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When the Viper first debuted for the 1992 model year, it was a brash American muscle car that didn't worry about a driver's comfort. The roadster was so thoroughly purpose-built, in fact, that it even lacked exterior door handles, side windows and a top. As it progressed through the years, however, the Viper became more refined. Its elimination following the 2010 model year angered Viper enthusiasts, but the recent launch of the SRT sub-brand has brought it back for the 2013 model year.
The 2013 SRT Viper comes in a pair of trim levels: Base and GTS. Both models feature the same 8.4-liter V-10 engine that cranks out 640 horsepower and 600 foot-pounds of torque. The Viper has a manual six-speed transmission. There are no official numbers yet, but SRT claims the Viper will charge to 60 mph in the mid-3-second range.
The base Viper has faux leather seating with some genuine leather trim, a lightweight independent suspension and super-sticky Pirelli P Zero tires. The GTS model adds performance upgrades like dual-mode adjustable suspension, red-painted Brembo calipers and upgraded wheels.
The SRT Viper starts off with its Base model, which is hardly your typical base model, as it carries tons of high-end features. On the outside, the SRT Viper Base comes standard with composite ground effects and rear diffusor for optimal aerodynamics, a deck-lid spoiler for maximum downforce and aggressive style, an aluminum fuel-filler door for a sportier look, a carbon-fiber hood for weight savings, and staggered 18- and 19-inch wheels for optimal handling. On the inside the Viper Base comes standard with a nine-speaker audio system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, a 7-inch fully customizable LCD instrument cluster for a clear view of the gauges, automatic climate control to keep the cabin a perfect temperature, and a leather-wrapped, SRT-design steering wheel for a sporty look and feel.
The GTS builds onto the Base model by adding in touches of performance and styling. On the outside, the GTS adds in two more standard colors (Race Yellow and Bright White), piano-black front and rear brake ducts for a more aggressive look, a GTS-exclusive carbon-fiber hood for a stouter appearance, a rear backup camera for added reversing safety, dual-mode adjustable suspension for better handling, and split-six spoke “Venom” aluminum wheels. Inside the cabin, the GTS adds in a 12-speaker audio system with two subwoofers, 3D navigation and backup camera display, Nappa leather upholstery throughout the interior for added class, Viper-logoed floor mats for added style, and noise-reduction treatments to keep the cabin as peaceful as possible.
Comparable Z06 package with 3.9-second 0-to-60 time, stout handling, but not as aggressive looking.
Unreal 3.1-second 0-to-60 time and standard AWD, but bulky and not as good looking.
662 horsepower and impressive acceleration, but lacks refinement.
Legendary performance and better mpg, but a little slow to 60 mph (except Turbo and Turbo S) and pricey options.