Devon GTX: the carbon-bodied supercar that almost made it
Hands up who remembers the 650bhp, V10, Viper-based GTX?
Scott Devon founded the originally titled Devon Motorworks in Los Angeles in 2008, looking to capitalise on the imminent death of the second-gen Dodge Viper by buying up the rights, and producing his own super-coupe on the same underpinnings. The Devon GTX was the handsome result. It used the same 8.4-litre V10 and running gear as the Viper (albeit pumped up to 650bhp), but wrapped up in a carbon body with a completely redesigned and far smarter cabin, butterfly doors and its strange shaved-off wheelarch blisters. Ouch.Advertisement - Page continues below
Is it just a rebodied Viper, then?
Nope, it wasn’t just a retrimmed Viper with a rocket up its backside. Devon went to the considerable trouble of developing a new active suspension system that offered 60mm of ride height adjustment. Prod the button, and the GTX could scoot up a steep driveway. Press it again, and it’d shrink-wrap itself onto the track. Worked well for the McLaren P1, that idea.
And what it was like once shrink-wrapped around a track?
The GTX’s ultimate goal had been to set a new Nürburgring street-car lap record, and it proved its potential in testing by setting a lap record at Willow Springs raceway in California and briefly holding the Laguna Seca lap record too, before it was, ironically, taken back by the Dodge Viper ACR, complete with a Devon-style rear wing.Advertisement - Page continues below
So what happened next?
Devon bid $5m for the right to own Chrysler’s Viper platform and catapult the GTX into production at a rate of 36 cars a year. However, Chrysler wasn’t prepared to sell for less than $10m, and as the recession bit hard, negotiations broke down and Devon ran out of money. The outfit was wound up in 2013 with just two prototypes produced, one of which sold at auction for $220,000 a year earlier.
Oh well. Guess we’ve still got the Viper, right?
Um, sort of. A (then) bailed-out Chrysler emerged from financial oblivion and in 2013 began production of an all-new Viper, launching a short-lived standalone SRT sub-brand and almost reaching the Devon’s claimed power outputs, offering 640bhp and 600lb ft in standard trim. The story’s now come full circle, with the slow-selling Viper destined to be canned for good in 2017. Something tells us there won’t be a bidding war this time.
Give me some numbers.
Years active: 2008–2013
Number produced: Two
Cost new: $500,000 (est)
USP: World’s biggest-capacity engine
Power claims: 650bhp @6000rpm 590lb ft @ 5000rpm
Performance claims: 0–62mph in 3.4secs, 200mph max
Reason for failure: Financial crisis
Chance of resuscitation: Absolutely nil