• 2014 SRT Viper

The SRT Viper is sliding into 2014 on a plume of tire smoke and V-10 rumble: sure of victory over the new Corvette in its launch specification.

The new Viper suffered a serious black eye when it ranked behind the outgoing Corvette ZR1 in a few big comparison tests, so the SRT crew has been busy refining the model with a new Bilstein DampTronic adjustable suspension, a ‘Rain’ mode on the stability and traction control, and matte-black paint on the new-for-2014 Anodized Carbon Edition.

SRT is fresh off a class victory at Road America with the racing GTS-R version of the latest Viper, but is this V-10-powered brute still in touch with sports car buyers in the age of the Nissan GT-R?

The most impressive is the yet-to-be-seen 2014 Viper Anodized Carbon Edition, which packs all the interior and exterior carbon options from the 2013 Time Attack model, but brings Chrysler’s first-ever matte-black paint job.

The T/A model shares its handling refinements with the base and GTS Vipers for 2014 via a track pack that also cuts the big supercar’s curb weight by 57 pounds.

How does the new Viper compare to its rivals like the all-new Corvette Stingray that barely costs half as much as the SRT? In the $100,000 super-coupe segment, is the Viper’s newly-gentrified cockpit enough to lure in Porsche 911 Turbo buyers?

Updated 9/18/2014: This review has been updated with all of the official details for the 2014 SRT Viper.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 SRT Viper, with info on the new Uconnect with built-in WiFi and the new-for-2014 Anodized Carbon Edition.

  • 2014 SRT Viper
  • Year:
    2014
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V10
  • Transmission:
    Six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    640 @ 6200
  • MPG(Cty):
    12
  • MPG(Hwy):
    19
  • Torque @ RPM:
    600 @ 5000
  • Displacement:
    8.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.3 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    206 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    99395
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2013 SRT Viper High Resolution Exterior
- image 483009

The biggest difference to look out for to determine if a Viper is the SRT base or the GTS model is in the hood. The GTS has six hood vents, while the base model has only two.

As much as the Corvette is the ultimate rival of the SRT Viper, the sports car market is much more robust than it ever was during the Viper’s two decades of fame. The original halo car was a textbook achievement for Chrysler, and a springboard to the popular LH sedans and Jeeps in the early 1990s.

The original plan was to create a Shelby Le Mans coupe, with all the cool and authentic parts of a racing machine. It was always a pretty dubious link by the marketing men, but the new Viper is still wearing the sheetmetal from its launch years.

Despite not sharing any panels with the previous GTS coupes, the new Viper really struggles to look new from most angles. Without the LED lighting, this brand new supercar could easily be mistaken for a 10-year-old example.

Despite these concerns about lack of progress in the styling, the SRT Viper is still a shockingly proportioned car with the trademark long hood and giant-killing stance on its six-lug (truck-based) alloy wheels. The cat’s eye of yellow blinker LEDs on the bottom of the headlight is matched with a snarling eyebrow of white LEDs on top.

In back, the Viper ’Stryker’ badge is now the center brake light, and a new duck-tail spoiler offers both style and high-speed downforce that the original models’ lacked.

In this ultra-crowded sports car market, the Audi R8 and even the new 911 are leaving the Viper feeling much older than its first birthday cake would suggest.

No pictures are out yet from SRT showing the new-for-2014 Anodized Black Carbon edition, but hopefully this trendy new feature will attract younger shoppers than the Viper faithful.

