The Viper has always scared the hell out of me.
My aversion to the famed American sports car has nothing to do with its immensely powerful ten-cylinder engine or its Matchbox-like styling – those attributes are genuinely captivating. Instead, I have found little to like in a vehicle that is brash, coarse, uncivilized and untrustworthy at the limit. Rather than unload a slew of bitter complaints directed at each of its previous four generations, let’s just say that the Viper has always represented the automotive equivalent of barbarous mechanical mayhem.
That is, until now.
After a three-year absence, an all-new Viper debuted at the 2012 New York Auto Show. No longer under the Dodge umbrella, Chrysler’s supercar returned wearing the new performance-oriented SRT (Street and Racing Technology) brand label. Despite its familiar shape and engine configuration, the completely redesigned coupe promised not only more power but better handling, superior craftsmanship, innovative technology and a world-class cabin.