2013 SRT Viper Rumor Round-up - ROAD TESTAMENT

Uploaded by drive on 29.03.2012


MIKE SPINELLI: Hey, welcome to Road Testament.
I'm Mike Spinelli, this is Leo Parente and we're talking
about the Dodge Viper today which would have had its 20th
anniversary in model years this year if it were still in
LEO PARENTE: It's been around that long and the new one's
coming, right?
We're going to see the 2013 Viper next week in the New
York Auto Show.
So we're going to go back through the Viper history and
take a look at what we think is coming and what a lot of
reporters have said is coming.
LEO PARENTE: And frankly, why does it matter?
But first hit us up on that @drive on Twitter and you've
already done that and let us know what you think about the
Viper because we're going to go to some viewer Viper
opinions in a second.
LEO PARENTE: So some people already gave us opinions.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yes they did.
LEO PARENTE: You asked for their opinion?
And I just want to mention that I'm not endorsing STP,
it's just that I got hot sauce on my shirt this morning so I
had to go with the faux, what do you call, faux--
LEO PARENTE: The Andy Granatelli look.
MIKE SPINELLI: Vintage Andy Granatelli look.
OK so first from Kyle Leclair This is about the Viper.
These are the pros.
We actually split this up into pro-Viper and anti-Viper.
LEO PARENTE: Anti Viper.
MIKE SPINELLI: So the pro Viper.
Kyle Leclair says he loves it.
"It's raw and unapologetic.
The new one will have more driver's aids, sure, but I bet
it keeps its character intact." And that's true.
We'll be talking about the new traction control
and all that stuff.
LEO PARENTE: And I'll be asking you questions about
what the personality and character of a
Viper should be.
LEO PARENTE: So keep going.
MIKE SPINELLI: Next, Jonathan, "love the viper, we need more
cars like it.
Just like hair metal, excessive and fun."
LEO PARENTE: I can see a trend here.
Also Lardman or Jaeryl says, "I love it personally.
The name suits how deadly it can be in the right hands."
And that's very true.
"ACR lap around the ring, for instance." ACR did what, 712
or something?
LEO PARENTE: Pretty low time.
One of the leadership laps.
And a guy named Lardman is talking about naming, really?
Also Robert Barnes, "Like it, but costs way too much for
what you get." This is the cons, now.
"Apart from exclusivity." Yeah, you're paying for a
little exclusivity, you're also paying for that Viper
mystique you were talking about.
LEO PARENTE: Hey Robert, I have a Cobalt SS for you, OK?
Also Nicholas de Brywne says, "Being not of the US," and
this is important because the Viper doesn't get a lot of
love outside the States.
"I've never much liked the Viper past the first one.
I think it needs an overhaul to keep up with competition."
That kind of feeds into the whole new traction control and
whatever they're going to do with it.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah, but wasn't Viper when it raced a Le Mans
winner and raced
internationally and had a presence?
So I'm not buying into this.
And we'll talk about that a little bit more in a second.
"It's like a Shelby Cobra," says Pierre Belliveau, a
longtime viewer, "but without all the reasons why I'd want a
Shelby Cobra." And the interesting thing about that
is is he saying that it's not sexy enough or there's
something missing.
A Shelby Cobra has a kind of x factor that the
Viper doesn't have.
LEO PARENTE: That's too convoluted for me.
And maybe--
MIKE SPINELLI: Let's just, move on right through there
and go right to speaking of the Shelby Cobra, Carroll
Shelby here sitting on top of one of the first production
Vipers that we actually saw as the pace car for
the 1991 Indy 500.
Interesting story, the original pace car was supposed
to be Dodge Stealth RT, but some people objected because
that's a Japanese-made car, American race.
LEO PARENTE: Some people.
MIKE SPINELLI: I don't know what people.
What people?
LEO PARENTE: But whatever.
MIKE SPINELLI: Certain people.
LEO PARENTE: So anyway I'm insulted with that picture
because you don't sit on cars.
But by the way, back then, just speaking of Carroll
Shelby, Carroll Shelby did have a connection
with Dodge back then.
