Ferrari Boss Left “Speechless” After Seeing The New SRT Viper

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Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the current chairman of Ferrari and one of the key men responsible for turning the Italian sports car manufacturer into a global automotive powerhouse, was left “speechless” upon seeing the 2013 SRT Viper for the first time.

That little snippet of information was revealed by none other than Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne during an interview on the Paul W. Smith radio show.

“I had the chairman of Ferrari down here for the board meeting last week and he had a chance to look at the car, and he was speechless,” Marchionne said. “I mean for Ferrari to admit that the car is a unique vehicle is a hell of a compliment to the work that’s gone on here.”

Marchionne made the surprising revelation when questioned about production activities taking place at Chrysler facilities in the Detroit area. He said that production of the new 2013 SRT Viper had just commenced at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant and that so far things were doing well.

For someone like di Montezemolo, who is surrounded by some of the fastest and most desirable cars on the planet, to be left speechless after seeing the new Viper is testament to the hard efforts made by the car’s development team and the people that build it.

We’re sure its 8.4-liter V-10 engine, rated at 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque and billed as having the most torque of any naturally-aspirated sports car engine in the world, may have had a little to do with his initial impression.

Ferrari chief Luca Cordero di Montezemolo

Ferrari chief Luca Cordero di Montezemolo

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Comments (77)
  1. From all the pictures I've seen it looks pretty much like the last Vipers. Maybe this is just PR fodder.

  2. Agree... It could also be like seeing a friend's baby for the first time. Ugly or cute, there's no response other than, "Oh, what a beautiful baby!"

  3. Not true! If the kid is ugly you respond with, "Oh my! That's quite a baby!"

  4. Well I'm not the head of Ferrari, but I'll say it's one ugly car. Too shiny and "glitzy" in the pics as well-- who likes this? At the end of the day, it's still a Dodge.

    I've owned a Testarossa, an Esprit, and now an aging 911, and I can definitely say I won't be trading it in for this pile of ugly.

  5. Hopefully they'll make it RELIABLE this time and not the POS tin can it was before

  6. Reliable!! are you nuts. If you dont own one dont blab about something you know nothing about. Built like a tank, bullet proof,goes like h*ll & blows the doors off anything. My new one is ordered. Go buy a mustang or a nisson or something.

  7. you might be a redneck if...

  8. You install a 30" lift kit and swamp tires on you 2013 Dodge Viper SRT......oh and a brush guard and winch and snorkel in case the puddles are to deep

  9. Yes because the one you owned was a POS. or did you confuse it with the yugo that you drive. Another armchair auto critic. The closest you ever came to a super car was a parking lot or the auto show. MORON

  10. If its reliable it wont be named a Dodge, that's not what they do.

  11. well he did send the FF for production now you know why he was speechless. anyone else notice it has the Agera R head lights, other than that i was a bit disappointed in the design cause it really does look like the old model with a few more curves. but gota love that engine glad it stayed.

  12. they designed the headlights to look like snake eyes , and the design is based on the 96 viper but refined and sexier. all the haters chill.

  13. The headlights look like they came from a Corvette, the grill from a Jaguar, the hood from a Lotus and the roof line of a Mazda Miata

  14. Gen 2 bro.

  15. Viknesh, 6.4 V-10 in Viper? Who has stolen 2 liters? I think somebody here was thinking about Ferrari and that is why there's 6 in place of 8. By the way, I'm curious about that new 6.3 V12 of Ferrari, how the hell they get away from those CO2 emission standarts?

  16. Hi Radoslaw,

    Thanks for spotting the typo. The article has now been fixed.

  17. When the emissions are running cleanest CO2 levels are the highest. I'm more concerned about what they did to keep the frame from tweaking under all that torque; As far as "Dodge" its still built from all the same supplier parts the other US manufacturers utilize along with some of their own trim and sheet metal & plastic misc. with that engine, and it will be just as reliable as all the rest of the latest entries in the US auto lineups.... not worth the $$ vs. what you could turn a real classic into for the same $$. I've had plenty of enjoyable vehicles of all types and ages under my wrench and as "cool" as this car sounds... it's still a first year prototype and I can only expect it to follow the same paths as their histories have.. .

  18. u ride dog

  19. I think Montezemolo was speechless because it's shockingly ugly...

  20. Could not agree more. The bulbous proportions are hideous. Montezemolo is a gentleman, and thus he would not say anything negative. Yet his words "interesting" is the most polite manner in which one can deliver a neutrally positive assessment without simply saying...."By God, this is ugly".

  21. Or as they say in the south..."That's somethin'!"

  22. Go drive your go kart, thats ugly.

  23. thats dog

  24. Maybe he just thought "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

  25. LOL at the haters. Obviously you are all blind. I think this looks great.

  26. Always makes me laugh when someone has a different opinion on a subjective matter and it makes another person get so defensive that they make the 'hater' claim.

    The lamest defense ever; no effort, intelligence, or rebuttal involved.

