Image credits: © Dodge.

2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 news, pictures, specifications, and information

The 2003 Dodge Viper RT-10 Convertible: Chapter Three in a Legendary Supercar's History

The Dodge Viper has always been more than just a car. To enthusiasts, it represents the purest expression of free-spirited driving. For a re-emerging Chrysler Corporation, it heralded a new way of doing business, taking chances and stepping over the edge. To the , it served as a wake-up call that the Dodge brand would be the catalyst for change in automotive design throughout the 1990s.

Beneath its iconic imagery, the Dodge Viper has backed up its reputation wîth cold, hard numbers - horsepower, torque, 0-60 mph, 1/4-mile, slalom, skid pad and top speed. Únlike the pseudo-sports cars that pop up every year or so from other car makers, at Dodge, slick copy has never been a replacement for raw performance.

So when it came to write the third chapter in the remarkable story of America's only true supercar, Dodge once again defied convention and built the all-new 2003 Viper lighter, faster and more powerful than ever. This chapter's subhead echoes the enthusiast mantra: 'There's no replacement for cubic displacement.'

'When we introduced the first Viper, we set the principles that would forever define the car - obscene performance, outrageous design and ultimate driver enjoyment,' said Jim Julow, Vice President, Dodge Global Brand Center, DaimlerChrysler Corporation. 'With this next chapter, we've stayed true to those principles in creating the next version of the ultimate American sports car.'

The next chapter of Viper takes extreme performance further than Dodge has ever taken it before, reaching a Holy Grail of sorts for those worshiping the religion of extreme automotive performance. The Dodge Viper will become the only production car in the world to develop at least 500 horsepower, 500 lb.-ft. of torque and feature an engine wîth more than 500 cubic inches of displacement.

'When you want to increase the capability of a high-performance car, there are three basic areas you can change: increase the power, reduce the weight or improve handling,' said Larry Lyons, Vice President, Small Car Platform Engineering, DaimlerChrysler. 'For the new Viper, we did all three.'

The Viper once again underscores the core philosophies of the Dodge brand by being the ultimate automotive icon for extreme performance and extreme attitude.

500/500/500 Performance
Bring back the big blocks!

With performance upgrades that will increase its displacement from 488 to 505 cu. in. and push its V-10 power output to a whopping 500 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque, Viper has no equal on the road.

The 8.3-liter all-aluminum big-block engine drives huge 19-inch rear wheels and anchors a performance package that eschews technical gimmickry in favor of traditional engineering virtues. The spirit of America's muscle cars lives within the Dodge Viper.

Race-Bred Chassis

In creating the next chapter of Dodge Viper, the mission was to enhance its unfiltered blend of performance. Viper retains a traditional front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout wîth six-speed manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) The commitment was made early on to use a racing-style chassis including fully independent four-wheel suspension, huge tires and wheels for maximum grip and massive brakes for stopping power.

A new version of the Viper's four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system, originally introduced for the 2001 model year, will be enhanced on this next-generation car.

Body by Dodge

With styling cues derived from the Dodge Viper GTS/R concept car first shown at the 2000 North American International Auto Show, the all-new 2003 Dodge Viper RT-10 convertible packs an outrageous new design into a low-slung roadster shell.

Lowered hood lines, swept-back fenders and deep-cut side scallops take their cues from the classic original, yet bring the Viper into the 21st century. Improved aerodynamics and a full-length undertray add functional performance enhancements.

Viper's visceral lines speak volumes for the passion that Dodge designers bring to their craft. The new Viper gives enthusiasts an American sports car that remains true to the credo of pure performance.

Interior Fits Drivers Like a Glove

The next chapter of Dodge Viper continues to set the definition of 'extreme,' yet features greater levels of refinement and finish.

Viper retains its essence - its 'Viperness' - while taking natural steps forward. A race-derived two-seat cockpit looks over a highly functional instrument panel wîth center-mounted tachometer and a 220 mile-per-hour speedometer, giving a clue as to the production car's top-speed potential. A push-button starter refires old-time sports car memories.

There's no mistaking that the driver is in command at Viper's helm. Viper is the automotive equivalent of a jet fighter, and at the pilot's command, launches off the line like a Hornet from a carrier catapult.

Viper Redfines the Convertible

The new Viper has a new roofline profile wîth an easy-to-operate drop top. The Dodge Viper was initially introduced wîth a full-width sport bar that brought open-air motoring to the Dodge lineup. The second chapter of Viper history was written when an all-new GTS Coupe joined the Roadster for 1996, and added classic gran tourismo styling to match the car's prodigious performance capabilities.

The new Viper's bi-fold clam shell top wîth single center latch now makes it a true convertible, and harks back to a time when sports cars delivered serious performance capabilities and stood for untamed freedom.

