Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "IL Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.
After a disappointing 2011 and 2012, the Viper is back. It's got more power, less weight and, somehow, wider and more aggressive tires. It's a monster, and after driving the new Viper way back in September, we finally wrangled one of just a few on the planet (a pre-production unit, actually) for this World's First performance test of the 2013 SRT Viper GTS.
Just don't call the 2013 SRT Viper GTS a Dodge. After a decade of knowing the fearsome muscle car-meets-supercar as the Dodge Viper, the bigwigs at Chrysler have rechristened the snake for 2013 as the SRT Viper.
To avoid any future confusion, let's just call it "that crazy thing with the 640-horsepower pushrod V10 that's only available with a manual transmission."
Yep, while everyone else is either downsizing or adding tech features to increase efficiency (see the new Chevy LT1 in the 2014 C7 Chevy Corvette), SRT did not. Instead, it simply tweaked the formula of the 8.4-liter 10-cylinder and managed to crank out an additional 40 horsepower. SRT also looked to the scales to increase the performance of the new Viper. Thanks to a new chassis and carbon-fiber body panels, the SRT Viper is down about 100 pounds from its Dodge predecessor, while having 50 percent more torsional rigidity.
You don't need to be an engineering whiz to know that this combination is going to produce a staggeringly quick car. To find out how quick, we took a brand-new 2013 SRT Viper GTS equipped with the Track pack (R-compound Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires, two-piece Stoptech brakes) out to our track.
Spoiler alert: Whatever you call it, it's fast.
Vehicle: 2013 SRT Viper GTS
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $122,390 (base GTS price)
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated port-injected V10
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 8,381/511.4
Redline (rpm): 6,250
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 640 @ 6,200
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 600 @ 5,000
Brake Type (front): 14-inch two-piece ventilated steel discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 14-inch two-piece ventilated steel discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent double wishbones, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent double-wishbones, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 295/30ZR18 (94Y)
Tire Size (rear): 355/30ZR19 (99Y)
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero Corsa
Tire Type: Asymmetrical summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,365
0-30 (sec): 2.0 (2.3 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 2.9 ( 3.2 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 3.7 (4.1 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 3.4 (3.7 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 5.1 (5.6 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 11.5 @ 127.3 ( 11.8 @ 125.3 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 25
60-0 (ft): 101
Slalom (mph): 73.7 (71.0 w/TC on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 1.03 (1.03 w/TC on)
Db @ Idle: 58.0
Db @ Full Throttle: 86.2
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 77.0
RPM @ 70: 2,000
Acceleration: Launch control is fairly worthless on our low-grip test surface. Its 5,000-rpm base is too high and its closed-loop throttle manipulation (using front wheel speed) is both too slow and not effective enough. Basically, launch control resulted in a big burnout. I chose a 3,000-3,500 launch rpm and had the best luck with a little clutch slip rather than a dump. Shifter is awesome — much better than before. Never missed a gear.
Braking: Solid pedal feel and good response. Consistent performance, but these (optional) P Zero Corsas are clearly less sticky than the optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup rubber on the Z06 and ZR1.
Skid pad: Heavy understeer attitude, but massive grip. More throttle equals more understeer. Won't respond to lift throttle, which is probably good in a car with limits this high. Steering is direct and immediate. Ran all handling tests in "Street" damping, as "Race" was too stiff and made the car nervous. Feels like this level of damping is really only appropriate at high speed.
Slalom: Because of its limited visibility, the Viper is harder to place than some of its competition, which resulted in hitting more cones than normal. Still, its 73.7-mph speed here is telling. It's stable and relatively easy to control in rapid transitions. Doesn't feel like it wants to kill you anymore, but its limits still demand respect.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.