Call it the battle of the test mules. Only days after a matte-black 2014 Corvette C7 was spotted, images of the next-gen SRT Viper have come roaring into our inbox. The brutish beauty is due to go on sale in 2013, although we'd hoped it might make a cameo during the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. The Viper was a no-show in Motown, yet these spy images show the shape of the next Viper is coming along nicely. A two-year absence does not appear to have dulled the fangs of Chrysler's Corvette hunter.
The proportions of the new Viper are staying true to the original that made its debut back in 1992. A massive hood, side-exit exhaust and steamroller-size tires are all present on this red and white-striped prototype coupe (a roadster version is also in the works). More angular headlights and three large hood openings—a central scoop and pair of large heat-extracting vents—can be spotted peeking out from behind the front camouflage. The grille also looks to be slightly taller than the previous model's. A cross-hair design should dominate, even though the Viper is set to drop the Dodge part of its name and become simply an SRT Viper.
Bring on the ZR1
Under the hood of the Viper is a variation of the 8.4-liter pushrod V-10 used previously, except now it'll pack an additional 50 to 100 horsepower. That could boost the Viper close to 700 bhp, making it a formidable rival to the 638-bhp —and just about anything else with four wheels and an engine. A 6-speed manual transmission will likely be the only gearbox offered.
The Corvette engineering will keep a close eye on the Viper's performance specs, and they're not happy about reports stating that has helped map the Viper's engine for better performance—although that sure sounds like a cool bragging right to us. With the Corvette C7 still under development, Chevy's latest supercharged small-block V-8 could be tuned to at least match the Viper's power output. We're already drooling over the prospect of a 1400-bhp (combined) Viper and Corvette showdown.
That doesn't mean the new 2013 SRT Viper will remain as raw as before. We've had a sneak peek at the interior, and have seen what appear to be buttons for a programmable traction control system. A variety of settings could be offered and, this being a Viper, you can be certain there will be an "off" switch. Everything from electronically controlled dual-mode dampers to a cabin with higher quality materials should make the next Viper vastly more comfortable on a day-to-day basis.