Moved away from Ford for awhile, did some stuff with
Dodge, was around when the Viper came around.
I don't know if he did a whole lot of
actual development work.
LEO PARENTE: I don't think he was involved with the
Viper in a big way.
But first let's go with the history--
LEO PARENTE: But he's a hell of a pace car driver.
MIKE SPINELLI: Absolutely.
LEO PARENTE: Actually he was a hell of a racer.
MIKE SPINELLI: He was a hell of a racer.
LEO PARENTE: What's this one?
MIKE SPINELLI: This is one of the first prototypes, the
VM-01 Viper prototype.
This, now you know the Viper as a car with a V10.
Back then it had the mopar, the Chrysler 360 QV8.
LEO PARENTE: But as a concept, as a development car, or was
that the plan?
MIKE SPINELLI: Well I think they were sort of throwing
things around.
Now development started in 1987.
MIKE SPINELLI: So into the '80s I think people were
starting to kind of get tired of slow cars and just dealing
with fuel economy.
LEO PARENTE: Wait a minute, wasn't this a Bob Lutz let's
perk up the brand initiative?
So Bob Lutz, this was his Chrysler period.
LEO PARENTE: His Chrysler period.
So this was one of the first major
prototypes that they did.
The second one, this is the VM-02, I believe.
This is when they had gone to V10.
And don't forget, Chrysler owned
Lamborghini at that point.
So they took their truck V10 and Lamborghini helped them do
a couple of things, crankshaft balancing.
Also helped them figure out how to cast the block in
aluminum instead of iron.
LEO PARENTE: So the rumor is true.
It really was a truck motor.
But wasn't it a V8 that they stretched to a 10 cylinder?
MIKE SPINELLI: I think it was based on the 360 which was a
truck motor.
LEO PARENTE: But you can't call it a truck motor because
like you just said, aluminum casting, Lamborghini
LEO PARENTE: Lamborghini was running V12s and
F1 around this time.
LEO PARENTE: Yay, Chrysler.
MIKE SPINELLI: They did get some help from Lamborghini.
Lamborghini didn't build it--
LEO PARENTE: By the way, that engine sucked, but.
It didn't win a damn thing.
Anyway, and by the way, they've locked in the shape.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right, exactly.
So if you can see, you see where the shape was coming
from some of the early drawings.
You can go one more.
So this is the first concept that--
LEO PARENTE: I remember seeing this at the show.
MIKE SPINELLI: 1989 in Detroit Auto Show.
LEO PARENTE: It was big.
It's big.
It's a big car.
It's got a hell of a presence.
And that was the thing.
I can't really stress enough what impact the Viper had when
it came out in 1989.
LEO PARENTE: Oh please try.
LEO PARENTE: By the way, do you see the side mirrors in
this concept.
That was cool.
MIKE SPINELLI: It was cool.
I mean, the concept.
But the car was so--
LEO PARENTE: And at the time it was so far ahead.
MIKE SPINELLI: It was so far ahead.
It was so amazing to see a car with curves again.
You're racing stuff.
LEO PARENTE: Yeah whatever.
MIKE SPINELLI: The giant wheels, what was
it, 335s in the back.
I mean that doesn't seem like a lot
now with modern supercars.
LEO PARENTE: They didn't make it all the way to production,
but the whole vibe was set in stone.
MIKE SPINELLI: I mean it was steam roller tires.
LEO PARENTE: And it was a big deal that the car, from
production to concept, or the other way around, really
didn't shift that much.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right, right.
Also, interestingly, very short wheelbase.
Here's the rear.
I mean look, when people saw this in 1989 Detroit they just
flipped out.
They just did because like there was
nothing else like this.
MIKE SPINELLI: There's the motor.
LEO PARENTE: Overhead valve.
Push rods.
LEO PARENTE: Manufactured headers.
I mean cool.
You know, ultimately a very cool motor.
LEO PARENTE: Fuel injection.
All the runners here.
LEO PARENTE: Made a noise.
MIKE SPINELLI: It made a noise like a UPS truck.
As, I think it was, was it Road and Track called it a UPS
truck or something?
