Dyno-Tested: 2013 SRT Viper GTS and 2012 Chevy Corvette ZR1

The Baddest Viper Yet Meets the ZR1 on the Dyno


2013 SRT Viper GTS

Few cars adhere to their ancestry more securely than the 2013 SRT Viper GTS. Here's a voluptuous rear-wheel-drive sports car offered exclusively with a manual gearbox that relies on sheer galactic-grade, normally aspirated cubic inches to deliver its thrust. The stars and stripes practically erupt out of its side pipes. Oh, and — side pipes!

Last go-round, Chrysler called this sports car "SRT10." Now it wants you to say its manufacturer is SRT, which is as likely to catch favor as The Rock's attempts to be called Dwayne. It's a freakin' Viper, and that's that.

Because what it needed was more power, Chrysler upped this latest Viper's output to 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque as measured at the engine's flywheel. We headed down to MD Automotive's Dynojet chassis dyno to glean more insights on the reptile's power delivery as measured at the wheels.

2013 SRT Viper GTS

The Viper's 8.4-liter pushrod V10 power plant is a leviathan, its sheer acreage dictating the packaging of nearly everything else about the car. There are still just two valves per cylinder, but what this engine lacks in valve curtain area it makes up for with enormity. Yet the V10 is not entirely devoid of innovation, sporting an elaborate multipiece camshaft that allows independent adjustment of exhaust and intake valve events.

Our best premium fuel here in Southern California is lowly 91 octane. Normally this would be cause for some mild concern when it comes to a 600-hp engine. It is, however, likely that the Viper's big, understressed mill is less octane-sensitive than more highly strung ones. Here's what we measured on the chassis dyno:

2013 SRT Viper GTS

Torque rises progressively between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm, reaching a maximum of 528 lb-ft at a relatively lofty 5,100 rpm. It noses over just as gradually, reaching its peak 558 hp just before the abrupt 6,400-rpm fuel cut. Big cubes mean lots of air no matter what the tach shows. More than 400 lb-ft is available at any revs above 2,200 rpm. Mat the gas right off idle and it's already producing north of 300 lb-ft of torque. Crazy, right?

2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Incredibly, the Viper is not the torquiest production car we've ever tested. In addition to a few luxury sedans, the Viper gets pipped by the 638-hp 2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 that we happened to run on the dyno that same day. Have a look:

2013 SRT Viper GTS

This is one of those cases where peak numbers definitely don't tell the whole story. Sure, the 'Vette squeaked out a few more ponies at the peak. But look at the difference in torque through the midrange — the ZR1's supercharged 6.2-liter V8 simply puts down a whole lot more of it than the Viper's aspro V10. At 3,600 rpm the ZR1 is belting out 85 lb-ft more than the Viper. Though the Viper enjoys 2.2 liters more displacement, it just can't ingest as much air as the ZR1's blower heaves through its valves.

2013 SRT Viper GTS

With the windows down, the side pipes assault your eardrums with the V10's off-kilter, dueling-five-cylinder percussive pummeling. It's never been a pretty sound, but in this newest guise it doesn't remind you quite so much of brown delivery trucks. Want thrills? Relish the Viper's absurdly potent acceleration.

2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

The ZR1 is no less vocal. Once its exhausts flap open midway through the rev range, the plastic fantastic's audio track wakes the hell up. In the confined space of the dyno room, the bellow grows downright ear-splitting.

2013 SRT Viper GTS

Easter egg: As the Viper's tach starts to approach the rev limiter, the whole gauge gradually glows brighter and brighter red while the car's cartoon snake face emerges in the center. Yeah, it's goofy and over the top. This is a car with an 8.4-liter V10. You expected restraint?

2013 SRT Viper GTS

2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

2013 SRT Viper GTS

2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

2013 SRT Viper GTS

2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

The manufacturers provided Edmunds these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation.

Comments

  • akula1 akula1 Posts:

    And if the Viper was supercharged, how 'incredible' would that be?