True to the Mission

Team Viper set out five goals in creating the next generation car:

• Preserve Viper's standing as the ultimate American sports car

• Build a true convertible version that provides better convenience yet retains the original roadster feel

• Refine the original shape without losing its 'outrageous design'

• Raise the benchmark for 'unmatched performance'

• Maintain the back-to-basics approach from the original Viper


'With its dramatic styling, 500/500/500 performance and racing pedigree, the Dodge Viper is unlike any other car on the road and expresses a style and attitude only Dodge could deliver,' Julow §äid. 'Viper has earned the title of Últimate American Sports Car.'

The Dodge Viper will go on sale in August 2002 as a 2003 model. It will be built at DaimlerChrysler's Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan.

Source - Dodge

2003 Dodge Viper SRT10 Gives New Meaning to Extreme Performance

Since its introduction as a concept car at the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Dodge Viper has captured the hearts and imagination of enthusiasts around the globe. It has also captured its share of trophies on the track as a three-time FIA GT2 and Le Mans class champion.

The next chapter of Dodge Viper continues to set the definition of extreme, yet features greater levels of refinement and finish. In other words, Viper retains its essence - its 'Viperness' - while taking natural steps forward.

Those who have never driven or ridden in a Dodge Viper can scarcely understand the way the car translates torque into forward momentum, nor can they fully appreciate the turning and braking capabilities of its massive tires and disc brakes.

The new Viper SRT10 takes that unbelievable rush of performance to an entirely new level - beyond even that of the current American performance car standard. If one ride doesn't thrill, exhilarate, energize or excite you more than any other car on the road, check your pulse.

Convertible Top Opens the Possibilities for New Redesign
Engineers at Dodge, who had grown fond of their RT/10 Roadster and GTS Coupe and proud of the cars' performance capabilities, were fully aware of the wide tiretracks they would have to fill when the decision was made to create a new, true convertible version of America's ultimate sports car.

What began as a simple plan to alter the RT/10's roofline quickly grew to a 'blue-sky' redesign when designers and engineers discovered that the accompanying 2.6-inch lengthening of the wheelbase would change more than 50 percent of the car's body panels and many chassis components. Vehicle synthesis engineers, never ones to sit idly by, set to work immediately using the stretch as their opportunity to find incremental ways to update and improve the car. And quicker than you can say 'hasta la vista,' the teams found out that wîth a little bit of tweaking here and an upgraded assembly there, they would have an entirely new car to build.

While the Chrysler Group's famously creative design office staged an internal search for the best new Viper design sketch, performance-minded engineers at then Team Viper began to analyze the opportunities that a redesign could offer on the performance front.



About the same time, combined marketing, engineering and communications teams from Dodge began polling key constituencies on what the next Viper should be - and as important, what it shouldn't be.

Among one of the most vocal and enthusiastic opinion groups - the owners AKA Dodge's Viper Nation - the replies consistently demanded ...

More horsepower
Bigger brakes
Lighter weight
A new convertible top mechanism
A dead pedal
Greater interior comfort
Digital instrumentation
Cruise control
Cup holders
A 'bow-tie' lookalike
It was universally agreed that no matter the degree of change, certain Viper attributes - the car's legacy and signature to the world - must remain.

The message was loud and clear - Viper must be a front-engined, two-seat, rear-wheel-drive sports car. It must have a V-10 making at least as much power as the current 450 hp versions. That a six-speed manual transmission be the only choice. That it be devoid of cupholders, cruise control and traction control. Viper would be a driver's package, and never a luxury boat posing as a sports car.

Viper Remains True to the Original Mission

Build a true convertible version of the original Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster
Refine the original caricature without losing its outrageous design
Raise the benchmark for unmatched performance
Maintain the back-to-basics approach from the original Viper
Preserve the American sports car heritage
The 2003 Viper SRT10 once again underscores the core philosophies of the Dodge brand by being the ultimate automotive icon for extreme performance and extreme attitude.

'Back in 1992, the purpose was to re-orient what the Dodge brand was all about,' said Jim Julow, Vice President - Dodge Motorsports and SRT Marketing. 'We had just come out of a lot of years without any significant performance-oriented products. We needed to send a message that we had a new concept - a very historically accurate concept - but one which had not been seen in America for a long time. We wanted to come up wîth something that was so outrageous, so cutting edge, so purpose built that it said we still had a lot of car nuts around here; people wîth the know-how to put the most outrageous street car ever on the road.

'The continuation of the Viper allows us to hatch a whole new line of performance cars that go across more vehicle types than just two-door roadsters,' continued Julow. 'This whole SRT line of vehicles will aspire to be the Viper of their category.'

Improving on a Legend

In creating the next chapter of Dodge Viper, the goal was also to enhance its unfiltered blend of performance.

