HomeAnalysis2013 Dodge SRT: A Viper on steroids

2013 Dodge SRT: A Viper on steroids

HATE them or like them for whatever reason, Americans are doyens of vehicle manufacturing especially muscle cars. They gave the world the Dodge brand.

Within the Dodge brand is my favourite model, the SRT Viper. A viper is a snake. If you take a closer look at the Dodge Viper, it does look like a deadly snake.

With a top speed of 330 kmh this sports car can take on the Ferrari and McLaren with ease. What is more, it has a groan that is distinct and characteristic. It is bound to get your adrenalin sweltering with its acceleration of 0-100kmh within three-seconds range.

When it comes to speed, it is on super steroids. It is hand built. It might be 10 years old but it still looks sexy, sturdy and splendid. The SRT Viper model offers a perfect blend of extreme performance and a deliberate preservation of what has become the iconic DNA of the Viper.

Dodge is now being manufactured by Chrysler. The Chrysler Group’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand uses a successful product development formula featuring five proven hallmarks: Awe-inspiring powertrains; outstanding ride, handling and capability; benchmark braking; aggressive and functional exteriors and race-inspired and high-performance interiors to remain true to its performance roots.

As iconic as ever, the 2013 SRT Viper thunders with the same 10-cylinder power plant, familiar over-the-top styling and racetrack-ready chassis it has had since its inception, but all have been evolved and upgraded.

As a result of careful engineering, engine output has climbed by 40 horsepower and 40 pound-feet of torque. For the first time in its high-g-loaded history, the chassis benefits from available two-mode dampers and a multistage stability control system that can be tailored from novice to expert with reduced amounts of electronic intervention. And, yes, it now has launch control.

The heart and soul of the 2013 SRT Viper is its venerable, handcrafted, all-aluminium 8.4-liter, mid-front V-10 overhead-valve engine.

Improvements for 2013 include an ultra-high-flow, lightweight composite intake manifold; high-strength, forged pistons; sodium-filled exhaust valves; new catalysts to ease backpressure and an aluminium flywheel that reduces reciprocating losses. Approximately 25 pounds have been shaved from the fully-dressed engine.

Major upgrades include the addition of a new aluminium x-brace under the hood that ties the suspension pickup points to the magnesium cowl super casting.

This benefits torsional rigidity and stiffness. A new aluminium impact beam at the front of the car contributes to overall mass savings and improved weight distribution, while providing excellent crashworthiness.

Structurally, many chassis components were reworked to take advantage of new materials able to accommodate reduced thickness and complex shapes without compromising structural rigidity.

The result is an overall weight savings of approximately 100 pounds. For 2013, SRT Viper models ride on standard Pirelli P Zero, Z-rated tires with substantially improved overall response, cold-weather performance, and enhanced grip and steering feel, regardless of road surface — while also broadening the performance envelope.

For the first time, all major interior surfaces are sewn and wrapped with additional padding applied in comfort areas. On the Viper GTS model, all surfaces are fully leather-skinned.

Standard accent colours are applied to the seats, doors, centre console and stitching. Quality fit and finish is showcased across the line-up by details such as the triple paint-finished gun-metal appliqués on the cluster bezel, HVAC outlets, window-switch bezels, shifter base, park-brake bezel and the integrated passenger grab-handle on the centre console.

Standard high-performance racing seats from Sublet feature a lightweight Kevlar/fiberglass shell created by a state-of-the-art resin transfer-moulding technology for mass reduction and long-term durability.

Both driver and passenger enjoy improved comfort from thigh support and deep side-bolsters designed to match the extreme lateral acceleration capabilities of the SRT Viper.

Seating positions in the 2013 SRT Viper models are 20 mm lower for more room and enhanced performance-driving ergonomics. Seat travel is extended by 90mm overall, which enables expanded seating options from a more rearward positioned bulkhead. For the first time, seat height can be adjusted by up to 40 mm – manually on the SRT model and power-controlled on the GTS.

The new 2013 Viper is the most spacious model in the history of the nameplate. The floor pan and bulkhead have been extended approximately 90 mm to provide improved legroom and more rearward seat track movement.

A 7-inch, full-colour, customizable instrument cluster — with its full-time analogue tachometer — is designed specifically for the 2013 SRT Viper.

The dominant centre tachometer display features an animated readout that glows red and shows off the new ‘Stryker’ logo when engine rpm approaches redline, safely alerting the driver to upshift.

Drivers can configure the tachometer to display their last shift point and a peak rpm hold marker can be set up for optimum performance.

Views include tach-only or tach with digital speed readout. The new customisable instrument cluster provides an unmatched presentation of the exclusive SRT Performance Pages’ statistics and feedback to the driver, including 0-to-60 mph; 0-to-100 mph; eighth- and quarter-mile elapsed times; braking distance; instant g-force measurement readouts and top-speed performance.

For the first time, the 2013 SRT Viper models carry LED tail lamps that integrate stop-and-turn illumination in one element. Snakeskin texture in the lens carries the surface work seen in the gills and hood textures.

With dark-masked lenses, the horizontal lamps appear dark until the LED elements fire. Each lamp carries 50 LEDs that provide a unified ‘crystallised’ illumination effect.

You never know maybe one day someone in Zimbabwe will import the SRT Viper.



  • Engine type – Number of cylinders : V 10
  • Engine Code : Chrysler Dodge V10
  • Fuel type : Petrol
  • Engine size – Displacement – Engine capacity : 8382 cm3
  • Number of valves : 20 Valves
  • Maximum power – Output – Horsepower : 481 kW@ 6200 rpm
  • Maximum torque : 814 Nm @ 5000 rpm
  • andrew@muzamhindo.com.

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