Launched on the 2001 Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca in California, the Competition Coupe is the race version of the Viper SRT -10 and replaces the GTS-R that reigned at LeMans in its class for three years. Dodge clearly used styling cues of the 2000 GTSR concept but most parts are of the production car to keep costs down, like the windscreen giving the driver 2 inches of additional headroom compared to the 2000 concept. As a result of the many production parts in the car Dodge hope to keep the price under the $100.000. The main rival of this Viper is the Chevrolet Corvette C5R, the car that took over at LeMans this year from the old GTS-R, as Chevrolet have announced to built a limited run of cars for private team.
The Viper Competition Coupe makes extensive use of production pieces to keep the estimated retail price slightly more than $100,000. With 520 horsepower and 540 lb.-ft. of torque on tap, the Viper Competition Coupe will deliver racers an extremely high level of performance for the price.
A full complement of racing enhancements, including cage, window net, fire-suppression system, six-point restraints, racing slicks, differential cooler and ducted brakes ensure that the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe is track-ready as delivered. The Viper Competition Coupe cannot be titled for highway use.
The Viper Competition Coupe’s sleek concept car shape retains the 2003 Viper SRT-10 convertible’s windshield, and as a result, affords the driver two inches of additional headroom as compared to the GTS/R concept car.
Among those events in which the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe is eligible to compete are:
Skip Thomas Viper Racing League The Viper Competition Coupe will have its own class and be the primary wheel-to-wheel event at the Viper Days weekends Grand American Cup The Viper Competition Coupe will be eligible to compete in the Grand Sports Class with the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911 Speedvision World Challenge The Viper Competition Coupe will be eligible to compete (when homologated) in these American Le Mans Series support races
The Competition Coupe’s predecessorcalled the Dodge Viper GTS-R and based on the 1996 Dodge Viper GTS Coupe passes on one of the most distinguished pedigrees in the modern history of endurance racing. The Viper GTS-R earned five international GT championships including the 1999 and 2000 American Le Mans Series GTS class titles and the 1997-1999 FIA GT Championships. The Viper finished 1-2 in the GTS class in three consecutive years 1998-2000 and notched an amazing overall win at the 2000 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, the first for an American production-based car.
The Dodge Viper race car began life in the GT1 class in 1996. The escalating costs persuaded the manufacturer to switch to the GT2 class for the 1997 season. The Viper�s production volumes (approximately 2,000 annually) qualified it for the category and it embarked on a racing program that was to earn it a reputation as the most successful American production-based racing car of all time.
As Dodge began to focus more of its engineering resources on development of the next Viper the 2003 Viper SRT -10 it was announced in December 2000 that Dodge would take a hiatus from its factory support for Viper endurance racing.
There are no plans at this time to homologate the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe for American Le Mans Series or 24 Hours of Le Mans racing.