Up close with the new SRT Viper
America bites back! How Detroit's scariest sports car sharpened its fangs
Posted: 15 Jun 2012
The Porsche 911 is an iconic vehicle, and they’re icons because they’ve always looked that way. They’ve evolved their shape over the years. So we said, ‘We don’t want to reinvent Viper. We don’t need to take it somewhere that we haven’t been.’ So we started to look at how we could evolve the shapes and elements that the customers love.” So the new car gave up on shock-and-awe revolution in favour of something a little more Darwinian. And while it still looks like nothing but a Viper, it wears its bodywork and styling more lightly, with leaner musculature, more LEDs and a whole lot less visual weight.
Less literal weight, too, given that the bonnet (one massive clamshell), double-bubble roof and bootlid are now all wrought from carbon fibre, with the doors made from superformed aluminium. Combine that with careful paring of other elements of the Viper’s anatomy (the drivetrain, for instance, weighs 11kg less), and you have a car that shaves a decent 45kg from the relatively light 1,500kg frame of the Gen_IV Viper, despite wearing a fair few more creature comforts.