LEO PARENTE: I don't read that crap.
MIKE SPINELLI: And then at low revs it was a UPS truck at
high revs it was God's own dust buster I believe.
LEO PARENTE: I don't read that stuff.
I watch Drive.
Here on YouTube.
MIKE SPINELLI: And then we get to the production car.
So there you go.
There's the RT10.
LEO PARENTE: And this really was the side exhaust.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right, it was the side exhaust.
LEO PARENTE: Be careful, you're going to burn yourself,
side exhaust.
MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly, be careful.
So the V10 we didn't mention 8 liter.
LEO PARENTE: Eight flat or eight point something?
MIKE SPINELLI: Eight flat originally.
LEO PARENTE: OK, go ahead.
MIKE SPINELLI: Originally 400 horsepower.
Six speed manual.
0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds.
Quick now.
Quick then.
MIKE SPINELLI: And quick as hell for 1992 when this
finally came out.
So saw the concept in 1989.
It ran Indy in '91--
LEO PARENTE: As a pace car.
MIKE SPINELLI: As a pace car.
Came out in the end of the year as a 1992 model
and there it is.
LEO PARENTE: They always show it in red.
And then, the next generation--
It's not that Daytona--
MIKE SPINELLI: It's not this one, but they took the cues
from the Daytona coup.
And built the--
LEO PARENTE: Let's see if you can give me the right picture
and I'll explain why in a minute.
So show me the coup picture.
Because they did, they ripped off the Daytona--
MIKE SPINELLI: Yes, exactly.
Yeah, so the blue with the graphics.
And that's the Viper GTS.
Also improved it.
LEO PARENTE: Shelby was still around so it was like--
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah it was kind of like we've got our old
boy around and he's--
LEO PARENTE: And not a big FU to Ford.
Trust me it had nothing to do with that.
MIKE SPINELLI: It was nothing to do with that.
Up to 450 horsepower at this point.
0 to 60 in 4.0 at this point.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yes, so it dropped.
LEO PARENTE: And by the way, I'm going to go on record
right now, I think it's freaking ugly.
I hate the chrome wheels, but it was a Viper
and people like Vipers.
MIKE SPINELLI: In 1996 it was pretty badass.
But I mean--
LEO PARENTE: Eh, But I like what they did on the track.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well I think, you know the
double bubble roof.
I think that it just became more usable for the average
buyer at that point.
I think that by this time it had gone--
LEO PARENTE: I actually suggest, and I don't know the
fact here, I think they built this thing to get into racing
and to start the [INAUDIBLE]
process so it can run G2--
MIKE SPINELLI: There you go.
Also went from being a $56,000, $57,000 car to being
like an $80,000.
LEO PARENTE: That's a lot of money for raw and unapologetic
in this time.
Raw and unapologetic like hair metal.
LEO PARENTE: Yes, which you know of.
And then in 1999 they put out the ACR which was a little bit
more, it was a little lighter, a little quicker.
I mean just a little bit more horsepower.
Actually this, I think was the homologation car.
Because those really aren't BBS but they gave it the look.
MIKE SPINELLI: I thought they were BBS.
Do you have Inside Track?
LEO PARENTE: What I read said-- no I
don't read that either.
What I read says they were not BBS and they had to
[INAUDIBLE] and they built 100 of them.
MIKE SPINELLI: Coney shocks.
And so it was a little bit lighter than the other.
LEO PARENTE: And they were quick cars.
MIKE SPINELLI: They were quick.
All right, so after the ACR and then we get into the new
So now we're in the ZB, I believe.
MIKE SPINELLI: The ZB generation.
So you can see the refinement creeping in.
LEO PARENTE: By the way, not to lose your train of thought,
but it was the first generation that they raced.
When they went to this generation they really stopped
racing it as a factory effort, even as a private team effort.
I mean, I know there were a couple of cars around, but
they were just horrible.
LEO PARENTE: But the racing heritage was developed in the
first generation car.
And this is when it went to 8.3 liter.
So we you start moving into the 2013, refinement is going
to be, I think, a pretty big part of what the new car is
going to be.