As part of the Dodge Viper's complete redesign, more than 100 changes and improvements have been made to the chassis, brakes, suspension, tires, engine, transmission, cockpit, electronics and more than a dozen body panels.

Yet Viper retains a traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout wîth a six-speed manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) The commitment was made early on to use a racing-style chassis including fully independent four-wheel suspension, wide tires and wheels for maximum grip and massive brakes for stopping power.

A race-derived two-seat cockpit looks over a highly functional instrument panel wîth center-mounted tachometer and a 220 mile-per-hour speedometer. A traditional push-button starter reinforces the purposeful layout and race-car inspirations.

A new version of the Viper's four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system, originally introduced for the 2001 model year, is enhanced for this next-generation car.

With a new bored and stroked aluminum engine block that increases the Viper's displacement from 488 to 505 cu. in. and pushes its V-10 power output to 500 horsepower and 525 lb.-ft. of torque, Viper has no equal on the road.

'For a brand like Dodge, maintaining best-in-class performance claims are absolutely the most important thing we can do,' said Julow. 'As a brand, we must differentiate ourselves based on performance and driveability in creating a true enthusiast car. We need these proof points because frankly, not everyone wants to have a 500-horsepower, two-door convertible. Not everyone necessarily wants to have a turbocharged, manual transmission small car. Not everybody's lòòking for an aluminum block full-size truck.

But they're lòòking for a brand that's willing to put a little bit extra into everything it builds, and the proof points for that are the SRT (Street and Racing Technology) line, which pushes the envelope as far as we can.'

On the Outside

With styling cues derived from the Dodge Viper GTS/R concept car first shown at the 2000 North American International Auto Show, the all-new 2003 Dodge Viper SRT10 convertible packs an outrageous new design into a low-slung roadster shell.

Lowered hood lines, swept-back fenders and deep-cut side scallops take their cues from the classic original, yet bring the Viper into the 21st century. Improved aerodynamics and a partial undertray add functional performance enhancements.

Viper's visceral lines speak volumes of the passion that Dodge designers bring to their craft. The new Viper gives enthusiasts an American sports car that remains true to the credo of pure performance.

The new Viper has a new roofline profile wîth an easy-to-operate drop top. The Dodge Viper was initially introduced wîth a full-width sport bar that brought open-air motoring to the Dodge lineup. The second chapter of Viper history was written when the GTS Coupe was added in 1996, and added classic gran tourismo styling to match the car's prodigious performance capabilities.

The new Viper's bi-fold clamshell top wîth single center latch now makes it a true convertible, harking back to a time when sports cars delivered serious performance capabilities and stood for untamed freedom.

For drivers seeking the farthest edge of the performance envelope, Viper remains nothing less than a streetable supercar - sophisticated yet brutal.

The Dodge Viper SRT10 is available in red, black and bright silver metallic.

The Dodge Viper SRT10 will go on sale in Fall 2002 as a 2003 model. It will be built at DaimlerChrysler's Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, Mich.

Competition Coupe

Debuting alongside the Dodge Viper SRT10 Convertible will be the Viper Competition Coupe.

With a coupe-shaped composite body based largely on the Dodge Viper GTS/R concept car shown at the 2000 North American International Auto Show, and a track-ready chassis based on the new 2003 Dodge Viper SRT10 convertible, this new car will emerge as a serious competitor from the first lap.

The objective was to create a racing car for Viper owners, strengthen the performance image for the Dodge brand, create awareness of the Performance Vehicle Operations group, continue Viper's road racing heritage and maximize use of existing SRT10 parts to minimize cost.

The Competition Coupe makes extensive use of production pieces to keep the estimated retail price at $100,000. The Viper Competition Coupe will deliver racers an extremely high level of performance for the price. A full complement of racing enhancements, including window net, 27-gallon (100-liter) fuel cell, racing slicks, differential cooler and ducted brakes ensure that the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe is track-ready as delivered.

Though largely based on the SRT10 convertible, the Competition Coupe develops 20 more horsepower (520 bhp) and 15 more lb.-ft. of torque (540 lb.-ft.) than the street-going version. Power is enhanced via a performance camshaft and tuned exhaust.

The competition coupe also adds improved driver and engine cooling, a differential cooler, trap door oil pan and low-inertia flywheel.

Anti-lock brakes are modulated by an electronic front-to-rear braking distribution control.

Dodge has added a backbone FIA-legal safety cage wîth engine bay bracing to the production car's backbone tubular steel space frame. A single competition seat wîth six-point driver restraint system, driver-activated fire-suppression system and electronic dash and data acquisition system round out the racing modifications.

Double wishbone-type suspension is upgraded wîth spherical bearing control arm attachments, two-way adjustable coil over dampers and a driver-adjustable blade-type rear anti-roll bar. Three-piece aluminum wheels are shod wîth Michelin 315/30ZR18 front and 355/30ZR18 rear racing slicks.

