By Patrick Rall
Last week, our question of the week looked at whether the newly announced 392 cubic inch Hemi in the 2014 Ram HD should have had more power and this week – we shift gears quite a bit as we look at the power output of the 2013 SRT Viper. The Viper is the most powerful production issue, road going Mopar performance car of all time but many Mopar lovers believe that the 2013 Viper should have packed more power when it was introduced.
Prior to being unveiled, rumors suggested that the “new” Viper would have a significant increase in power with numbers climbing as high as 700 horsepower but as we all know – the 2013 SRT Viper has “only” 640 horsepower. This gave the SRT Viper more power than the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 with which it most closely competes but as soon as the first publications began testing the 2013 Viper against the (barely) less powerful Corvette ZR1 with the GM supercar coming out on top – many began questioning whether the new Viper should have had more power to distance itself from the pesky Corvette.
Many Mopar diehards were quick to complain that the 2013 SRT Viper simply didn’t have enough horsepower. Regardless of how much of a jump that the 2013 Viper got compared to the 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10, the fact that the “old” ZR1 has bested the new Viper GTS in any venue shows that perhaps Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology division should have added a little more to give the Viper a defined advantage in any venue. Having been fortunate enough to drive the new Viper on a closed circuit track, I can testify that the Viper is a remarkable piece of American automotive machinery that will happily go toe to toe with any supercar in the world and stand a very real chance of winning but the initial Viper was a car that wouldn’t just compete with its rivals – it would slaughter them. This new Viper is more than competitive with almost every sports car in the world but with “only” 640 horsepower, the Viper doesn’t offer the overpowering experience that its ancestors did in the 1990s.
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