Dodge Viper driven

But there's no need to hold your breath to find out how it's going to shave so much time off an already extraordinary lap. A close look in and around the car gives plenty of clues. Let's start with the exterior. The entire top section of the car - the new clamshell bonnet, the roof and the bootlid are now all made of carbon fibre, lowering the car's centre of mass and allowing it to corner that much flatter and faster. The doors are made of superformed aluminium, which is both lighter and stiffer than the composites they used to be formed from. Even the side glass is thinner to save weight.

All these and a myriad of other detail changes, such as the ally engine bay cross brace, contribute to the new Viper being 50 per cent firmer than the old car. This greater ability to resist shape-shifting gives the new suspension a much easier time of trying to contain all the power, braking and cornering forces, and results in greater steering precision, a better ride and far more controlled handling. The SRT team did look at an all-carbon-fibre chassis, but after speaking with the Viper Nation, its league of loyal Viper drivers, it was decided that this was not the right route to take.