  • adantium adantium Posts:

    This new format Sucks. I'm trying really hard not to lose interest in you guys since I've enjoyed following and commenting on the blogs for years but you are making this damn near impossible and have sucked out all the joy from this user's experience.

  • zr1man zr1man Posts:

    Another ZR1 win! What can I say.

  • shriker shriker Posts:

    Wow....I was really poised to like this new Viper alot, which I do. BUT , sweet Mary , the ZR1 completely DECIMATES this car .....WAY more power everywhere, set a new record for stock cars on same day with same driver at Leguna Seca, IL's tests says the Viper understeers consistently , yuck. The NEW C7 Vette is due in just TWO weeks....It is supposed to be a couple HUNDRED pounds lighter and has an all new LT1 . What will the next ZR1 be like at 200lbs less and 700hp along with next gen magnatoreological (spell?) shocks etc. The Corvette RULES... But I still really like this new Viper ....

  • noburgers_ noburgers_ Posts:

    why do I have to log in to even SEE comments? Even after logging in I have to click on the comments tab to see them. This is tiresome; I agree with adntium above. I've gone from visiting several times a day to only a couple of times a week. It was interesting to see the dyno compare a normally aspiritated V-10 to a supercharged V-8. If the Viper could fit some kind of forced induction under the hood, the tires would never stay planted!

  • wdrg123 wdrg123 Posts:

    Beautiful !

  • pisado pisado Posts:

    The Viper motor is beautiful. Look at all those hoses over the Vette's engine.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    Let's not forget the 5.8L V8 in the GT500. That engine has even more grunt than the ZR1 motor. http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/2012/06/dyno-tested-2013-ford-mustang-shelby-gt500-vs-2013-chevrolet-camaro-zl1.html

  • engineermd engineermd Posts:

    I wonder how long till the Aftermarket shoves forced induction down the snakes throat... that should be good for 800-1000+ HP right?

  • elkriso elkriso Posts:

    This is pure American awesomeness! Giving the Gen II GTS's are able to push close to 1,000hp reliably with only forced induction and fuel system upgrade; the new SRT Viper having forged internals, forced induction should be outright insane.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    @noburgers. There is a "Comments" tab at the TOP of the article, so you can see them without logging in. However, I agree, having it up there makes as much sense as CUE and MyFordTouch. I am more peeved that there is no video with this piece. M

  • Viper's wearin some rubber. 295'sF/355'sR

  • samster231 samster231 Posts:

    I was trying really hard to stay off the "this new format sucks" bandwagon, but it has been really tough trying to like what this has become. I like the fact that the writers at IL are a whose who of some of my favourite writers from the paper mag days. Context here, I am not a super old guy, but 40 is just around the corner for me. Why would you go through the effort to assemble that sort of talent and then p%@!! the very people who followed them to a new online community? Please don't ignore the many comments made as static and work to make this thing better.

  • Yikes, I did not think that the ZR-1 would be that much more powerful. I still think I'd go for the Viper based on the interior alone. Sorry to continue onto the bandwagon, but PLEASE go back to the old InsideLine format, even if it just says What's Hot at the top instead of InsideLine. I hate this format. Hate it.

  • cr_driver cr_driver Posts:

    Remember guys, January the 10th INSIDE LINE DISAPPEARS FOREVER!!!! Man, this place sucks.

  • pr0m3th3u5 pr0m3th3u5 Posts:

    Where are the videos?

  • bassracerx bassracerx Posts:

    with the viper just now coming out and the replacement for the ZR1 right around the corner i will take the viper. 8.4 liters!!

  • ryandigi ryandigi Posts:

    does this thing even comment?

  • ryandigi ryandigi Posts:

    Oh, now I figured out how to comment....this sites navigation makes me feel as if I am some 90 year old who has never used a computer.

  • nobrkes nobrkes Posts:

    Where's the 650 hp, 600 ft lb Shelby GT500?

  • Would be interesting to see the GT500 added to the graph

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