And competitive.
And, by the way, by refined I mean it's also competitive
with the cars out there like the SLS and the stuff in its
category now.
LEO PARENTE: That will be interesting because I'm
thinking about those first viewer comments you wrote
about raw and unapologetic.
So what is a Viper?
MIKE SPINELLI: Well let's move on.
All right, so this is the last gen, this would
be the 2008, I believe.
LEO PARENTE: That's attractive.
That is attractive.
More aggressive on the--
I mean--
LEO PARENTE: But it's still the same body we just saw.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right, basically the same body, a
couple of differences.
And I think by then--
LEO PARENTE: It kept getting faster and faster, right?
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, yeah, yeah, by then, I mean I think
they were up to like 600 horsepower at this point.
0 to 60 in under four seconds.
But much easier to drive.
LEO PARENTE: Is this a Corvette competitor?
Is that what it's all about or something more?
MIKE SPINELLI: It's a lot more expensive than a Corvette.
It's actually probably, what a Corvette Z06 ZR1 competitor?
I mean it was always more expensive.
I mean, this is $100,000 car basically, at this point.
MIKE SPINELLI: And then we get the ACR which is just
absolutely devastating.
And this is a car that did the 7 minute 12 second [INAUDIBLE]
LEO PARENTE: Well now it's God's gift to cars.
MIKE SPINELLI: I mean, it is really the fastest true
production car.
I mean, yes, the car, like the Gunpard Apollo, and what was
it, the Ultima.
What was the car that-- the Radical, sorry.
The Radical, which is now the quickest car.
I mean, yeah it's a production car, but it has like a 45
minute startup time.
I love the [INAUDIBLE] but I'm so over these lap time things.
So it's not your favorite thing to talk about.
LEO PARENTE: I think it's an incredible car.
He's a really fast car.
It's got all sorts of adjustability.
It's a quick race car.
Ralph Jill,
LEO PARENTE: Jills loves this car.
He races it.
They've got a whole ACR series.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well here's the thing.
I mean, it is an amazingly capable car
in the right hands.
And the problem is now there are a lot of amazingly capable
cars that almost anybody can drive to the limit and not
die, unlike this car.
So now the next Viper has to compete with cars that have
the kinds of traction control and stability control
technologies that keep people safe and let them tail out a
little bit without actually killing them.
LEO PARENTE: Well I'm going to feed in my opinion here.
Why does the car, if Viper is raw, why does it have to
compete with refinement?
Is it a legal reason, or is it because everyone
else is doing it?
MIKE SPINELLI: You know what, that's a strong point.
I don't know.
I mean I think if you have to keep up with the technology.
You have to make a compelling technology package.
LEO PARENTE: Well legally they've got to put traction
control or some type of stability control.
I don't know.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah I know what the law is.
LEO PARENTE: They've got to put something in.
And that's going to take away a little bit of
that visceral thing.
But I bet you you can turn it off.
My question becomes, is it going to become a car that's
chasing a refined Ferrari type driving mentality?
And I mentioned Ferrari on purpose with the heritage of
this thing.
And Ralph talking about how Ferrari technology,
engineering, and materials are going to be kind of inflicted
into this new car.
MIKE SPINELLI: I don't know.
LEO PARENTE: Or should it stay rough and raw?
And be American.
MIKE SPINELLI: Well let's talk about the new car then.
LEO PARENTE: I'd love to.
MIKE SPINELLI: See what we know.
LEO PARENTE: That was a long ride, by the way.
MIKE SPINELLI: By the way, just one more thing, that's
the ACRX that's the cup car version.
LEO PARENTE: That's the one with the race tires and the
full trick.
MIKE SPINELLI: Full trick, everything.
OK, cool.
Let's keep going.
So this is the, we're going to talk about the new car.
What do we know about the 2013 Dodge Viper right now?
So next week we're going to get our first look at it ahead
of the Detroit, around the same time as the
New York auto show.
So that's going to be cool.
LEO PARENTE: You've got some teaser stuff in
here though, right?
MIKE SPINELLI: I've got a little bit of teaser stuff.
