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Interview with SRT Chief Ralph Gilles: 2012 New York Auto Show

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Chrysler stole the show in New York with the debut of the 2013 SRT Viper. The snake is back, but we wanted to know more. Ralph Gilles, CEO of SRT Brand and head of design for Chrysler Group, took the time to speak with us and answer some of our questions about the new Viper.

Right off the bat, we wanted to know how much, if anything, is shared between the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and the new Viper. Gilles told us that there is absolutely nothing that is shared between the two cars. Now, some still seem to have a hard time believing this, but we'll have to take Gilles word. He did say in the beginning of development of the SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz used one of the Vipers as a proportion mule to size up the car.

We also learned that the Viper team hasn't taken the new snake to the Nurburgring, yet. But they expect to beat the old Viper's time without a problem when they head back to the 'Ring either in the fall or early spring next year.

When asked about a possible eight-cylinder model, Gilles instantly said there was no possibility of a vehicle like that wearing the Viper nameplate. If an eight-cylinder sports car was to be made, it would be a completely different model.

Gilles told us the stability control merely kisses the car, but you are always in control. And if that's not enough, you can fully turn off stability and traction control.

Moving on to transmissions, Gilles said that an automatic is off the table for now. But he's intrigued by the idea of paddle shifters. When asked about a seven-speed manual transmission instead of a six-speed, he told us with the amount of torque the Viper has, it really isn't necessary.

For our complete interview with Ralph Gilles be sure to watch the video.

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