2013 SRT Viper GTS Coupe (8.4L V10 6-speed Manual)
Driven On 12/11/2012
Few cars scream supercar more than the 2013 SRT Viper. It's loud, fast, stunningly pure and angry. It might not be the easiest supercar to drive, but its limits are so high that it matters little. Only the quickest of the quick will get there sooner.
PerformanceThe Viper's performance is among the best in the world. It's as quick as just about anything you can get from Italy, though it's not always as easy to drive.
Though its launch control results in a big burnout, the Viper is fairly easy to launch manually. First gear will still get you to 60 mph and it will hit 127 in the quarter.
Though its disc brakes are quite powerful, carbon ceramic should at least be an option given the cars it competes with and the likelihood of track-day use.
Steering is quick and accurate but more feel would improve things.
The stiff GTS springs and two-mode dampers are best suited for smooth surfaces. Its limits are extremely high, but approaching them is a challenge on less-than-perfect asphalt.
The Viper is a car that only hard-core enthusiasts will drive daily and/or on the street. It's stiff and tall-geared, but far easier to use than the car it replaces.
ComfortThe Viper isn't made for comfort. Everything from its seats to its engine noise to its visibility is compromised in the name of speed.
New shell-type seats provide ample suport, but are harder than they need to be. There is more legroom adjustment than past examples.
Despite two-mode dampers on GTS models, the Viper is very, very stiff. Forget about it if ride comfort is a priority.
Though not as loud as a ZR1 Corvette at wide-open throttle, the Viper is nonetheless quite loud. No one will miss your arrival.
InteriorA fully redesigned interior is likely the Viper's biggest strength. Upscale materials and styling combined with modern features like good navigation and Bluetooth move the Viper ahead of the Vette. It's even a wifi hotspot.
Compromises in the name of speed still exist, but most of the old Viper's weaknesses have been diminished. Seating position is now good and there's a functional two-hole cupholder.
Like most cars in this class the Viper asks its occupants to get low when entering.
Space isn't abundant inside the Viper, but there's enough to drive hard and that's what matters most in this car.
Most cars in this class make a compromise here and the Viper is no exception. Its high waistline and body shape don't enhance visibility.
Cargo space is adequate for a weekend trip, but that's about all.
ValueThe Viper now costs more than its primary competitor, the Corvette ZR1, and that's a bad thing since it's not quite as well-rounded as that car.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Interior materials and assembly quality are good but not better than most other exotics than cost this much.
Features are plentiful and are finally up to date. The new Viper's modern stereo and electronics are a big step up from the last model.
The Viper is expensive and there's no getting around the fact that it cost more than some of its biggest rivals.
No one buying a Viper is concerned about fuel economy, which is fortunate bacuse it's not it strong suit.
The Viper's engine warranty is good for something this powerful. There's a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Fun To DriveCertainly the Viper is among the most fun-to-drive cars made. It's loud, powerful, capable and mean. And anyone who drives one respects it.
Be ready for loud because the Viper will make itself known and your eardrums will pay the price. Still, it's usually worth it.
Few supercars have more personality. Everything is exaggerated in the Viper from the way it shifts to the pure mechanical joy of operating its manly controls.
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