LEO PARENTE: Because stuff has leaked out.
MIKE SPINELLI: All right, so this is what, this is the
latest teaser shot from the front.
LEO PARENTE: Hey, it's the same Viper.
MIKE SPINELLI: What do you mean?
LEO PARENTE: Front circle, double
bubble, headlights, logo.
MIKE SPINELLI: I mean, you call those things Viper--
MIKE SPINELLI: Well they're the things that
make a Viper a Viper.
Well there you go.
MIKE SPINELLI: All right, well--
So it's staying true.
MIKE SPINELLI: Let's continue.
The internet went nuts over this because this was the Hot
Wheels version that shows a little bit of what the--
LEO PARENTE: So this is the 2013 Viper
according to Hot Wheels?
MIKE SPINELLI: According to Hot Wheels.
LEO PARENTE: I'm, um, it doesn't look that different.
MIKE SPINELLI: It doesn't look a whole lot different.
So this is--
LEO PARENTE: Well there you go, now I can clearly see what
we've achieved.
MIKE SPINELLI: So this, this was the original, pixelated
because the picture was like this big.
No, I did this on purpose, right?
So this was--
MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, exactly.
So Auto Blog--
LEO PARENTE: I thought I was freaking going blind.
MIKE SPINELLI: An Auto Blog reader did this, and we'll put
up the annotation so you can go right to the site.
LEO PARENTE: OK, so spirit of the Viper.
MIKE SPINELLI: So spirit of Viper.
LEO PARENTE: I've read it's got a more aggressive
headlight treatment.
I read that these snorkels are a little different.
Actually I think you might have a rendering that shows
they're more air exits, which is logical.
The nose, aerodynamics.
But still that whole Viper look with the big tires, big
wheels, big nose because it's got the V10.
LEO PARENTE: And you better love Viper.
Hey there it is.
MIKE SPINELLI: All right so let's talk about the--
LEO PARENTE: There's the motor.
MIKE SPINELLI: You're talking about the motor.
Right, so, they're talking about--
this is an interesting thing because as more information
was leaking out about the new car there was talk that it was
going to go with a hemi-V8 and then after that dealers had
seen it and then other things started leaking out that they
were yes going to go with the V10.
But it was going to have some of Fiat's technology.
It wasn't going to have Ferrari technology or wasn't
going to have the Ferrari Maserati connection, but it
was going to have Fiat's multi-air system.
LEO PARENTE: Basically multi-air is an assist to the
cam driven valves to make the engine more
powerful, 10% more powerful.
And more efficient during part throttle and start up.
So it's Fiat's way of doing what BMW does fully
electronically to control valves during those moments
where our engine's not really efficient.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right, to keep the unburned fuel from sitting
around and being inefficient.
LEO PARENTE: And Fiat does it with an electronic electric
solenoid running a hydraulic whatever that pushes the valve
away from the cam during part throttle and start up.
Which I guess closes it early.
MIKE SPINELLI: So it can decouple from the cam so that
the computer can take over and do the fine tuning adjustments
during commercial throttles.
LEO PARENTE: And the obvious, obvious thing here is to make
a V10 be more fuel efficient so no one freaks out and
either A, doesn't buy a V10, or buys it and keeps stopping
at the gas station every third shift.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right, exactly.
LEO PARENTE: By the way, this engine is not in the Viper.
Where is this engine?
MIKE SPINELLI: This engine is actually in the drag pack--
LEO PARENTE: Challenger.
MIKE SPINELLI: The Challenger drag pack edition.
LEO PARENTE: And to me that's the strongest rumor why the
V10 is going to be in the Viper because they kept this
engine alive.
This is 512 cubic inches, 8.4 liter.
MIKE SPINELLI: 8.4 liter.
LEO PARENTE: 620 horsepower without the multimatic.
MIKE SPINELLI: Yep, with 700 horsepower,
they're talking about.
No wait a minute, this is the rumor.
By the way, this also falls in the rumor mill.
Some rumors have said 700 horsepower for the new car.
LEO PARENTE: Well you've got Mustang at what, a bazillion?
