Under the hood of the Viper you’ll find just one engine, no matter the trim: a 640-horsepower, 600-pound-foot 8.4-liter V-10 beast of an engine driving the rear wheels. It delivers the most torque of any normally aspirated sports car engine in the world, and the performance reflects that: 0-60 mph runs come in the low-three-second range; quarter miles fly by in the low 11s; 0-100-0 mph takes less than 12 seconds; top speed is 206 mph. You can have any transmission you want, as long as it’s the standard six-speed manual.
The supercar game is not all about straight-line performance, however, and the Viper shines when it’s time to turn, too. The latest Viper generation is the first to be equipped with stability and traction control, and fortunately, they’re not the eviscerating systems of old. In fact, even in fully-engaged mode, the system allows for yaw and slip angles suitable to spirited track-day antics.
In 2013, non-GTS models had just two settings for the traction control system: on and off. For 2014, a third mode has been added to improve traction in the rain. GTS models add a pair of intermediary steps (Sport and Track) which further loosen the restrictions. Even with everything fully off, however, the Viper is nearly balanced, transitioning from entry to apex to exit with massive grip and surprising feel through the steering wheel and the seat-bottom. There’s always the threat of the rear coming around when you come onto the gas too hard, but as a training tool, the mortal fear of 600 pound-feet of torque is unmatched.
Differences between the SRT Viper and Viper GTS are primarily in equipment: the GTS gets a two-mode suspension system with Bilstein DampTronic Select dampers and the aforementioned extra stability control parameters. The SRT Viper is the more minimalist take on extreme performance, while the GTS offers an extra degree of luxury and refinement in the cabin as well as its upgraded suspension system and electronic controls.