Thursday, April 5, 2012

2013 SRT Viper

John Marine | 4/05/2012 03:51:00 PM | |
The Dodge Viper has always been one of the most unique and imposing American cars on the market. It is the kind of car that will lash out and attack its prey with absolutely no malice. This new Viper is now under the SRT (Street and Racing Technology) name ever since SRT became its own brand last year or so. As good as this car has been, it was time for a Viper makeover. With Chrysler's woes, Fiat came along to offer a helping hand. Many changes have taken place among Chrysler LLC, but what is mostly unchanged is the company's flagship sports car- the Viper. Unveiled at the 2012 New York Auto Show, early thoughts by some people indicate that the new Viper has been sapped style-wise of its American aggression in favor of more Italian/European styling. Some love its design, others don't. It is hard to believe the Viper is in its 18th year of existence with its fifth generation model. So it's time to meet the new Dodge... actually, the SRT Viper (a blog I Follow called Axis of Oversteer posted about the new Viper in a post called "Fiat Viper!"). And in this blog post, I'll offer my thoughts on this car's looks.


The "Car Style" label is my series of blog posts regarding how I think cars look. I haven't made many posts in this category because of spam concerns. I usually talk about a car and then offer thoughts on how I think it looks. As another change, I will eventually drop the "Car Style" part out of posts in the "Car Style" category.

To see the latest posts of "Car Style," click on the link after this sentence: Car Style.

--- Car Style: The 2013 SRT Viper ---

This video showcases the new Viper. If you can't see the video, click on the link below the video to see the video on YouTube:

^ 2013 SRT Viper -- 2012 New York Auto Show -- Inside Line

The new Viper is an 8.4-liter beast packing over 600 horsepower and 640 lb. ft. of torque. It has been lightened by 100 lbs and fully refined all around. The Viper has always been seen more like the cross of a muscle car and a supercar. Under the wing of Team Oreca, the Viper has been one of the finest road racing cars of all time, even before the dominance of Corvette Racing in the sportscar ranks.

When the new Viper was unveiled, many liked it; many others did not. Car fans still know this is going to be the new Viper- so they know what they're getting when you mention the Viper. There is even a racing version of this car that was unveiled not too long ago to be run in the American Le Mans Series. Forza Motorsport fans- I hear you're getting this new Viper for Forza Motorsport 4. So get psyched, Forza fans!

Styling Thoughts: Exterior.

The front of any automobile provides the best impression externally. In the case of this Viper, I am left with a couple of impressions. The crosshair grill has defined Dodge's image for a long while. That crosshair grill of today's Dodge products looks quite a bit of for the new Viper. However, it does look great. The little front spoiler design is a nice compliment to its style as well. The one thing I may take issue with is the headlight design. Sure, these are beautiful headlights, but they lack the aggression to compliment the rest of its front design. You look at the Vipers of the 1990s and this previous decade. The headlights were as imposing as the front grill on those cars. These, however, turn the Viper more towards a sophisticated and elegant beast... but a beast nonetheless. The hood/bonnet design is very questionable to me. It still has the same sort of hood, but it seems very off in design.

Its side profile is mostly unchanged and still recognizable as a Viper. Honestly, the sides are gorgeous to me. I'd say the new side profile gives the car a European flavor while still remaining distinctively American. The big side duct is almost sort of like the 2011 Dodge Charger models. This car has an exceptional silhouette from the sides. A lovely set of wheels also compliment this car nicely.

From the rear, its elegance is punctuated with its new tail light design. It still looks imposing while also being elegant. Maybe not as imposing as the first Viper, but certainly anything than soft. Remember that the Viper's mufflers are on the sides, not at the back. The car does have a pretty nice rear valance under the rear bumper. It also has a nice lip spoiler with the old Viper badge.

Styling Thoughts: Interior.

The Viper has always been a car more about business than play. Even the first Viper had a more business-oriented cockpit even if at the expense of being considered plain. This one makes the Viper more like an inviting car to sit in and drive as it is inviting from its exterior. To me, this car has interior charm to match its exterior charm. It looks great on the inside. Certain features include racing-type seats as well as a navigation system.

Styling Thoughts: Final Thoughts.

While I don't want to sound like a sell-out, the new Viper has lost its mean appeal and traded it for some elegance and style. It is almost as if this car was designed to reflect the Chrysler/Fiat partnership. Some people think its American charm got tainted with Italian styling touches. The 2013 Viper seems like it was designed by a well-respected European designer like Pininfarina or Zagato rather than some American designer or firm. This car still retains its mean character despite its more elegant appearance and packaging. And let's face it- the Viper was due for some sort of makeover. I actually like this newer Viper more than the previous model. This new Viper retains a lot of its character despite looking more sophisticated and elegant. I actually like this car the more I think about it. Maybe not LOVE it, but I certainly am a fan of this Viper.

I would REALLY love to see this new Viper with stripes. In my opinion, the Viper looks too plain without stripes down the center. My own personal preference is the usual blue with white stripes. I just think the car looks too plain without stripes. I would certainly be interested in seeing various tuners give this car even more performance power. That even includes Houston's own Hennessey Performance Engineering.


Here are some videos showcasing the new Viper that you can see on YouTube:

• I found a seven-minute long video showcasing the new Viper from many angles. I am not sure if it can be embedded or not, but you can look at this video below for a more intimate look at the new Viper. Trust me, it will be worth your seven minutes: Dodge reveals the SRT Viper in New York - YouTube

• This video showcases the 2013 Viper GTS-R. Check it out and marvel in its lovely appeal: 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R - YouTube

Again... in case you're interested.

Where do YOU stand on the new Viper and its looks? Or maybe you have thoughts on its performance figures? Share your thoughts here. Thank you for reading!

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Sazi Pee said...

very cute car

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