By Patrick Rall
Yesterday afternoon, the Chrysler Group dropped the details on the highest performance SRT Viper so far with the new 2014 Viper TA designed for legal street use and venomous track use. Many Mopar fans see the TA and think back to the 1970 Challenger T/A but in the case of the 2014 Viper – TA stands for Time Attack as the team has engineered this Viper to reclaim its lap records around the world.
What the Street and Racing Technology engineering team did in designing the 2014 SRT Viper TA was take all of the high performance goodies from the Viper GTS (both standard and optional) and apply them to the lightweight base model Viper. This includes the two-mode Bilstein Damptronic suspension system from the Viper GTS, components of the SRT Track Package, components of the carbon fiber aero package and components of the carbon fiber exterior package while the exclusion of things like the leather seats help keep the weight down.
“The new 2014 SRT Viper TA is being engineering for the dedicated track enthusiast, who still wants to drive to the track and take their hobby to the next level” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “We’re re-launching some of the fastest production-built cars that people can buy straight from the factory. Our engineers revised the suspension settings to refocus the Viper specifically for track duty, using a blend of components from the GTS and the SRT models, add in the extensively developed aero package and the new Time Attack package is born. We’re not only saluting the existing capabilities of our current models, we’re also targeting another niche in our customer base with a tremendously capable track machine.”
On the outside, the 2014 SRT Viper TA includes a two way front splitter and a duckbill style rear spoiler that adds 300 pounds of downforce at 150 miles per hour. The outside of the Viper TA also features the ultra-lightweight, Sidewinder II wheels of the Track Package in matte black, the six port hood of the base Viper, a rear carbon fiber taillight surround and “2D” badges – which is just a fancy way of saying that they have stickers rather than thicker badges. Inside, the Viper TA is pretty much identical to the base Viper with the exception of the Crusher Orange stitching found throughout.
Under the hood is the same 8.4L V10 that is found in the Viper and Viper GTS, packing 640 horsepower and 600lb-ft of torque backed by a close ratio 6-speed manual transmission. Like the base and GTS models, the Viper TA features an engine bay cross brace but where the first two Vipers wore an aluminum brace, the TA has a carbon fiber piece that is just as stiff but weighs less than the aluminum unit.
The result of all of these weight reduction efforts is a 2014 SRT Viper TA that weighs an estimated 3,348lbs according to Chrysler…even though Motor Trend found their test car to weigh just 3,332lbs. The base Viper weighs 3,343, the Viper GTS weighs 3,362 and the Corvette ZR1 weighs 3,344lbs.
Where the 2014 SRT Viper TA really stands apart from the rest of the current Viper lineup is in the handling capacities. The incredible track ready handling of the Viper TA is achieved by starting with the two-mode Bilstein Damptronic suspension system from the Viper GTS but for the TA, this system has been heavily modified compared to the version found in the GTS. The shocks, springs and stabilizer bars have been specially tuned for the new Viper TA while the two modes for the adjustable suspension system have been reprogrammed for ultimate track handling. Unlike the GTS which features a mode for street and a more for the track, the Viper TA has only two track modes with one being more extreme in the stiffness than the other. Next, the high performance braking system of the Track Package has been added but the two piece StopTech rotors have been replaced by discs built by Brembo. The front rotors of the TA braking system are larger and twice as thick as the StopTech discs for improved heat dissipation and superior stopping power while the rear Brembo rotors are the same dimensions as the StopTech rotors. Surprisingly, the Viper TA rides on the same Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires as the Viper GTS – which is contrary to the previous report that the SRT team was waiting on a better set of tires for the higher performance Viper.
The 2014 SRT Viper TA will go on sale in the third quarter of 2013 and every one of them will be painted in the striking Crusher Orange paint shown in the images on this page with black wheels and lots of carbon fiber trim. Unfortunately, only 33 examples of the Crusher Orange Viper TA will be built and sold with a price of $120,500 but rumor has it that there will be more Viper TA coupes built in 2014 in black or white.