Prices for the new SRT Viper (it's not badged as a Dodge any more) have been announced in the US. Get ready to be green with envy towards Stateside petrolheads - the 2013 Viper has a US base price of 'just' $97,395.
In English pounds sterling, a new Viper - plus its $1995 'destination charge' - comes in at £62k. That's around the same you'd pay in the UK for a well-specced BMW M3, and the Viper has rather more poke than the BMW...
So how much Viper do you get for $99k?
Quite a lot, it's fair to say. Forget the 4.0-litre, 414bhp V8 that lives behind the nose of the M3. The 2013 SRT Viper boasts a whopping 8.4-litre V10, good for 640bhp and 600lb ft. That latter figure is a new world record for a normally aspirated road car engine, says Chrysler; 600lb ft of twist is nearly 100 more more than a V12 Lamborghini Aventador, for heaven's sake.
Official performance figures have been kept quiet so far, but given that the Viper gets launch control on its six-speed manual transmission and wears 355-section rubber on the driven rears, 60mph in less than 4 seconds and over 200mph flat out is certainly on the cards.
What's the shape of the 2013 SRT Viper's model range?
You can have your Viper specced as either a standard $99k car, or for $122,390 there's the GTS model. Opt for the GTS and you get dual-mode Bilstein suspension to enhance on-track performance, plus more soundproofing, and 'premium interior materials'. It's all in the interests of making the Viper a more credible GT car, rather than a balls-out widowmaker.
The cabin itself is a big step-up over previous Vipers. Leather covers almost every surface, and the bucket seats are made by Sabelt, suppliers to Ferrari. Sat-nav and cruise control are also available for the first time in the SRT flagship, but with Ferrari Enzo-baiting power it'd be a brave soul who accused the Viper of going soft. And to think - Americans are getting all this for Cayman R money!
Right then: 640bhp for £62k - I want one!
It's left-hand drive only, so get yourself Stateside pronto - at $15,000 less than a 631bhp Corvette ZR1 demand for the new Viper is set to be pretty high.
In fact, we should be glad the new Viper exists at all. In the midst of the 2009 US auto industry crisis it looked as though cash-strapped GM would be forced to sell off the SRT and Viper crown jewels to cut costs, espeically as it didn't seem possible that a V10 coupe could be made compliable with increasingly tricky emissions and economy regulations.
Had it not been for Sergio Marchionne's Fiat buyout coming to the rescue and shoring up Chrysler, the world would have likely been denied a 640bhp striped supercar.
>> Should Dodge make the bargain SRT Viper an official UK import? And can this far more advanced new car challenge the European supercar elite? Sound off your opinions in the comments below...