Exterior aerodynamic enhancements include front splitter, larger rear diffuser and adjustable rear wing. Composite body panels, several of which are carbon fiber, are based on the Viper GTS/R Concept Car.

Every effort has been made to produce an affordable yet competitive GT-class race car, and Dodge executives expect high demand from its competition-oriented Dodge Viper owner base.

'The idea for a next-generation racing version came from the Viper owner body about two years ago,' said John Fernandez, Director, Performance Vehicle Operations, DaimlerChrysler Corp. 'A large proportion of owners enjoy racing their cars in organized competition.'

Dodge officials expect to build 25 cars in the first year, but have the ability to expand production as demand grows. Plans include technical support for competitors at all major events. Parts may also be offered through DaimlerChrysler's Mopar Performance Parts division, and available through dealerships nationwide.

Performance targets for the Viper Competition Coupe are 3.8 sec. acceleration from 0 to 60 mph, a top speed of 185 mph, lateral acceleration of 1.25g and a curb weight under 3,000 lbs. There are no plans at this time to homologate the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe for American Le Mans Series or 24 Hours of Le Mans racing.

Production begins at DaimlerChrysler's Conner Avenue Assembly Plant (Detroit) in late 2002. The Dodge Viper Competition Coupe cannot be titled for highway use.

Performance Vehicle Operations; The Enthusiast Heart of the Chrysler Group

While Dodge owners have been busy grabbing life by the horns, Chrysler Group executives and engineers have been grabbing life by the throttle by ramping up plans for a new performance group and some of the most outrageous production vehicles ever developed by DaimlerChrysler Corp.

Officially known as Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO), the engineering team combines Chrysler Group's specialty vehicle and motorsports know-how, much like the profitable high-end vehicle conversion group at Mercedes-AMG.

'No other automaker has leveraged such resources to this extent,' said Jim Schroer, Executive Vice President-Sales, Marketing and Service, DaimlerChrysler Corp. 'We are combining our extensive motorsports experience, along wîth our legendary Viper development team and our Mopar Performance Parts, to create a line of extreme performance vehicles that will blow past everyone else.

'PVO brings together the best performance development processes, durable high-performance parts and some of our most talented and experienced motorsports and performance car engineers to produce truly exciting cars and trucks,' added Schroer. Performance Vehicle Operations will become a profit center within the Chrysler Group focusing on enhancing Dodge, Jeep® and Chrysler brand product lines and image through high-end, limited-volume specialty vehicles.

Chrysler Group executives see an opportunity to expand the Chrysler Group's portfolio of specialty vehicles, performance models and performance parts.

PVO performance models engineered for the Dodge brand will carry the SRT badge. While Chrysler and Jeep performance lines will be announced in the future, Dodge SRT models are already being prepared for retail sale, beginning wîth the 2003 Dodge Viper SRT10, available in Fall 2002.

For Dodge, the SRT model-line philosophy represents a new twist, offering significant performance enhancements and a visual appeal. But compared wîth Dodge's R/T credo of 'contemporary interpretations of performance,' SRT will come to stand for 'ultimate interpretations of performance.'

The Dodge SRT performance signature includes high-output engine performance, sport suspensions, aggressive aerodynamic packages, performance wheel and tire packages, sport interiors and performance exhausts and brakes.

Biography

John Fernandez, Director, Performance Vehicle Operations (PVO)


John Fernandez, Director of PVO, is responsible for directing performance car and motorsports engineering for Chrysler Group. Beginning in 2002, PVO is making an impact on the Dodge NASCAR Winston Cup program by combining the technical expertise of Chrysler Group's specialty vehicles wîth the engineering program of Dodge Motorsports. Fernandez also oversees product direction for Mopar Performance Parts and other technical aspects of motorsports. Fernandez joined Chrysler Corp. in 1969 as a co-op intern who grew up watching Richard Petty racing on the dirt tracks of upstate New York. Fernandez became a full-time project engineer in 1972 after receiving his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Úniversity of Detroit. Five years later, he earned his MBA at his alma mater. Fernandez came to Team Viper as Executive Engineer in 1997 and has brought his passionate focus to specialty vehicle engineering ever since, pioneering low-volume vehicles such as the new Neon-based Dodge SRT4 and the Dodge Viper SRT10.

The SRT Mission: Be the Fastest

Engineered by DaimlerChrysler's Performance Vehicle Operations team, the Dodge SRT - for Street and Racing Technology - lineup represents some of the most outrageous products ever developed by DaimlerChrysler. Whether it's the new 2003 Dodge Viper SRT10, soon-to-be-launched Dodge SRT4 or Ram SRT10, enthusiasts can look to Dodge as the claimholder to America's fastest, most powerful production cars in each of their market §egmènts.

