Up close with the new SRT Viper
America bites back! How Detroit's scariest sports car sharpened its fangs
Posted: 15 Jun 2012
And dig they did. Quietly and diligently, until they had a car that Marchionne was happy to sign off. No mean feat when the whole industry is obsessed with efficiency and rationality. For both of which the Viper… isn’t the best of representatives. As another tired exec tries to exit, I take advantage of the distraction and slip down into the Viper’s driving seat. And it’s a bit of a revelation. Lowering yourself into a Viper used to be a ticket to an interior closely resembling a high-speed accident between World of Leather and a Fisher-Price delivery lorry. Not any more. The level of quality and detail in here will worry Audi and Porsche.
Gone are the cheap plastics and poor fit and finish. You’re wrapped in the same leather you’d find on the inside of a Bentley, and it feels like it. Our shoot car is clad in red and black leather with contrasting red stitching, and the detail and precision is pretty much bang-on. There are nice little gems of surprise’n’delight spread round the cabin, too: the cubby at the end of the transmission has a map of Laguna Seca – a famed hunting ground for previous Vipers – punched into it, and the passenger doorpull features the Nürburgring. James will be delighted. But there’s also a more basic change – the driving position.