New York show: SRT Viper

Chrysler has revealed the all-new SRT Viper at the 2012 New York motor show, with 640bhp and a power to weight ratio to rival the most exotic supercars

In proof that the American muscle car is in rude health, Chrysler has revealed a new version of its iconic Viper sportscar at the New York motor show.

Headline figures are 640bhp and 600lb ft of torque, a body that’s claimed to be 50 percent stiffer and lightweight carbonfibre and aluminium construction that – Chrysler claims – means the new Viper will have  the third-highest power-to-weight ratio of any production car, with only the Bugatti Veyron and Ferrari F12 keeping it off the top spot. It’s also set to receive a change of name, becoming officially the SRT Viper.

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Despite giving us an almost complete technical breakdown of the car and its components – we can tell you that sixth gear has a ratio of 0.63 and that the car boasts 127mm of ground clearance – Chrysler was staying coy about performance numbers. Rest assured, they’ll be spectacular – with a new launch control system claimed to offer a ‘repeatable’ roadtest quality 0-60mph time for those prepared to pay for the clutch wear. We guestimate an official 0-60mph time of around 3.5 seconds and a top speed over the 200mph mark.

Power comes from a reworked version of the previous Viper’s 8.4-litre V10 engine, with power transferred to the rear wheels via a six-speed Tremac gearbox. We’re told the motor has the highest torque output of any naturally aspirated engine. The chassis is aluminium and most bodywork is made from carbonfibre. 

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Chrysler is also happy to acknowledge the limitations of previous Vipers, especially when it came to their kitcar quality interiors, with the new car getting a properly trimmed cabin and plenty of standard-fit kit. Two versions will be offered, the stripped down standard car and a more comfortable ‘GTS’ version. We’re also promised that this car will help to rectify the power: handling imbalance of previous versions.

There’s no word on pricing – and whether any version will (officially) come to the UK. However Chrysler did confirm that it will be entering a racing version in the American Le Mans Series – a welcome reminder of the days when Vipers starred in endurance racing.

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