The Dodge Viper SRT10's promise of more than 500 cubic inches of engine displacement - generating 500 horsepower and 525 lb.-ft. of torque - will make it truly unique in its performance specifications. The Viper SRT10 is expected to achieve some of the highest all-around performance claims ever for a production vehicle.

The Dodge SRT4 is designed to smoke the tuner market wîth an estimated top speed of 148 mph, sub-six-second 0-to-60 mph times and a $19,995 price tag. At 215 horsepower, the turbocharged SRT4 will be the fastest car in the world under $20,000.

Big, fast and menacing describes the awesome Dodge Ram SRT-10 wîth its 8.3-liter all-aluminum V-10 engine that shares much of its design wîth that from the Viper. The Ram SRT-10 definitely hauls.

'These are the kinds of cars and trucks that our competitors can only dream about building,' said Dodge's Jim Julow. 'No matter where you look, Dodge wears its commitment to performance where everyone can see it.

'We've expanded the R/T line to nearly every product we build,' said Julow. 'We've made good on a promise to return to NASCAR's Winston Cup Series wîth a fully competitive program from the first green flag. And now it's a natural fit to introduce the Dodge SRT line, making Dodge the first of our Chrysler Group brands to feature the talents of the Performance Vehicle Operations team.'

From a business case standpoint, the SRT family of vehicles will help increase the DaimlerChrysler revenue base by expanding the current product portfolio into the growing specialty market §egmènt of customers willing to pay for high-performance vehicles.

These vehicles will increase recognition of the Dodge brand and strengthen its association wîth performance attributes.

SRT models give Dodge the opportunity to own a share of the aftermarket parts and accessories business and go after some of the market that is currently being satisfied by outside suppliers.

The SRT concept takes the previous R/T (Road and Track) theme to another level by offering specialty, high-performance vehicles bearing the Street and Racing Technology acronym.

'The SRT concept is pretty simple,' said John Fernandez. 'SRTs will be the fastest cars in their §egmènt. When we do a four-cylinder compact, it will be the fastest small car. When we do a Ram pickup truck, it will be the fastest fullsize pickup truck. We know we can't approach Viper numbers wîth everything, but we can be the fastest vehicles in our §egmènts. And we will keep them affordable, too, because Dodge is a mainstream brand.'

Pride in Product

'The Viper is a rallying point within the company,' said Jim Julow. 'It sets a tone for all of our engineers. It has become the core of the brand within the company, as well. 'It's kind of like our Dodge Motorsports NASCAR Winston Cup program.

It's a tremendous motivator within the company walls. It's something that makes the employees feel good about being involved wîth Dodge or having something to do wîth Chrysler Group vehicles.'

Viper Owners: Dodge Ambassadors at Large

'Many Viper owners are kind of like the test pilots of 'The Right Stuff',' said Julow. 'They're the crazy fringe; the fanatics. I think they called them the 'Mad Monks.' But what they do is they take a passion for a particular product and extend it to the whole brand. One of the most satisfying things about Viper owners is that back in the early 1990s, they had four or five vehicles for their fleet, one of which was a Dodge: and it was a Viper. And in many cases, you go back to those same households and they'll have four or five vehicles in their fleet, four or five of which are a Chrysler Group product: mostly Dodges.


'And so we've been able to extend this passion for Viper, its capabilities and design intent. They've become not just Viper advocates, but Dodge advocates. And that's really the whole point behind it in the first place.'

Viper Owners Invitational

'Viper Owners Invitational (VOI) is the place to where the enthusiasts flock; like the swallows to Capistrano,' said Julow. 'You have to have a place for them to fraternize and conspire - and it's a little of both. So we provide them an outlet. Not that it's their only outlet; they provide a lot of their own outlets. For example, they do local Viper clubs. They do local Viper track days where they race each other. They do meets where they go to NASCAR races. There are a lot of ways that these people enjoy their passion. The Mecca of that whole system is VOI. I wish we could do them more often.'

Owner Loyalty

'The Viper owners have been a loyal bunch of people to the company. They've changed their household and their business fleets over from various different products to Dodge and other Chrysler Group vehicles.

'We felt loyalty was owed them for their years of passion, support and brand advocacy. So we sold the first year of Viper SRT10 production to existing owners. I don't know that anybody's ever done that. And it's certainly something we can't do forever. 'I think it was a nice thing and an appropriate thing to do - to reward their loyalty over all these years - and let them stand first in line for the new ones. It really is kind of gratifying that you can take a whole year's worth of production and sell it within a 30-day timeframe. That tells you how passionate they are about their cars.'

The Dodge Viper Lineup

Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster

The original Dodge Viper. Introduced as a concept car at the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Served as 1991 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car. Began production in mid-1992 calendar year as a two-seat roadster. 2002 marks the final year for this design.

