Combined with a significant weight reduction against the previous model, this gives the new Viper a power-to-weight ratio that positions it neatly between the Ferrari F12berlinetta and the Lamborghini Aventador.
That is impressive, considering it will cost around half the price of either. The colossal engine achieves this despite being naturally aspirated, its 600lb ft of twist making it the most torque-rich, non-turbocharged engine in the world.
The Viper – which you might have noticed is no longer branded a Dodge, now coming under Chrysler’s SRT performance arm – is available in two versions: standard and ‘GTS’. The latter is no more powerful, but comes with dual-mode active suspension and "premium materials inside and out".
It seems that the new Viper has also made great strides towards catching its European rivals in other departments, too. A new multimedia system, with 8.4-inch screen and multi-music-source capability, provides music to the Harmon Kardon speaker system. Another screen, positioned inside the driver’s binnacle, displays customisable 'virtual instrumentation'.
Thanks to new US legislation, for the first time a Viper comes with stability systems and traction control. However – no doubt to the delight of Viper fanatics – both are fully switchable to provide the kind of tyre-shredding anarchy for which Vipers are famous.
Prices will be announced closer to the SRT Viper’s market launch in late 2012.
Photos: Chrysler LLC