2014 SRT Viper - Anodized Carbon Edition

  • First-ever Matte Black paint finish by Chrysler Group
  • Carbon fiber front and rear brake ducts, and rear appliqué
  • Exterior gloss black GTS badge
  • Satin black exhaust bezels
  • Satin black fuel filler cap
  • Alcantara headliner and door bolsters and knee blockers
  • Gunmetal door bezels
  • Interior carbon fiber accents
  • Unique instrument panel badge
  • Orange interior stitching
  • Orange brake calipers with black Viper decals
  • 5-spoke “Rattler” wheels with unique Black Vapor Chrome finish

2014 SRT Viper - Exterior Paint Color Choices

  • New-for-2014 Matte Black - part of 2014 Anodized Carbon Edition
  • Billet Silver (SRT Viper, new for 2014)
  • New-for-2014 GTS-R Blue: $1,000 SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS
  • Adrenaline Red: SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS
  • Venom Black Clear Coat: SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS
  • Viper White Clear Coat: SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS
  • Race Yellow: $1,000 SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS
  • Gunmetal Pearl: $1,000 SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS
  • Viper GTS Blue – N/A SRT Viper: $1,000 SRT Viper GTS
  • Stryker Red Tinted Pearl – N/A SRT Viper: $14,600 SRT Viper GTS

2014 SRT Viper - Exterior Racing Stripes Choices

  • SRT Racing Stripes – SRT Viper, N/A SRT Viper GTS ($4,500): Billet Silver, Black, or Gunmetal
  • GTS Racing Stripes – N/A SRT Viper, SRT Viper GTS ($5,000): Billet Silver, Black, or Gunmetal

Exterior Carbon Fiber Package: $5,100 – SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS

  • Carbon fiber is known for its lightweight and durable properties, perfect for racing applications. Those are two compelling reasons why authentic carbon fiber is used to create the components in the Exterior Carbon Fiber Package available on the 2013 SRT Viper. Save weight and improve the appearance of the front brake ducts, rear brake inlets and taillight surround.

Advanced Aerodynamics Package: $4,800 – SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS

  • Continuing the carbon fiber theme for optional exterior components, this carbon fiber aero package adds significant downforce at speed. The package consists of functional, lightweight and stylish two-piece front splitter and rear spoiler. Components are functional for-high performance applications and durable for day-to-day driving conditions.

Interior

2013 SRT Viper Interior
- image 483048

The Viper’s cabin is much improved versus the original cut/shut prototype feel of the first-generation Vipers. As one of the first graduates from Chrysler’s NVH boot camp, the Viper also feels much more hospitable for a three- or four-hour trip. This is not to say it is objectively comfortable: it is still a sports car with firm suspension settings and gut-shifting bangs over potholes.

The Track pack option is quite rough and jarring from inside the cabin, even versus the standard car setup. The Viper’s Laguna leather upgrade is required to enhance the sour mood of the standard black seats and dashboard, which are quite scratchy, cheap and nasty when not wrapped in leather.

Other options packages are well worthwhile, including a larger stereo system to drown out the engine, exhaust, wind and tire roar at speeds.

The Viper is still quite gruff when cold, and not easy to drive smoothly when transporting people who do not like drifts and burnouts.

One cool feature of the 2014 Viper is a new smartphone app to control the car’s locks, horns, lights and other details from an iPhone or Android device. The built-in WiFi also allows SRT to push any software updates over the cellular network, a la the Tesla Model S.

2014 SRT Viper - Audio systems

  • Nine-speaker audio system (Standard SRT Viper, N/A SRT Viper GTS)
  • 12-speaker audio system ($1,995 SRT Viper, Standard SRT Viper GTS
  • 18-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system ($2,995 SRT Viper, $1,000 SRT Viper GTS)

2014 SRT Viper - Sabelt Sport Seats

  • Sabelt with premium ballistic covering (Black) - Standard SRT Viper
  • Sabelt with Nappa leather and Alcantara in Black, Red, Carmel ($3,000 SRT Viper - seats only), Standard SRT Viper GTS (Seats match door and interior trim)
  • Sabelt with SRT Laguna Leather in Black and Sepia (N/A SRT Viper)
  • GTS Laguna Interior package SRT Viper GTS (Seats match entire interior)
  • Header Red seat belts ($350 SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS)

2014 SRT Viper - Option Packages

  • Track Package ($3,500 SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS)

Slotted two-piece lightweight rotors from StopTech, Ultra-lightweight multi-spoke Sidewinder II wheels wrapped in high-performance Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. Selecting the Track Package removes 57 pounds from the vehicle’s curb weight.

