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Which Sports Car Should Be Revived?

Which Sports Car Should Be Revived?

Between 2016 and 2020 the list of supercars will include the Ford GT, the Mercedes-AMG Project One, the Aston Man Valkyrie, and at least one new car from Ferrari. But what are sports cars fans with smaller wallets supposed to do? We have some great cars like the Miata and BMW is bringing a Z4 replacement soon, but so many great cars don’t exist anymore. Especially in the “affordable” range.

So we started talking in the office about what sports cars we want to see revived, and we settled on a pair of classic sports cars and one car that is officially dead, but not out of showrooms yet. The Porsche 944, Honda S2000, and the Dodge Viper are all in our dream garage of dead cars we want to return. Keep reading to find out why!

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Video: SRT Viper GT3-R Sets Fastest Lap at Virginia International Raceway

Video: SRT Viper GT3-R Sets Fastest Lap at Virginia International Raceway

The race-spec SRT Viper is already a successful track machine, having won many prestigious trophies since its introduction in 1996. The latest iteration of the race car, the GT3-R, has yet to reach the heights of its forerunners, but its recent success during the Detroit leg of the Pirelli World Challenge Series in May 2014 is proof enough that the Viper is headed in the right direction. More recently, the "Snake" developed by Riley Technologies made yet another step toward track glory by setting the fastest lap in the Ultimate Track Car Challenge.

The event took place on July 18th at Virginia International Raceway, where the SRT Viper GT3-R rendered its competitors obsolete. The race car, built by Riley Technologies and driven by American Le Mans Series ace Ben Keating, wasn’t shy about tackling the track at full throttle and set the fastest lap at 1:44.71. The Viper was quicker than a 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo and its benchmark would have been enough to earn it the pole position at last year’s American Le Mans Series on the same track.

The Ultimate Track Car Challenge is an annual event held by Grassroots Motorsports at Virginia International Raceway. The competition is open to any type of car, including classic vehicles, and its sole purpose is to find America’s fastest track cars. Hit play to watch the SRT Viper GT3-R in action as it reaches speeds of up to 171 mph.

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Dodge Celebrates its Centenary by Offering up Special Items

Dodge Celebrates its Centenary by Offering up Special Items

Things looked a lot different a century ago. There was no pre-sliced bread, running water was prevalently lacking in rural communities, and every automaker was considered a fledgling start-up business. Fast forward to 2014, and it’s apparent that’s no longer the case. Now as we roll into July, Dodge celebrates its centenary of making some of the most memorable vehicles in American history.

Technically happening July 1, 2014, Dodge’s 100-year celebration falls in a time of corporate reorganization that puts Dodge and SRT together. Dodge, owned by Chrysler, is tasked with building “mainstream performance” cars while SRT, is to build Dodge’s “ultimate performance” lineup. The consolidation of the two should play well for the company. But back to the party.

The company is offering specialized merchandise including car decals, key fobs, pens, coffee mugs, and clothing. There’s even a “Dodge 100 Years” book that depicts the brand’s rich history. Perhaps the biggest way Dodge is celebrating its heritage of building legendary street machines comes in the form of horsepower; that’s 707 horsepower, to be exact.

Now the reason Dodge has been holding out of the 2015 Challenger Hellcat’s performance stats makes sense.

Click past the jump to read more about Dodge’s centenary.

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Three-Way Shootout: Viper, Vette, and Z/28

Three-Way Shootout: Viper, Vette, and Z/28

Forget what they say, these are the glory days of muscle. Sure, carburetors and glass packs are out, but direct fuel injection, variable-flow exhaust pipes, and computers have revolutionized the way modern street and track fighters do battle. We’ve pitted three of the most purpose-built machines together to see not only which car would win on the track, but which car would be the easiest to live with on a daily basis.

The competitors all hail from the U.S. of A. and sport snarling engines making huge amounts of power, all sent to the rear wheels though a manual transmission. They’re brash and unapologetic, unforgivably fast, and diabolically cool. Though they’ve all got the performance creds, do they have what it takes to impress the missus enough for a purchase to occur?

Our three contenders are the SRT (now back to Dodge) Viper, the Chevrolet Corvette, and the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.

In order for this to be a fair fight, we’ve got to price these cars correctly. Starting with the Viper, its base MSRP is comes in at $102,485 — well over that of the Vette and Z/28 — but considering the hard time Dodge has had selling the sultry snake, there are dealer incentives to be had. According to a few price-checking websites, a 2014 base Viper can be had in the mid $90,000 range.

The Camaro Z/28, on the other hand, starts out at $73,300 — but that’s bare-bones stock without air conditioning. Another $1,150 makes the car livable in the summertime. Its total cost comes to $76,150 after destination and the gas-guzzler tax.

The Vette represents the bargain of the bunch, coming in at $70,985 in its top-line, 3LT trim fitted with the Z51 Performance Package, Magnetic Ride, Performance exhaust, and Competition Sport seats. It may be the highest equipped here, but will its least-powerful engine be able to keep up?