  27. I thought the Viper would have an 8.4 liter, not a 6.4 liter?

  28. By would, I meant was confirmed to have and 8.4 L. Gotta love typos.lol

  29. You're correct Courage. It is an 8.4-liter V-10. The typo has now been fixed.

  30. I'm waiting for the 12-liter.

  31. It went from a chunky brute with cartoon proportions, then was watered down by someone who didn't get it. Now it's one of the most beautiful cars in the world.

    A Viper with as much class as any Ferrari and closer (visually) to a spiritual 250 GTO than their own 599 based offering.

    Montezemolo has a history of being supportive and complimentary of other peoples' ideas and efforts. I think he loved it, because I can only pick out a couple of tiny things I might change.

    The new Viper is one of the best looking cars that has ever been designed. I think they should have gone for led lumened polycarbonate refractory disruptor elements (angel eyes without them being ellipses) instead of the obtrusive LED accent lighting design they chose.

  32. Its nock dead great. Dont ask for the bling. Its a viper it dont need no stinking bling

  33. Styling is all subjective so for people to say it is ugly I can respect that. I on the other hand think the car is stunning and I love that they stayed true to the Viper's original lines. The interior is miles ahead of the old car, and thank god they kept the V10, this car is going to be an animal. The rear track width....OMG.

  34. everyone is entitled to their opinion. For what its worth here is mine: the car is nothign special to look at and jsut looks like a polished version of what has gone before. the Fezza boss was left speechless because here was the great hope from the US to compete with Ferrari and found it to be plainly ordinary especially when you consider just how big that truck engine at the front is and its power output compared to smaller engines !

  35. Oh yeah, Mr. Luca Cordero was speechless Bcus in the back of his mind, he is thinking, "OMG, this car is going to eat my Farrets alive".

    I have one on order, and I can't wait to line up with a cute farrari, Lambo or any other exotic. Dude, you will loose!

  36. loose? I think you already loost.

  37. Ha. I drive and sell exotic cars for a living. I've played with Ferrari: 360, 430, 458, 599 GTB and GTO; Lamborghini: Gallardo, Superleggera, Aventador; Nissan GT-R; Ford GT. You're delusional. The 458 Italia's 570 Hp alone will eat your Viper (it's quicker and faster), as would a 599 GTO's 670 Hp. Stats don't lie. An Aventador will make you want a refund for your car. Just be glad you're paying a fraction of the price for a pretty cool car. The only true competition from Detroit is the Corvette ZR-1. What many tools fail to comprehend is 640 Hp perform much differently in the latest Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Yes, they are very expensive vehicles and great to look at but beasts nonetheless.

  38. Rob, the 42 year old 917-30 will still eat any of the above for lunch and could be reincarnated as a street car with a modern tranny and a top speed easily above 300 mph. I understand that Ferrari had a 512 that never made it to the track that had even more hp. No super car will ever be the best until it can beat these 40 plus year old dogs.

  39. You are delusional

  40. People that can afford expensive sports cars can generally spell. So tell us another whopper.

  41. Don't mind the haters. They're just jealous. It's another case of sour grapes.

  42. I'm guessing the speechlessness resulted from an inability to come up with a compliment in a timely manner.

    This car is unoriginal and unattractive in the extreme to me, inside and out and from any angle shown in the hi-rez 16 image sequence. Simultaneously ostentatious and underwhelming.

    I would like to see Chrysler break some new ground in their design of this vehicle - they have the talent, don't they???

    It may drive great - some Chrysler products do - but I would be embarrassed to be seen in this.

    And, speechless over that engine? Gimme a break.

  43. Beautiful automobile. The V-10 in my "95" Dodge truck is still running strong with nearly 240,000 miles, too bad the rest of her hasn't.

  44. Cmon, it looks practically the same.

    PR spin.

  45. ..."he was speechless,” Marchionne said. “I mean for Ferrari to admit that the car is a unique vehicle"...
    - - - - -
    Seems that Marchionne has taken a vast leap to equate 'speechless' to admitting 'that the car is a unique vehicle'...

    The bulbous rear reminds me of an Opel GT... and that's not a compliment.

  46. None of these cars can match the 917-30 Porsche sports racing car. The greatest ever built. Here are it's performance figures as exercised by Penske and Donohue at Talledega 42 years ago. 1850 lbs. Flat 12, air-cooled, 1580 hp at 32 psi boost for qualifying, raced at 1100 hp. Set and world closed course record at Talledega of approx. 229 mph, a record not broken for 5 years. 0-62 mph in 1.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 3.9 seconds, 0-200 mph in 10.9 seconds and on up to a top speed of 265 mph plus. This long distance racing car destroyed the Can Am series and sent McClaren packing back to NZ. You can't spend enough to buy a car today with those performance figures. Get the full story at WikPedia.

  47. Is it any wonder that the press would not build the viper up. After all obama gave chrysler to the italians and obama owns the press.

