By Patrick Rall
Since the 2013 SRT Viper was the first in the history of the fabled supercar not introduced as a roadster, Mopar lovers and prospective buyers have wondered when we might see a topless version of the 5th generation Viper. The good news is that our first look at the new SRT Viper Roadster has come and you can buy it from a Dodge dealership. The bad news is that it isn’t being offered by Chrysler, instead only being offered by a third party company and marketed through a single dealership in Texas. Oh, and it’s really expensive.
If you closely follow the modern SRT Viper, the name Prefix might be familiar as this Auburn Hills based Tier 1 supplier is responsible for painting the 2014 Viper. Obviously, Prefix is a major part of the Viper’s existence, but the company wanted to take that involvement one step further so they went ahead and designed their own 2014+ Viper Roadster conversion kit. They have named that kit the Medusa Viper and this package is being marketed through the Viper Exchange and Tomball Dodge in Texas. The company only plans to produce ten examples right now as they look to gauge consumer interest and with a price for the package that starts at $35,000 – this isn’t something that we will see every Viper owner lining up to buy.
One very interesting aspect of the Prefix Performance SRT Medusa Viper Roadster is that in cutting off the roof, Prefix didn’t need to weigh down the car with extra chassis reinforcements. The Viper chassis was designed with a convertible in mind, so the chassis rigidity doesn’t rely on the roof for support. Because of that, the Prefix Roadster package actually cuts weight while most aftermarket convertible conversions add weight. For example, if you have an aftermarket company cut the roof off of your modern Dodge Challenger to create a convertible, you gain weight that reduces performance – while the Medusa Viper weighs less than the factory issue Viper coupe.
The biggest shock with the whole Prefix Viper Roadster package is the price. Starting at $35,000 on top of the price of the SRT Viper donor car, getting into one of these topless supercars will cost you at least $139,480 if you build your Medusa Roadster on the base model Viper. If you opt for the pricier Viper GTS, that price climbs into the range of $160k…so this is something that is going to require a whole lot of commitment from the owner – both in being willing to have someone cut the roof off of their Viper, or in being willing to pay someone $35k to cut up their Mopar supercar.