SRT Viper

2014 SRT Viper GTS Coupe Review

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Over the past week, we were given the pleasure of having a black 2014 SRT Viper GTS Coupe with a Sepia interior at our disposal to test and review.

If a Viper passes you on the road, you know it. As we drove down the streets, heads were turning and people were even cheering us on. The Viper is one of the most recognizable cars on the road today, due to its signature styling that, overall, has remained consistent through the years.

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SRT recently took control of the Viper name and released the new SRT Viper that, while having updated styling, remains true to the Viper formula that we all know and love: a long front end with an obscene engine, a small two-seater cabin and fat tires in the rear. Oh, and, of course, a Viper badge.

Now, when I say the SRT Viper GTS has a large front-end, I mean it. But the size of the car’s bonnet makes sense considering there is an 8.4-liter V10 underneath. In the very front are a pair of high-intensity discharge (HID) low and high beams  surrounded by LED daytime running lamps. Between these headlamps is a large opening with a cross-hair grille that has large air intakes on both sides. These air intakes are meant to cool the brakes on the front wheels, which were wrapped in Pirelli P Zero non-run-flat 295/30ZR18 BSW tires.

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Along the sides of the  SRT Viper, the first things you notice are the curved side gills. Now, Vipers have always had these side gills, but, starting in 2002, the curved side gills were replaced with straighter and sharper ones. Now, SRT has brought the curves back to the Viper’s sides. SRT definitely made the side gills more prominent in this new Viper.

In the rear, the SRT Viper GTS is very different from the previous model. Instead of the reverse light and brake light being separate, as they were on Viper models before this one, these lights are now combined, with the reverse light surrounded by the red brake light. On the outer sides of these headlamps are air vents connected to the rear wheel wells, which house Pirelli P Zero non-run-flat 355/30ZR19 BSW tires.

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Spanning across the rear end is a lip spoiler that has some size to it, but is not big enough to be a nuisance.

If you are looking for the Viper’s exhaust in the rear, you will be looking for a while. The exhaust leads to the sides, right in front of the rear tires. Getting out of the car we could feel the heat from the exhaust tips, but it wasn’t intense enough to bother us. Instead, we were reminded how thrilling it is for a car to come stock with side exhaust.

While the Viper may have large features on its exterior, the interior is another story. Getting into the SRT Viper GTS is a bit of a struggle considering the width of the doorjamb and how low the car is, but once you are in, you know that you’re in the cockpit of something very serious.

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The Sabelt premium leather seats were quite comfortable. The side bolsters ensured that you and your passenger were held in place around hard cornering, but a little more neck protection would have been appreciated considering how quick this car can throw you back into your seat.

Unfortunately, if the driver wants to move their seat forward, forget about it. However, they can position the pedals closer to them and, for the first time in a Viper, raise the seat’s height.

As far as the overall feel of the interior, the 2014 SRT Viper GTS exudes true luxury when compared to Vipers of the past. In the center of the dashboard is an 8.4-inch touch screen display and the driver has a virtual instrument cluster that is stunning in its own right. An Alcantara headliner and boundless amounts of leather add to the car’s surprising elegance. Unfortunately, all of these luxuries do not hide the small size of the cockpit, but it’s a Viper and who honestly expects a huge interior from one?

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Now, it’s time to talk about the heart and soul of the SRT Viper GTS: the engine. As previously stated, under the enormous hood is an equally enormous 8.4-liter V10 engine capable of 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. And we can easily say that all of this power is readily available, so those who are unprepared for it should be careful. It is highly advisable to never take off traction control because, without it, the back end will get away from you very easily.

However, if you are trained in the art of handling a beast like the SRT Viper GTS, you should know that this car is capable of reaching a top speed of 206 mph and has a 0-60 mph time in the low three-second range.

(See also: SRT Viper vs. F-16 Viper Fighter Jet (Video))

If you were expecting this car to be a gas guzzler, you would be correct:  it gets 12 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. But then again, serious power requires serious fuel.

Overall, the new 2014 SRT Viper GTS is a real treat. While luxurious, it is not a luxury car, and it is not a European supercar. What it is is an American sports car that has endless amounts of power on tap.

This Viper stays true to the Viper formula, while still remaining modern and current.

 

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