Click past the jump to find out.

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2014 SRT Viper

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.

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The 2013 Viper GTS Hits the Dyno

The 2013 Viper GTS Hits the Dyno

The hunk of sweet Mopar goodness known as the 2013 SRT Viper GTS is all set to hit dealerships and the streets at the control of civilians. Before this can happen, all of us experts had to run it through the ringer and Edmunds sure got a good long look at the new snake. During this testing process, Edmunds somehow managed to get SRT’s permission to put the SRT Viper on the dyno – something that a surprising number of automakers would never allow out of fear of huge horsepower loss through the drivetrain.

As we all now, the Viper GTS has been dubbed the “most powerful Viper ever,” thanks to its 8.4-liter V-10 engine that pumps out 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. While stated output is all well and good, what really matters is how much of that power actually makes it to those monstrous rear tires.

With the Viper on the dyno, Edmunds lets us know what to expect from the resurrected serpent. Wanna know the results? You’ll have to check out the video to find out…

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Top 5 Most Beautiful Cars Launched in 2012

Top 5 Most Beautiful Cars Launched in 2012

One of the key selling points to any car’s success is its design. Even if the brand of a car is unknown, with the help of a good design, it can grab positive attention from the most discerning of critics. This focus on beauty is the main reason so many brands invest millions of dollars in design studios.

One of the most important steps toward the success of any project is to get the design right. It should not be pretentious but also should not be too bland. Nowadays, automobile designing is one of the toughest jobs in the industry. People who can draw and have passion for automobiles simply cannot call themselves a designer. It takes a certain skillset and experience to make a mark. The toughest part in designing a vehicle is balancing key elements such as aerodynamics with modern design that pays homage to the brand’s original design language. Take for instance the Jaguar F-Type. It’s a car that, Chief designer Ian Callum says, ushers in a whole new design language for the Leaping Jag while still keeping certain elements of the legendary E-Type alive. Customers of today’s world not only want a head-turning design but also a design that is recognizable.

This year, we have witnessed quite a few cars that have amazed the public through soulful beauty without compromising on aerodynamics and brand image. Here is a list of five cars that we think are the most beautiful cars, launched this year.

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Dealers Paying $25K in Fees To Sell the SRT Viper

Dealers Paying $25K in Fees To Sell the SRT Viper

The SRT Viper is one of the hottest models on the tip of all of our tongues and we are all excited to see it hit showrooms in November. We have seen many weird things, however, when it comes to its official release. In a report, we learned that only about 15 to 20 percent of all Chrysler dealerships will “earn” the right to sell it by having their entire team trained on the car, among other odd qualifiers.

Well, we have finally found out exactly what this all boils down to for dealerships. The “training” program that Chrysler is making dealerships put their employees through will run the dealers a whopping $5,000 to have completed. Following that, the dealership still has to pay an additional $20,000 just for the right to sell the Viper, given the dealership meets all of the customer service criteria.

That brings the grand total to sell the viper to $25,000, or roughly one-quarter of the price for one base model SRT Viper. We are all for Chrysler wanting to get this release right, but to gouge your dealers like that is simply inexcusable. Regardless of how much money you may think dealerships make, keep in mind that the average new car sale nets the dealer less than $2,000 in profit.

That would mean that a dealership would have to sell roughly 10 to 15 SRT Vipers (at the average profit number) to break even on bringing the damn thing into the showroom. I worked at a high-volume Dodge dealer and allow me to tell you that the two Vipers we had on the showroom floor never left their spot on the floor – even for a test drive – in the year I worked there.

Chrysler is likely making far more profit on the SRT Viper than the dealers will and it needs to step up and provide these cars at a lower rate than $25K. The $5,000 training fee is understandable, but $20K just to “earn” the right to have it grace your dealership’s lot… Yeah, we feel a collective “Screw You Chrysler” coming from the majority of dealerships.

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Autoweek America Adventure is giving away a 2012 300 SRT8

Autoweek America Adventure is giving away a 2012 300 SRT8

Autoweek America Adventure is holding a 7-day-long rally sponsored by SRT on October 24th, which runs from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Los Vegas. Along the way, drivers are required to endure certain tasks and tests to earn points. In a way, it is a race between the two cities, but speeding is strictly prohibited and you lose points for it.

You must also navigate the route perfectly and hit each checkpoint at a certain time. If you are too early or too late to the checkpoint, you lose points. At the end of each day, the team with the most points gets a key and at the final rally event, the SEMA show, the key holders will all try their keys in the ignition of a 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8.

Whoever’s key starts this mighty luxury car gets to drive it and its 470-horsepower, 6.4-liter V-8 engine home, netting themselves a free $47,670 car.

The entry process is pretty simple; just head over to the Adventure America website and bang your mouse on the “Register” link at the top of the page. From there, just enter all of your information and the information of you teammate(s), then pay your $5,000 registration fee for your team – c’mon, you didn’t think it would be free, now did you? You have to have a car that can at least make it to and from Las Vegas too.