  48. It's a wonder that design wasn't pressed at the junkyard as soon as it came out.

  49. I have a hard time believing the leader of Ferrari was "left speechless". His company routinely cranks out the most beautiful cars on earth. And Marchionne has a record of making exaggerated statements.

  50. Language barrier.

  51. Holley carbs?

  52. I think you meant holy crab feces.

  53. I call 'shenanigans' - how can the Ferrari CEO be left speechless and also admit that the Viper is a unique vehicle. Isn't that like telling your friend that their ugly baby is 'unique'?

  54. lol, or trying to boost a girl's confidence face to face by telling her she's interesting

  55. Glad that they went back to the earlier Viper body designs and not that ugly 2004+ design.

    Gives it character and everything is proportioned.

    If you want the normal pieced together crap, buy a new Vette.

    Is it a Ferrari copy?
    Is it a Caddy proto?
    Is it a Camaro?

    It's leftover parts put together just to release a new car.

  56. Ignorance is bliss I guess. The new Vette is 2x the car this Viper is. The Viper is a great looking, if not dated look. The biggest thing that has changed on this car is the interior. It's actually fairly decent looking.

    The new Vette has 2, yes 2 carryover parts from the previous generation. We will have to see when the ZR1 drivetrain is announced. Good power out of the V10 but I am fairly positive The General's V8 will beat it out. Time will tell.

  57. 'Speechless' could simply indicate politeness. We've heard the expression - "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all."

    Personally, I think the Viper is an interesting car. Please don't compare a Ferrari to a Viper.

  58. I think there are at least 3 or 4 cars inside the Viper, pushing on every body panel trying to get out.

  59. I don;t car what carping you guys do, That is one red hot car, period.

  60. Great car, but horrible photographs. How not to take pictures. Hope they didn't pay a photographer

  61. This car really does look better.It is PR yes,but the car is far Superior to the old Viper

  62. There is another thing that Ferrari dosen't offer anymore for US who love to drive and rowing through the gears and operating the clutch. Shifting as you feel and need. A Manual transmission!

  63. That is a Race Car. They don't compare period. This is a Street Car, not the Race Version I'm sure has better performance and weighs less.

  64. The interior is beautiful; the exterior nothing special.

  65. He was speechless because his mind was wheeling around this thought: Mamma Mia! What a grotesque nightmare.

  66. I was speechless too when I saw that fugly thing. What's with the weird dip on it's cranium? Makes it look like a doofus. I knew right away from the CNN headline why the guy would be speechless on seeing it without me even seeing a picture. I'm speechless too when a billions of dollars company like Microsoft keeps putting out one doofus operating system after another.

  67. At the breaking of dawn let us go to war against th the Eye of Bad Designs, let us ride one more time to defeat this evil coming across the land, let us be rid of the Eye of Bad Designs once and for all; he shall fall along with his grotesque "Vipers".

  68. Most of the comments on her seem to be coming from guys who 1)Have never actually seen the new Viper 2)Have never owned a Viper 3)most certainly have never even driven the new Viper
    I have seen it and I have driven it and it is absolutely incredible. From the awesome power to the fabulous fit and finish this car is something to behold. Standard Sabelt seats that are a $10,000 option in most Ferrari's and state of the art electronics inside will absolutely blow your mind. So unless your talking to someone who has actually redlined the new SRT VIPER and saw the snake head come up on the 7" display in the guages, I wouldn't pay much attention. People love to bash what they can't afford.

  69. I work as a contractor for Chrysler and I can say without a doubt that the vehicles being made today by Chrysler are the best Ive seen in years. This SRT Viper is a beautiful piece of machinery that is sure to turn heads anywhere.

  70. I'd say his 'silence' was a polite way of saying...'Are you kidding me...this car needs an 8.4L motor to put out 640hp...our 6.3L puts out 740hp conservatively...what a boat anchor!'
    ...seen in the thought balloon above his head...

  71. Looks like a Corvette to me...

  72. I think Montezemolo's exact quote was, "I have nothing to say", which Marchionne translated to "speechless".

  73. This is really awesome. It really does look like a snake (cobra) from the front. How much is this car?

  74. That is unquestionably the ugliest car in the world! There is no style, no design. No wonder he was speechless! He probably had a little throwup in his throat.

  75. Well I'm not the head of Ferrari, but I'll say it's one ugly car. Too shiny and "glitzy" in the pics as well-- who likes this? At the end of the day, it's still a Dodge.

    I've owned a Testarossa, an Esprit, and now an aging 911, and I can definitely say I won't be trading it in for this pile of ugly.

  76. I think saying the head of Ferrari was "speechless" over a Chrysler product is just a bit of hyperbole. The Viper might be a good American high performance car, but Ferrari is the standard for the world. How many world championships has Chrysler won? That's what I thought. Like the old Ferrari ads used to say : "We ARE the competition."

  77. I love all these people smack-talking the Viper on reliability... Uhm... FERRARI? HELLO??? If you have dreams of being grilled alive get one of those Italian time-bombs.

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