Dodge Viper GTS Coupe
Originally designed as a one-of-a-kind show car, introduced in January 1993. Widely praised as a natural extension to the Viper line, the production version debuted in spring 1996. It was chosen that year as the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500. 2002 marks the final year for this design.

Dodge Viper GTS-R (later called GTS-R/T)
An all-out racing version of the GTS Coupe producing approximately 700 horsepower and featuring a carbon fiber and Kevlar composite body. Raced as a 'Chrysler Viper' in Europe. This car, which retails for $325,000, earned the 1997-1999 FIA GT2 (later GTS) championships, 1998-2000 LeMans GTS Class and 2000 Daytona 24 Hours outright.

Dodge Viper GT2
Commemorative 1998 model celebrating Viper's 1997 FIA GT2 World Championship. White wîth blue stripes, only 100 individually numbered copies produced. Featured high-mounted rear wing, special badging and graphics, front splitter and ground effects, blue interior accents wîth 'Viper GTS-R' seat inserts, five-point restraint system and other special features.

Dodge Viper ACR
American Club Racer (ACR) model was introduced as a limited-edition, street-legal performance model in the 1999 model year. ACR models feature modified suspension and 460 hp/500 lb.-ft of torque. Lightened for club racing, the ACR is at home both on the road and on the track.

Dodge Viper ACR Plus
Mopar Performance Parts accessorized 1999 Dodge Viper ACR model tuned to produce more than 500 hp/530 lb.-ft. of torque.

Dodge Viper GTS/R
Dodge Viper Concept Vehicle was first unveiled at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The GTS/R concept took racing-inspired technologies and applied them to a street car, wrapping them in an exciting new coupe shape. This same shape was the basis for the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe.

Dodge Viper SRT10 Convertible
Originally unveiled at the 2001 North American International Auto Show as the RT-10, it offered a first look at the third chapter in the Dodge Viper history. It is a true convertible wîth a more powerful V-10 engine (500 hp, 500 lb.-ft. of torque and 505 cubic inches displacement) and a new design inspired by the GTS/R concept. It's scheduled to go on sale Fall 2002 as a 2003 model. Known internally by the code VGX, the RT-10 was renamed the Dodge Viper SRT-10 in January 2002.

Dodge Viper Competition Coupe
A closed-cockpit competition model based on the next generation Dodge Viper Convertible. With concept car body work, full racing cage and other safety features, this is an affordable, limited-production race car for competition-oriented owners. Late 2002 availability. Limited volume of 25-30 individual race cars.

Source - Dodge
Conceived as a modern take on the classic American muscle car, the Dodge Viper is a two-seat sports car, possibly the most powerful production car produced by Dodge.
Production for the Viper began in 1992 at the new Mack Assembly in Detroit Michigan. The Mack Avenue Engine Complex was the original production site from 1992 through 1995.

Opening in 1966, the Conner Avenue Assembly was purchased by Chrysler in 1995 for the production of both the Dodge Viper and the Plymouth Prowler. October 1995 the production for the Viper began.

The home of Chysler's production of large-displacement V8 and V10 engines, Mount Road Engine was a Chrysler Corporation Automobile Engine factory in Detroit Michigan. In 2002 the plant was closed as production shifted to the Mack Avenue Engine Complex.

The dream behind the design of the Dodge Viper was directly inspired by Carroll Shelby, one of the automotive indsustry's greatest legends. Building one more ultimate performance car was the vision of the initial designer of the Viper. Far too large and heavy to seriously claim any direct lineage with other compact and lightweigh vehicles such as the ionic AC Cobra, the Viper was an altogether separate design.

Driven as the pace car at the Indianapolis 500, Caroll Shelby had a long career as a driver, owner, team manager, manufacturer, consultant, and visionary before being inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1992. More than a decade later, he has continued to impact the world of racing and automobile design. A master organizer and team leader, his charisma, vision and ability to know the best person for the job developed his ability to produce consistently impressive results.

Initially conceived in late 1987 at Chrysler's Advanced Design Studios, the Viper first apeared as a concept to test public reaction at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 4, 1989. Receiving enthusiatstic public aclaim as orders began to flow before the show even ended, the 'go' was given and chief engineer Roy Sjoberg was directed to develop it as a production car.

'Team Viper' was organized by Sjoberg with a handpicked group of 85 engineers that began development in March of 1989. Their primary goal was to construct a vehicle that concentrated on performance above all else. Their benchmark: to go from 0 to 100 back to 0 in 15 seconds.

Three years of intensive, often around-the-clock operations were began by Team Viper that stretched from Italy, where the aluminum engine block was perfected -- to the race tracks at Nelson Ledges and Road Atlanta, where they fine-tuned the chassis and powertrain. Working closely with major automotive suppliers to develop unique components for Viper RT/10, team members searched for only what would withstand the tremendous stresses associated with high-performance driving.
The first prototype was tested in December of 1989.

