So when we heard that one of the most illustrious names in the motoring business was changing identity we were shocked to say the least. I am referring to the legendary Dodge Viper which, from the 2013 generation onwards, will become the SRT Viper.
SRT is the Street and Racing Technology division of Chrysler which will be lending its name to future generations of the Viper from now on, starting with the 2013 GTS Launch Edition. Unveiled at Pebble Beach, it evokes memories of past Viper Coupé debuts in 1996 and 2006 by sporting the symbolic GTS blue livery with white racing stripes – proving that SRT haven’t completely discarded their roots. Like a hard-nosed old cowboy, the Viper’s new boots suit it down to the ground. By boots of course I mean the glistening five-spoke polished forged-aluminium wheels. Though the exterior has been reworked it does still integrate the distinctive muscular Viper styling of old that we all know and love.
The image overhaul continues with a change of badge for the new generation Viper. The old “Fang” logo is replaced by “Stryker” which adorns the bonnet and steering wheel and features a blue background on the Launch Edition instead of the grey found on all other 2013 SRT Vipers. Good news for all dedicated Viper anoraks too as a serialised dash plaque will be added to every GTS Launch Edition to increase collectability.
Production will be limited during the first run of 2013 SRT Viper GTSs, but at present we do not know any concrete figures or details on pricing. What we can reveal is that the standard 2013 SRT Viper and GTS models are set to return in late 2012 with more power and performance thanks to the colossal mid-engine 8.4-litre V10 powertrain – one of the most powerful naturally aspirated sports car engines in the world.
In the end, we all have to move on and even a car as successful as the Viper can’t stand still. But although it may have a posh new title and a shiny new badge, it is still essentially the same old warhorse underneath. After all, what’s in a name…