior surfaces with aerodynamically functional details that are beautifully integrated into the high-tech carbon fiber and aluminum skin. On the inside, designers and engineers strived to rethink all its touch points and upgrade all its material appointments and technologies.

Exterior
The all new, timeless exterior design blends contemporary execution with evolutionary refinement. All new carbon fiber hood, roof, deckled and aluminum door panels are firsts for SRT Viper models resulting in significant weight reduction, improved high speed stability and a .369 drag coefficient while still achieving negative lift.

The forward-hinged hood carries the redesigned Viper badge, aptly named "Stryker" by the Viper Club of America, positioned in the center, and offers unobtrusive access to several service points and the SRT-engineered V10 powerplant.

The classical low stance and the extreme cab-rearward proportions that have become the unmistakable silhouette of the iconic supercar, return on the 2014 SRT Viper models along with the dramatic fender "gills", another traditional Viper design cue that helps to extract heat from the engine compartment.

The Viper model features a contemporary take on the traditional "double-bubble" roof configuration that maximizes headroom for the driver and passenger while maintaining a low frontal area, allowing additional room for helmets during recreational competitive driving.

Dual-function, bi-xenon projector headlamps are tightly packaged with white light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps and LED turn signals in a sinister "snake eye" configuration.

Functional "blisters" incorporated into the 70 mm projector headlamp lenses create a three-dimensional view that gives Viper a distinctive glare.

The lower-front grille is purposefully designed as an evolution of the traditional Viper low profile cooling opening configuration and discretely carries a refined V-shape structure.

The exhaust system continues to exit forward of the rear wheels and now carries further refinement with cast aluminum, sill-mounted exhaust bezels.

For the first time, the SRT Viper model carries LED tail lamps that integrate stop-and-turn illumination in one element. Snakeskin texture in the lens carries the surface work seen in the gills and hood textures. With dark-masked lenses, the horizontal lamps appear dark until the LED elements fire. Each lamp carries 50 LEDs that provide a unified "crystallized" illumination effect.

The five-spoke, forged-aluminum "Rattler" wheel design on the 2013 Viper model is available with fully polished (standard), fully painted hyper black or fully painted matte black finishes.

The Viper GTS has a split six-spoke forged-aluminum "Venom" wheel design with three available finishes, including polished face with graphite-painted pockets (standard), fully painted hyper black or fully painted matte black.

Interior
The all new, driver-oriented interior cabins of the SRT Viper models have been totally revamped for 2014. Superior craftsmanship, premium material appointments and performance-oriented technologies are evident throughout.

For the first time, all major interior surfaces are sewn and wrapped with additional padding applied in comfort areas. On the Viper GTS model, all surfaces are fully leather-skinned. Standard accent colors are applied to the seats, doors, center console and stitching.

Quality fit and finish is showcased across the lineup by details such as the triple paint-finished gun-metal appliqu├ęs on the cluster bezel, HVAC outlets, window-switch bezels, shifter base, park-brake bezel and the integrated passenger grab-handle on the center console.

Standard high performance racing seats from Sabelt feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell created by a state-of-the-art resin transfer-molding technology for mass reduction and long term durability. Both driver and passenger enjoy improved comfort from thigh support and deep side-bolsters designed to match the extreme lateral acceleration capabilities of the SRT Viper.

Seating positions in the 2014 SRT Viper models are 20 mm lower for more room and enhanced performance driving ergonomics. Seat travel is extended by 90mm overall, which enables expanded seating options from a more rearward positioned bulkhead. For the first time, seat height can be adjusted by up to 40 mm, manually on the SRT model and power-controlled on the GTS.

The new 2014 Viper is the most spacious model in the history of the nameplate. The floor pan and bulkhead have been extended approximately 90 mm to provide improved legroom and more rearward seat track movement.

A 7 inch, full-color, customizable instrument cluster, with its full-time analog tachometer, is designed specifically for the 2014 SRT Viper.

The dominant center tachometer display features an animated readout that glows red and shows off the new "Stryker" logo when engine rpm approaches redline, safely alerting the driver to upshift.

Drivers can configure the tachometer to display their last shift point and a peak rpm hold marker can be set up for optimum performance. Views include tach-only or tach with digital speed readout.

The new customizable instrument cluster provides an unmatched presentation of the exclusive SRT Performance Pages' statistics and feedback to the driver, including 0-to-100 mph; 0-to-200 kph; eighth- and quarter-mile elapsed times; braking distance; instant g-force measurement readouts and top-speed performance.

Infotainment system Uconnect
The 2014 SRT Viper lineup features the new Uconnect Access in-vehicle connectivity system that links drivers to emergency services, as well as richer information and entertainment options, all via improved graphics.

Viper customers can choose between two Uconnect Media Centers, Uconnect 8.4A and Uconnect 8.4AN, which provide a range of new features and multiple ways to control media. The system balances the convenience of an 8.4 inch touchscreen with the reassurance of tactile knobs for common functions such as radio tuning volume adjustment. Touchscreen buttons along the bottom of the screen enable easy access to the radio, climate controls, navigation and phone. Breakthrough voice-text capability is enabled via voice command.

Drivetrain
The heart and soul of the 2013 SRT Viper is its venerable, handcrafted, all aluminum 8.4 liter, mid-front V10 overhead-valve engine.

Improvements for 2014 include an ultra-high flow, lightweight composite intake manifold; high strength, forged pistons; sodium-filled exhaust valves; new catalysts to ease backpressure and an aluminum flywheel that reduces reciprocating losses. Approximately 25 pounds have been shaved from the fully dressed engine.

Performance ratings for the SRT-engineered V10 Viper are 640 hp and 600 lb.-ft. of torque, the most torque of any naturally aspirated sports car engine in the world.

The Tremec TR6060 six speed manual transmission has been improved with closer gear ratios and a final drive ratio that has been shortened to 3.55 from 3.07. The shifter throw also is shorter. As a result, the 2013 Viper models will be more engaging to drive. Its top speed of 206 mph is now achieved through 6th gear with maximum engine speed (redline) at 6,200 rpm.

Verdict
It is one collectible car that definitely needs to park in your garage. About the overall driving experience, though it is not a daily drive super car, it is awesome, though might make you tired when getting out of it. The price is superlatively affordable, and if you have the money, order your own Viper. Beware, only word describes it well: brutal!

One word: fierce

Specs

8.4L, V10, 640 HP @ 6,200, 814 Nm @ 5,000
6 Speed Manual, RWD
0-100 kph: 3.4 Seconds, Top Speed: 332 kph, Fuel consumption: 15.17 L/100 km
Weight: 1496 kg
Pros: enormous power V10 engine, great cornering grip, gorgeous exterior, well-crafted interior
Cons: unavailability of automatic gearbox, rigid suspension, reduced visibility, uncomfortable seats, hot exhaust pipe under door sill
Rivals:
3.5 stars

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