The Dodge Viper debuted in 1991 and arrived in showrooms for the 1992 model year. It was Chrysler ’s first venture into the semi-supercar world and it featured an 8.0-liter, V-10 powerplant developed with input from Lamborghini and based on Dodge’s V-10 truck engine. The first-generation model was sold through 1995 and was only offered as a roadster. It wasn’t until 1996 when Dodge created the coupe body, known as the GTS. This second-gen Viper also saw a power increase from 400 horsepower to 450 ponies. The Viper was completely redesigned for 2003. The convertible was joined by a coupe model four years later and output reached into 500-horsepower territory for the first time. Engine displacement was also increased to 8.3 liters. Dodge discontinued the sports car for the 2007 model year, but it brought it back a year later. The fourth-generation Viper only lasted until 2010, and it took Chrysler another two years to introduce a fifth-gen version .
Unlike previous models, the new Viper debuted as a coupe only and had its V-10 engine rebuilt into a 8.4-liter. The current output resides at 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful production Chrysler.
Throughout its short-lived career, the Dodge Viper was also a successful race car , winning numerous events and series championships. To honor its racing heritage, Street and Racing Technology (SRT) launched a brand new iteration of the GTS-R race car for the 2014 IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R.
New Livery Celebrates Racing Heritage
Since SRT isn’t allowed to meddle with the Viper’s internals during the season, the 2014 GTS-R will only be distinguished by a brand-new livery. Normally, this is isn’t a big deal, but the new suit is a tribute to the Viper’s classic red-and-white color scheme and carries a special Dodge 100th anniversary logo. The new colors are of the utmost importance to Dodge, as the red-and-white livery is similar to the one that covered the Viper entries that took an overall victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2000, a class win in the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans , and American Le Mans Series championships in 1999 and 2000.
For the remainder of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, both Viper GTS-Rs will compete in Viper Red bodies complemented by Race White stripes. Aside from the usual sponsors and obligatory IMSA markings, the livery will feature Dodge 100th anniversary logos on the front fenders. The classic-colored GTS-Rs are scheduled to show their brand-new liveries on the track on June 27th, during the initial practice session ahead of the Six Hours of The Glen race at Watkins Glen International Raceway.
Of all the race cars the Viper must face in the GTLM class, the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R is the only U.S.-built vehicle and the SRT’s traditional rival. Featuring a brand-new design based on the 2014 Corvette Stingray , the C7.R is essentially the Z06 ’s angrier brother and comes in a yellow-and-black racing suit. Bolted onto a new, aluminum frame, the C7.R utilizes the same 5.5-liter, V-8 engine that powered the previous C6.R. Make no mistake though, the plant got its fair share of updates, including GM’s direct injection fuel system. This technology not only enables the C7.R to gulp less fuel, but it also helps get more ponies to the wheels.
Chevrolet has yet to release output figures for the new race car, but the updated powertrain is likely to generate up to 500 horsepower. Routing the power to the pavement is a six-speed sequential gearbox and a set of 18-inch, lightweight wheels wrapped in track-spec, Michelin tires.
Gallery Chevrolet Corvette C7R
Based on the 991-series 911 , the new RSR made its debut during the 2013 racing season and did so with impressive results. The race car returned to claim more success during the 2014 championship with minor updates and with the same 4.0-liter, flat-six engine in the rear. The unit should deliver more than the 460 horsepower it was good for in 2013, but the actual output isn’t available. Among other upgrades, the 911 RSR benefits from revised aerodynamics, a lighter gearbox, and a new, lower suspension.
Three cars are gunning for the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Two benefit from factory support under the Porsche North America shield, while the other one is being raced by Team Falken Tire.
Gallery Porsche 911 GT3 RSR
Dodge Viper Racing History
The Dodge Viper GTS-R made its racing debut in 1996, right after the road-legal coupe entered production. Its first major achievement came in 1997, when Dodge won the FIA GT Championship. The Viper went on to win the series in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002 as well. In 1999 and 2000, the Viper GTS-R also won the first two editions of the American Le Mans Series. Additionally, the V-10-powered sports car conquered several GT championship in France, Belgium, Italy and Sweden between 2001 and 2009.
Moving over to single race wins, the Viper GTS-R has no less than three Nurburgring 24 Hour trophies to its name. These were obtained in 1999, 2001 and 2002, and backed by overall wins at Daytona (2000) and Spa 24 Hours (2001, 2002). Although it never became an outright winner at Le Mans, the Viper scored three class victories from 1998 through 2000. Other notable class wins include the 2000 12 Hours of Sebring, the 1999 Petit Le Mans and the 2005-2007 24 Hours of Nurburgring. All told, the Viper GTS-R is the most successful American-built race car for the past two decades.
SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports is honoring the Dodge Viper’s racing heritage by molting its ‘skin’ and returning to the Viper’s classic red and white livery, beginning at the upcoming Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen race weekend, June 27-29, at New York’s Watkins Glen International circuit.
The SRT Motorsports Viper entries – the No. 91 and No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-Rs – will compete in ‘Viper Red’ and ‘Race White’ for the duration of the 2014 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season. The classic colors are the same worn by Dodge Viper entries that took the overall victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in 2000, a GTS class win in the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans, and American Le Mans Series championships in 1999 and 2000.
“We are honoring the racing history of the Dodge Viper by returning to its classic colors as we are in the midst of celebrating the Dodge brand’s 100th anniversary and 100 years of American performance,” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of SRT Motorsports and Senior Vice President of Product Design for Chrysler Group LLC. “The new livery not only brings back this classic look but also enables us to continue to connect our Viper racing program to its spirited racing heritage.”
In addition to the new livery, the team is carrying a special 100th anniversary logo on both IMSA TUDOR Vipers.
The classic-colored Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R will first take to the track on Friday, June 27, for the initial practice for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen race weekend. The third endurance race of the 2014 IMSA TUDOR season, part of the North American Endurance Cup (NAEC), will take place at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, June 29, starting at 11:15 a.m. EDT.