That five grand, however, pays for all of your hotels, meals, drinks, and track fees during the trip, plus it pays for your entrance into the SEMA show. Also, if you use the promo code “Fox 12” during your registration process, you get to use a Dodge Challenger or Chrysler 300 rental car to get you to or from Los Vegas, courtesy of Fox Rent-a-car.

So check it out and see if you can get yourself into a brand new 300 SRT8!

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2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition

2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition

When the new SRT Viper first arrived, some loyalists were up in arms that the traditional Viper paint scheme – solid color with a pair of racing stripes – was left out. Well, for those traditionalists, SRT has an answer for you in the form of a special Launch Edition model.

This 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition will don the deep GTS blue with a pair of full-length, bright-white racing stripes, just like those found on Vipers from 1996 through 2006. The “Stryker” logo on this special edition Viper also varies from the standard Viper, as its background is blue, instead of the typical gray found on all other SRT Vipers.

The wheels on the Launch Edition are also slightly different, as they are deep-section design with five spokes and are manufactured from forged aluminum.

On the inside, there are a few changes too. SRT wrapped the seats, door panels, steering wheel, grab handle, shift knob, and center console in black Leguna leather with contrasting stitching, giving the inside a custom look. In addition, you get alcantara covering the headliner and the bezels are finished in satin silver, setting off the entire package.

Under the hood there are no changes. The standard 8.4-liter V-10 engine that pumps out 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque carries over from the standard Viper GTS. Fortunately, that engine is definitely no slouch.

The SRT Viper Launch Edition will debut on August 18th and 19th on the Concept Lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. You can get a sneak peak at this model before its official debut from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 17th during “The Quail: A Motorsport Gathering” at the Quail Lodge. The production model will debut very early on in the Viper’s production, which is set to happen sometime in the fourth quarter of 2012, and will be a very limited edition. No exact production numbers or price has been released yet.

We’ll keep you updated as more information come up on this vehicle.

Click past the jump to read SRT’s official pres release.

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Car Infographics: The Supercars of the 2012 Olympics

Car Infographics: The Supercars of the 2012 Olympics

The 2012 Summer Olympics are in full swing now and medals are quickly adding up. We started wondering what about the varying cars of the world? There is no auto racing in the Olympics and a love of awesome cars is one thing that is shared throughout the entire world. So why not include them?

Here at Topspeed, we felt it was time to give our 4-wheeled friends a fair chance and display the top supercars from each of the countries participating in the 2012 Summer Games – those that produce supercars. So let’s have a look at what these countries have to offer. You may be surprised to find out what countries produce some awesome supercars and what ones don’t produce any at all.

We stand to learn a lot about the world of supercars while putting this piece together, so we are certain you will learn a ton right along with us.

Click past the jump to read our entire list and check out our full infographic.

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2013 SRT Viper gets its stripes back

2013 SRT Viper gets its stripes back

When SRT unveiled the new generation Viper, we were a little disappointed to see that the classic racing stripes that made the previous generation Viper so famous were gone. Don’t get us wrong, the cherry red was nothing short of spectacular, but the car was still missing a little something. Turns out, SRT read our minds and have revealed the first image featuring the new Viper with its famous stripes. In fact, this is the first time we’ve seen the new supercar wearing anything else other than a solid exterior paint finish. The photo also comes with the following announcement: "the new Viper just passed its dry-track stability control testing with flying colors."

As a reminder, the new Viper is powered by an 8.4-liter all-aluminum, V-10 overhead-valve engine that delivers a total of 640 HP and 600 lb-ft of torque. The new engine will be mated to an improved Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission. it is rumored that the car will be priced somewhere in the $110K area.

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Video: Viper GTS-R Testing in Virginia

Video: Viper GTS-R Testing in Virginia

We absolutely love the new SRT Viper, and have since the second Chrysler’s performance arm started teasing it. We also love videos of racecars zipping around tracks with awesome flyby shots. Well, you can imagine our excitement when a video of the new SRT Viper GTS-R – the car set to tear apart the American Le Mans Series – was released, showing it ripping up Virginia International Raceway.

This isn’t the first time we have seen the Viper GTS-R in action, but this video is a very telling one. All of the testing videos of the Viper GTS-R were on random tracks that the ALS does not use in its series. Well, VIR just so happens to be a part of this year’s ALS, and SRT has promised us that the SRT Viper will debut this season, but haven’t given a date.

With the VIR race coming up in September, and the fact that the SRT Viper looks just about race ready in the video – sans a little paintwork – we are thinking that the VIR race on September 15th is the likely debut date for this new machine. We could be completely off base here, but on the surface it looks this way.

Regardless of its actual debut day, we do know one thing; we cannot wait to see this thing on the track. Many moons ago, the Dodge Viper used to dominate this series, and we certainly expect to see the Viper jump right back into the 1st place slot that other cars have been keeping warm in its absence.

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