MIKE SPINELLI: Mustang is a little below a bazillion.
LEO PARENTE: You've got CR1 at 6 and plus.
MIKE SPINELLI: I know, I mean Lamborghini doing sevens.
Everyone's in a sevens now.
Well not everyone, but sevens are the next six.
LEO PARENTE: By the way, never go into a Detroit bar with the
auto executives because they just slap their-- on the table
in the form of quoting horsepower.
So we should sort of parlay, or not parlay, what is it,
segue from this into racing because this is your field.
LEO PARENTE: Ok, so let me go on record.
You know Viper may be raw and unapologetic, but the original
Viper also had this very strong racing heritage.
Chrysler hired companies like Reynard, chassis builder and
racing, ORAC, who is now running the Toyota ts030
program and builds their own racing chassis.
And they went out and raced Viper internationally and won
just about everything.
They won Daytona overall one year.
They won Le Mans 24.
They won the [INAUDIBLE]
24 three years with the Viper.
And it was a statement car at that time.
Why did I ask you to put this picture of this 1970s Dodge
Daytona NASCAR?
Because this car, at that time, was a leap forward
statement car for Dodge or whatever it was.
And my fear is that this new Viper is just going to be a
continuation of the same old Viper where I'm craving this
Viper to be a leap forward statement car for
this whole SRT thing.
The reason why I picked this picture is because this is
allegedly a mold for the nose of the car.
But what fascinated me, this is the cut out space for, I
think they're called Aerocatch,
the racing body fasteners.
And I am loving the moment where I'm going to show Ralph
this picture and ask him is there a racing Viper in the
future or not?
The rumor is that there is a program.
The rumor is that Riley, the chassis company that does a
lot of grand am cars is working on the racing version.
I know ALMS would love to have this car.
You've got to believe that someone like Marchione would
love to go back to Le Mans.
But I wonder if it's going to be a little bit of Grand-Am
end or whatever.
MIKE SPINELLI: I think it would be a perfect vehicle, at
least from a marketing stance, to bring a Viper back as part
of a Fiat Chrysler joint plan back to Le Mans.
It's the Grand-Am thing that I'm not sold on, but I you
have the inside track a little bit more.
LEO PARENTE: I don't have an inside track other than logic.
Dodge is in a place where they want to still be
friends with NASCAR.
They need that help.
NASCAR always put the thumb on their manufacture partners to
support Grand-Am.
It's easier to do a Grand-Am car than it is a full blown
ALMS or Le Mans car.
MIKE SPINELLI: Right, and also Viper has some
heritage in Le Mans.
LEO PARENTE: There we go.
That was one of the ORICs.
One of the last ones branded Chrysler.
This was just before ORIC, Reynard, and Chrysler got
together to try and do an LMP car.
It was a massive failure.
But this thing was winning Le Mans, winning GT
championships in Europe.
MIKE SPINELLI: So can Chrysler bring back the Le Mans mojo?
LEO PARENTE: How about the question is should they?
MIKE SPINELLI: Good point.
Should they?
Hit us up on @drive on Twitter.
LEO PARENTE: As if, if people don't know by now.
MIKE SPINELLI: And next week you're going
to see the new Viper.
So it's not going to be like you have to wait
a really long time.
It's like next--
LEO PARENTE: I've got my interview request in.
I mean we may be going according to height, but I'm
going try to have that conversation we had with Ralph
once before and see if we can get closer to where this car
really is going to be in terms of its ethic and its whole
performance and racing vibe.
MIKE SPINELLI: And by the way, should, mention that they're
really, really concerned with loyalty.
So they're giving the Viper club guys first dibs on the
new car, which I think is actually very cool because
people have shown the loyalty to the Viper.
Because, we haven't talked about it a lot, but there was
a lot of Viper hate.
Specifically because a lot of people see it as that kind of
brash American low-tech super car.
LEO PARENTE: That's me.
MIKE SPINELLI: Speaking of brash American
low-tech super cars.
Leo Parente, I'm Mike Spinelli.
Thanks for hanging out with us.
We'll see you next week.