  • Grand Touring Package ($2,500 SRT Viper, Standard SRT Viper GTS)

The tech-focused package adds an upgraded infotainment system with full 3D graphic navigation with one-step voice destination entry, Bluetooth compatibility, Satellite radio and HD radio. An embedded cellular connection provides live traffic updates, streaming internet radio and several downloadable applications. The included backup camera eases parking worries, while premium floor mats and a cup holder insert are also included.

  • GTS Laguna Interior Package (N/A SRT Viper, $7,500 SRT Viper GTS)

The optional GTS Laguna Package features exceptional premium laguna leather surfacing throughout the entire cabin in either black or sepia. Laguna leather is the most upscale leather grain ever offered in a Chrysler Group vehicle. Unique embossments are designed into the door bolsters, seats and the storage bag and a headliner fully wrapped in Alcantara completes the package.

  • Carbon Fiber Interior Accents Group ($3,400 – SRT Viper/SRT Viper GTS)

Carbon fiber is used widely in the racing world, and is now utilized extensively in the SRT Viper. The optional Carbon Fiber Interior Package brings the athletic material inside the cabin with a number of tasteful, elegant accents throughout. Elements of this package include: a steering wheel bezel, AC vents, gauge cluster bezel, headlamp switch bezel, center stack bezel, shifter bezel, door remote bezel, map pocket surround, window switch extension and seat racing harness bezel.

Drivetrain, Engine and Brakes

2013 SRT Viper High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 472830

Performance for the 2014 Viper stays just as incredible as the launch model, with 640 horsepower through a six-speed manual to just the huge rear rubber. Aside form the new ’rain’ setting for the traction and stability control, the only other tweak is to the standard brakes on the GTS.

The GTS now wears the lightweight and slotted StopTech rotors that were previously a Time Attack exclusive. Paired with standard racing ABS and Brembo calipers, the SRT Viper can stop far quicker and more confidently than ever before.

The launch-control button is right on the steering wheel, which is nice for a rapid burnout at stoplights. Some other manufacturers make the launch process very tricky to set up and activate, but the Viper is sure to burn some rubber and make smoke, no matter how clumsy the driver.

Heavy shift linkage stays for 2014, and the claimed large reductions in heat transfer from the engine and side-mounted mufflers are appreciated.

2014 SRT Viper - Mechanical Details

Engine 8.4-liter 20-valve OHV V-10 With VVT
Powertrain Layout Front-engine, Rear-drive
Power (HP) 640
Torque (Pound-feet) 600
0-60 mph (Seconds) 3.3
Top Speed (MPH) 206
EPA Fuel Economy MPG (City/Highway/Combined) - Manual FWD 12/19/NA

Pricing

2013 SRT Viper High Resolution Exterior
- image 472815

The as-yet-unseen Anodized Carbon Edition for 2014 brings all the normal Viper’s carbon accessories and a matte black paint finish, for an expected $133,000 price tag.

2014 SRT Viper - Pricing Details

2014 SRT Pricing MSRP
SRT Viper $93,395
SRT Viper GTS $126,490
SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Edition $133,000, est

Competition

Chevrolet Corvette

2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray High Resolution Exterior
- image 488977

As the Viper has pushed prices well beyond $100,000 with delivery and gas guzzler surcharges, the Vette looks like it will be taking a more modern approach. Launch prices for the 450 (still estimates) horsepower model is $55,000, but a forthcoming Z07 model may be just what the Stingray needs to trounce the Viper.

The new Vette will match for beat the Viper’s enhanced cockpit, so it will really come down to the automatic option for many who pick the Corvette Stingray C7.

Nissan GT-R

2014 Nissan GT-R High Resolution Exterior
- image 488390

The GT-R really is the antithesis of the Viper in almost every way except desirability and pricing, where the two overlap almost exactly.

