Dodge Viper GTS
Compared to the base model, the Dodge Viper GTS has different wheels and two suspension settings—street and race. And it has a Harman/Kardon stereo, an ultrasuede headliner, red brake calipers, different-color brake ducts, optional interior colors. This is the first time for electronic stability control on Vipers. There are four positions, and you can turn it all the way off.The stability control on this car will make gods out of the drivers. In fact, it’s so subtle and effective that I don’t want to flash a warning light. Drivers don’t need to know how often it’s working. To turn it off completely, you hold the button for five seconds below 25 mph.
The suspension is all independent, with aluminum control arms. The front geometry is pretty much the same, apart from some steering tuning. A half-inch-wider front track. We’ve got new Bilstein shocks; spring rates are up quite a bit; and at the back, there are geometry changes. We altered the toe link because we had so much grip that we were getting some compliance steer. That improved the way the car points, improved its behavior under braking and acceleration. The brakes are the same size, but optional equipment is a cast-iron rotor with an aluminum hub. Matched to lightweight wheels, it takes out about 50 pounds.
The engine has an airbox that feeds directly off that big main hood scoop. Then it leads to our new composite intake manifold, replacing the aluminum version. The approach angle to the ports is improved, and the runners are longer for high-speed tuning. The plenums have better distribution front to back. It’s very smooth on those inner walls compared with the cast aluminum. We got about 20 more lb-ft and 10 hp from the new manifold, and it’s also seven pounds lighter—weight that was previously up high. It doesn’t transfer heat like the aluminum one did. It keeps the charge cooler in stop-and-go driving. The final figures are 640 hp at 6150 rpm, with fuel shut-off at 6400 rpm. And 600 lb-ft of torque at 4950 rpm.