2013 SRT Viper Priced, Ford FF Racer Could Offer Alternative

2013 SRT Viper

There are two ways to build thrilling performance-wielding sports cars:

1. Go big, powerful and fast.

2. Go light, turbocharged and fast.

In the first category, we have cars like the Corvette and Viper. The second category has been limited to cars from Lotus and, even more obscure, Ariel.

Typically the American automakers prefer category 1, but Ford may dive into category 2 with a competitor to the Ariel Atom. That news comes as Chrysler has announced pricing on the new SRT Viper.

Two vastly different ideas for cars with a common purpose: speed.

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2013 Viper Typifies What’s Wrong with American Carmakers

There’s a piece in CNNMoney about how Chrysler was going to kill the Viper, but Ralph Gilles, Chrysler’s SRT boss, impressed Sergio Marchionne with a business case for it.

Exactly how the 2013 Viper is supposed to make money hasn’t been revealed. But in the summer of 2010, the car was approved for production. For a rough beast that some had called the “Dodge Corvette,” the new Viper seems a solid improvement.

But with all its new-found power (640 hp V10, 600 lb-ft of torque, no turbo, manual only) and refinements, the Viper still looks like it’s going to break in the middle. From the firewall forward, it’s a different car, and the whole thing still has the look of a kit car. There are a bunch of pix here from the New York Auto Show.

In a way, by adding stability and traction control plus more creature comforts, Chrysler made it less different from the competition, which, for many Viper fans, means less cool.

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