2013 Dodge Viper test-mule spy shots
As we twist in the wind over the 2013 SRT Viper's debut venue--it could be Detroit, but New York is looking more likely--the SRT brand has announced it is re-opening the Viper's Conner Avenue production facility, and along the way confirmed it won't be a Dodge, but an SRT.
The name change makes perfect sense given SRT's repositioning as a standalone brand, and is in that sense completely unsurprising. At the same time, it gives us hope that the Viper, while already documented to include more safety-oriented driver aids and creature comforts, will continue to be a serious, performance-focused driver's car without the dilution of more practical, mundane concerns that might be introduced if it were not under the sole dominion of the boutique brand.
Announcements about the plant's re-opening have re-stimulated the idea that the new Viper might be making its auto show debut in Detroit rather than waiting for New York, but whichever show it comes to, we'll have to wait until "late 2012" to see the car on the street, according to Ralph Gilles, president and CEO of SRT Brand.
Though construction isn't set to start for almost another year, employees are already reporting to the Conner plant--and have been since sometime this fall. Why? "Training and orientation," says Chrysler. Given the need for test vehicles, the possibility of a pre-production show car rolling off the line as well is a definite maybe.
Whenever and wherever it debuts, the 2013 SRT Viper is expected to sport a massive 8.7-liter V-10 engine, 300 cc bigger than the last and sure to produce in excess of 600 horsepower. Yes, it sounds like fun.