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Sunday, April 8, 2012

So the Snake Came out of Hiding! Did it Live up to the Hype?

First of all let me say this,  I was expecting to see the snake with the usual bright red paint, I don't at all like the new red color that it debuted in. That color isn't vibrant enough for Viper. For example, Ferrari is known for one type of red only! The Ferrari-famous red, or better yet, Ferrari-red. I want to see the Viper in traditional 90's Viper-red. That along with the new perceived styling of the Viper would make the epitome recognition of a comeback!

Now that aside, lets get to the key hot points of all new Viper SRT!
  • 8.4 Liter front mid-mounted engine
  • 640 Horsepower with 600 Feet-pounds of torque (4.9 pounds per horsepower)
  • Best power-to-weight ratio of any Viper ever produced
  • Torque puts Viper just behind Bugatti Veyron, and Ferrari F12 and ahead of performance giants such as the Lamborghini Aventador, and Corvette Chevrolet Z1
  • Engine is naturally aspirated (no turbochargers or superchargers)
  • X-brace (beneath hood) increases body rigidity by over 50% over previous Vipers
  • Traction control and stability control (can be defeated by driver if her or or she chooses)
Those are some impressive engine specs ain't it? The new Viper SRT is available in two options, the standard high performance SRT version and a GT version. The SRT version, according to Ralph Giles, is designed to offer a perfect blend of extreme performance and a deliberate preservation of what has come to be known as the iconic DNA of the Viper. The GT version, on the other hand, is for buyers looking for more high-tech amenities, such as two mode active suspension and interior creature comforts not usually associated with the Viper. The Viper also comes with Pirelli Pzero Z-rated tires, massive 355 tires in the rear and 295 in the front. Available to direct these high performance tires with are 3 different wheel styles, five or six spoke in polished, matte black or glass black, and a lightweight SRT version available.

Now lets critique the production design of the newly released Viper. I will compare it to the John Sibel rendering seen a couple of days before the big New York reveal, because those images were of perfection! I couldn't find one flaw in them!

Everything is on point here! Perfect!


The rear tail lamp design! Oh man! I so wanted it to have a larger reverse light and smaller brake lights! The effect of the smaller break light is that you envision speed - one of which the pedal happy driver has no idea of ever braking!

The picture on top is a rendering by John Sibel

Now lets move onto the stunning and splendid interior of the Viper!

This is my absolute favorite shot! During the unveiling at the New York International Autoshow, Ralph Giles called this, "the money shot". Indeed! When automotive lovers die and go to heaven, this is how it looks up there!

This is a spectacular shot too! 

I enjoy how the Heat and A/C vents are not just circular in design, but invigorated with a pointed design, complemented by a red surround. It looks so high-quality! It is immaculate in design, execution, and craftsmanship!

This handle-like protrusion is my favorite part about the center console!

Now, below are pictures of the customizable LCD display screen in the center console! If you look closely you'll recognize that each of the following pictures below have the LCD screen with a different picture.

Now, isn't that awesome! What beautiful user-interaction technology!

In addition to the large customizable LCD screen in the center console, there is also the option of customization in the instrument panel, specifically in the gauge cluster area. The center gauge display can be customized for different drivers, for his or her wants or needs!  Now, as I aked you previously, in the pictures above, if you observe the pictures of the gauge cluster below, you'll see the center gauge with a different display each time. 

I have always loved the side position of the exhaust pipe on the Viper. It has the look of swiftly throwing out the exhaust at lightning speed! By it being at the side, it's like the engine is so powerful that the exhaust has to be gotten ridden of so fast, that it has to be emitted at the side instead of having it travel all the way to the rear!

I love this little design right here....the hood vent leads right into the Viper logo!

This new logo goes hard! It is ferocious!!

This is the X-brace beneath the hood. As stated in the bullet points at the beginning of the blog, the X-brace adds a 50% increase in rigidity to the Viper.

Checkout that carbon fiber insert! Look at the luscious, curvaceous-ness of the swoping roof line. This shot screams sexxy!!

I have a problem with the Viper wheels. Upclose shots as in the above pictures, look great, but standing aback and absorbing the wheels into the whole design of the car, I come upon a clash. They do not go with the Viper. The design of these wheels has the effect of imparting an aura of finesse.This appearance is more appropriate on a luxury sedan or other non-sports car. Sport car drivers aren't about finesse, they're about showing off raw power, and making you feel their presence. They're show-offs - well all sport cars are show-offs! There's no humility with a sports car! The 6-spoke wheels look too humble! It shouldn't even be an option! (LOL). 
I believe sport cars should have wheels with as small a number of spokes as possible. We want to see the huge brake calipers and the disc brakes. Combine that want with just the right amount of wheel spokes, in addition to the spokes having a nice design, and then you'll really make this snake hiss!!
I will be creating a CAD model for a new wheel design for the Viper and I will be sending it to someone I know at Chrysler, as well as debuting it on this blog, so stay tuned!

- Gebre Mesquitta

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