The GT-R is also a brutal savage when ripping through its gears en route to a 3-second sprint that is just a bit in front of the Viper. There is not much cross shopping between these two groups of buyers, but Viper driver’s should be ready to lose when trying to beat a GT-R off the line.

Conclusion

2013 SRT Viper High Resolution Exterior
- image 483053

It is not easy to determine if the re-launched SRT Viper is a success based on its sales data so far in 2013, its first full year on the market. Compared with the yearly high of 2,100-plus Vipers sold annually a decade ago, the 400 sold so far this year does not seem encouraging at all.

Then again, even more limited supply than initially forecast could be part of the SRT halo strategy. Also worth considering is that the extensive carbon-fiber panels are huge and not cheap to buy in for SRT, which otherwise has little to no expertise in woven panels. The Viper’s enormous carbon-fiber hood alone probably costs Chrysler upwards of $8,000 per car, not counting paint and assembly. So, this limited supply could be production ramping up, intentional exclusivity ... or, just poor sales.

The Viper’s 2011-2012 hiatus was simply due to the previous generation lacking stability control, tire-pressure-monitoring and the electronics needed to run those systems.

As federal mandates kicked into place for 2012, the Viper was out cold.

If we are being brutally honest, the additions to the Viper package are not quite a full redesign. A more accurate description would be a mid-cycle refresh. Yes, the new navigation system is actually pretty great compared with the old Viper’s minivan stereo system.

Yes, the new Viper looks really cool with LED lighting front and rear. But ultimately, where the previous new Viper was quite competitive in the early 2000s, this model is far better for loyalists than it is at poaching car guys raised on 911 Turbo’s and Nissan GT-R’s.

But for old-school thrills and chills at full throttle, nothing comes close to the 2014 SRT Viper.

History

1992 - 2010 Dodge Viper
- image 107797
Generation 1

The Viper first broke cover as a super-modern concept in 1989. At a time when the K-Car was a dominant model in Dodge’s struggling lineup, the Viper seemed like a long shot to actually make it into production. In 1992, Dodge shocked all by releasing the Viperas a production model with a 400-horsepower V-10 engine in tow. The most astonishing thing about the first five years of the Viper was the fact that it was a permanent convertible (you could buy a goofy-looking top on from a third party) and it had no exterior door handles or roll-up windows...

1992 - 2010 Dodge Viper
- image 107796
main image

When Dodge installed the GTS Coupe variant in 1996, door handles and roll-up windows finally became available. The GTS Coupe received a V-10 engine with its output pushed to an amazing 450 horsepower. Also changed up for 1996 was a 15-horsepower bump to the 8.0-liter V-10 powerplant in the RT/10 Roadster, giving it a total of 415 horsepower.

2003 Dodge Viper SRT10
- image 4310

In 2003, the second-gen Viper debuted with the same overall shape as the first generation, but a more aggressive appearance. On top of that, it was far less obnoxious than the first generation, making it a useful car in everyday driving, relatively speaking. Dodge added 0.3 liters to the V-10 engine and tweaked the power to 500 horsepower, which dropped it to a 4-second 0-to-60 mph time.

2008 Dodge Viper
- image 125887

The 2008 model year — after a year-long hiatus — the Viper returned with an 8.4-liter V-10 that packed 600 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, rocketing the Viper to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. The final Viper lasted only through 2010 before Dodge axed it again.

2013 SRT Viper High Resolution Exterior
- image 482983

The Viper returned in 2013 completely recharged for its third generation with an 8.4-liter V-10 with 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Not only was it lightning fast, with its 60 mph sprint taking just 3.7 seconds, but it also featured a sexy Italian design and unmatched interior quality.

  • Leave it
    • Pretty stingy with all the seat and interior trims: it takes two option packages to get leather seats and leather door trims
    • Really, really needs an automatic transmission options (or sequential manual)
    • Kneecapped by Fiat/Ferrari limits on Viper power to weight ratio means no extra power any time soon
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