At the time Lamborghini (a Chrysler subsidiary) was asked to adapt their V10 truck engine for sports car use in May. The centerpiece of the car was its engine. The original design was based on the Chryler LA engine, Lamborghini, was designed as a truck engine. Recasting the block and head in aluminum alloy gave the engine a significant power boost as Dodge's cast-iron block V10 was revamped.
Completing the production body in the fall, by December a chassis prototype was running. Originally using a V8 in the test mule, by February 1990, the V10 which was the production car was meant to use was ready.

A more comprehensive design was suggested that would included four valves per cylinder as some felt the pushrod two-valve design may have beens adequate for the truck application but unsuitable for a performance car.

The budget for modification was not approved by Chrysler due to uncertainty regarding Viper's production costs and sales potential.
By May of 1990, official approval was granted from Chrysler chairman, Lee Iacocca. It was one year later that Carroll Shelby piloted a preproduction car as the Indianopolis 500 pace car. First shi pment began in January 1992 as the car was released to reviewers during the debut November 1991.

Initially predetermined to be two things to the corporation, the public version of the Viper was intended as a halo car for Chrysler proving that they were still the most competent at building a low cost vehicle of any type. Within the corporation, the Viper was a production tecnique test to see if the corporation really could develop new methods of manufacture and assembly to lower the cost of a vehicle.
Though 1st generation Vipers were considered by some as a crude 'kit car', Chrysler translated this into a vehicle and production line that became the most sought after assignment in the corporation up to that point.

Typical of American performance car design, the Viper had a front-mounted engine driving rear wheels with a curb weight of 3,280lb(1,488 kg) while lacking many modern driving aids such as traction control or anti-lock brakes. In a straight line performance, the Viper completed a quarter mile in 12.9 seconds and had a maximum speed of 164 mph (264 km/h).

The engine produced 400 hp (298 kW) at 4600 rpm and 450 ft·lbf (610 N·m) of torque at 3600 rpm. Due to the long-gearing allowed by the torquey engine it provided surprising fuel economy at a claimed 21 mpg US (11.2 L/100 km) if driven sedately. The body of the Viper was a tubular steel frame with resin transfer molding (RTM) fiberglass panels.

By 1998, 9,500 Vipers cruised the world's boulevards and racetracks, building a very strong and extremely enthusiastic owner core. Currently there are more than 1,700 members of the Viper Club of America and 27 Viper Clubs throughout the United States.

By Jessica Donaldson
Since its introduction as a concept car at the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Dodge Viper has captured the hearts and imagination of enthusiasts around the globe. It has also captured its share of trophies on the track as a three-time FIA GT2 and Le Mans class champion.

The next chapter of Dodge Viper continues to set the definition of extreme, yet features greater levels of refinement and finish. In other words, Viper retains its essence - its 'Viperness' - while taking natural steps forward.

Those who have never driven or ridden in a Dodge Viper can scarcely understand the way the car translates torque into forward momentum, nor can they fully appreciate the turning and braking capabilities of its massive tires and disc brakes.

The new Viper SRT-10 takes that unbelievable rush of performance to an entirely new level - beyond even that of the current American performance car standard. If one ride doesn't thrill, exhilarate, energize or excite you more than any other car on the road, check your pulse.

Convertible Top Opens the Possibilities for New Redesign
Engineers at Dodge, who had grown fond of their RT/10 Roadster and GTS Coupe and proud of the cars' performance capabilities, were fully aware of the wide tiretracks they would have to fill when the decision was made to create a new, true convertible version of America's ultimate sports car.

What began as a simple plan to alter the RT/10's roofline quickly grew to a 'blue-sky' redesign when designers and engineers discovered that the accompanying 2.6-inch lengthening of the wheelbase would change more than 50 percent of the car's body panels and many chassis components. Vehicle synthesis engineers, never ones to sit idly by, set to work immediately using the stretch as their opportunity to find incremental ways to update and improve the car. And quicker than you can say 'hasta la vista,' the teams found out that wîth a little bit of tweaking here and an upgraded assembly there, they would have an entirely new car to build.

While the Chrysler Group's famously creative design office staged an internal search for the best new Viper design sketch, performance-minded engineers at then Team Viper began to analyze the opportunities that a redesign could offer on the performance front.

About the same time, combined marketing, engineering and communications teams from Dodge began polling key constituencies on what the next Viper should be - and as important, what it shouldn't be.

Among one of the most vocal and enthusiastic opinion groups - the owners AKA Dodge's Viper Nation - the replies consistently demanded...

- More horsepower
- Bigger brakes
- Lighter weight
- A new convertible top mechanism
- A dead pedal
- Greater interior comfort

Owners were also asked what they didn't want:

- Digital instrumentation
- Cruise control
- Cup holders
- A 'bow-tie' lookalike

It was universally agreed that no matter the degree of change, certain Viper attributes - the car's legacy and signature to the world - must remain.

The message was loud and clear - Viper must be a front-engined, two-seat, rear-wheel-drive sports car. It must have a V-10 making at least as much power as the current 450 hp versions. That a six-speed manual transmission be the only choice. That it be devoid of cupholders, cruise control and traction control. Viper would be a driver's package, and never a luxury boat posing as a sports car.
Viper Remains True to the Original Mission

Dodge took its directives and built a mission statement for the new car. When Dodge laid out the mission for its new 2003 Viper SRT-10 Convertible, it started wîth five vision statements:

- Build a true convertible version of the original Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster
- Refine the original caricature without losing its outrageous design
- Raise the benchmark for unmatched performance
- Maintain the back-to-basics approach from the original Viper
- Preserve the American sports car heritage

The 2003 Viper SRT-10 once again underscores the core philosophies of the Dodge brand by being the ultimate automotive icon for extreme performance and extreme attitude.

'Back in 1992, the purpose was to re-orient what the Dodge brand was all about,' said Jim Julow, Vice President - Dodge Motorsports and SRT Marketing. 'We had just come out of a lot of years without any significant performance-oriented products. We needed to send a message that we had a new concept - a very historically accurate concept - but one which had not been seen in America for a long time. We wanted to come up wîth something that was so outrageous, so cutting edge, so purpose built that it said we still had a lot of car nuts around here; people wîth the know-how to put the most outrageous street car ever on the road.

'The continuation of the Viper allows us to hatch a whole new line of performance cars that go across more vehicle types than just two-door roadsters,' continued Julow. 'This whole SRT line of vehicles will aspire to be the Viper of their category.'

Improving on a LegendIn creating the next chapter of Dodge Viper, the goal was also to enhance its unfiltered blend of performance.

As part of the Dodge Viper's complete redesign, more than 100 changes and improvements have been made to the chassis, brakes, suspension, tires, engine, transmission, cockpit, electronics and more than a dozen body panels.

Yet Viper retains a traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout wîth a six-speed manual transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) The commitment was made early on to use a racing-style chassis including fully independent four-wheel suspension, wide tires and wheels for maximum grip and massive brakes for stopping power.


A race-derived two-seat cockpit looks over a highly functional instrument panel wîth center-mounted tachometer and a 220 mile-per-hour speedometer. A traditional push-button starter reinforces the purposeful layout and race-car inspirations.

A new version of the Viper's four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system, originally introduced for the 2001 model year, is enhanced for this next-generation car.

With a new bored and stroked aluminum engine block that increases the Viper's displacement from 488 to 505 cu. in. and pushes its V-10 power output to 500 horsepower and 525 lb.-ft. of torque, Viper has no equal on the road.

'For a brand like Dodge, maintaining best-in-class performance claims are absolutely the most important thing we can do,' said Julow. 'As a brand, we must differentiate ourselves based on performance and driveability in creating a true enthusiast car. We need these proof points because frankly, not everyone wants to have a 500-horsepower, two-door convertible. Not everyone necessarily wants to have a turbocharged, manual transmission small car. Not everybody's lòòking for an aluminum block full-size truck.

But they're lòòking for a brand that's willing to put a little bit extra into everything it builds, and the proof points for that are the SRT (Street and Racing Technology) line, which pushes the envelope as far as we can.'

On the Outside

With styling cues derived from the Dodge Viper GTS/R concept car first shown at the 2000 North American International Auto Show, the all-new 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 convertible packs an outrageous new design into a low-slung roadster shell.

Lowered hood lines, swept-back fenders and deep-cut side scallops take their cues from the classic original, yet bring the Viper into the 21st century. Improved aerodynamics and a partial undertray add functional performance enhancements.

Viper's visceral lines speak volumes of the passion that Dodge designers bring to their craft. The new Viper gives enthusiasts an American sports car that remains true to the credo of pure performance.

The new Viper has a new roofline profile wîth an easy-to-operate drop top. The Dodge Viper was initially introduced wîth a full-width sport bar that brought open-air motoring to the Dodge lineup. The second chapter of Viper history was written when the GTS Coupe was added in 1996, and added classic gran tourismo styling to match the car's prodigious performance capabilities.

The new Viper's bi-fold clamshell top wîth single center latch now makes it a true convertible, harking back to a time when sports cars delivered serious performance capabilities and stood for untamed freedom.

For drivers seeking the farthest edge of the performance envelope, Viper remains nothing less than a streetable supercar - sophisticated yet brutal.

Source - DaimlerChrysler
 
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