SRT stands for Street and Racing Technology, the performance division of the Chrysler group, which - just like its Mercedes equivalent, AMG - has ambitions of becoming a brand in its own right.
And it has done so by adopting Chrysler's muscle-bound orphan, the V10 Viper, which was all set to be axed, during the global crisis, and here we have the first car to be launched with a SRT badge - the limited-edition 2013 SRT Viper GTS Launch Edition model, which was first shown in public at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Monterey, California.
The new Viper is presented in traditional royal metallic blue with central white stripes, just like the 1996 and 2006 Viper Coupe show cars, on an all-new carbon-fibre and aluminium body that carries familiar Viper styling cues in a smooth new interpretation.
NEW ‘STRYKER’ LOGO
The SRT Viper Launch Edition runs on deep-section five-spoked forged and polished aluminium rims, and carries special 'Stryker' badges on the bonnet and steering wheel featuring blue inlay rather than the grey used on standard Vipers.
The new Stryker logo was named by owners who attended the 2010 Viper Owners Invitational gathering in Salt Lake City. It's the first new emblem for Viper since 2003 and the third incarnation of the Viper logo, following “Sneaky Pete” and “Fang.”
The Launch Edition is trimmed in black leather with contrasting stitching throughout, except for the headliner, which is covered with alcantara synthetic suede, while the white-faced instruments have classic satin silver bezels and there's a numbered plaque on the dashboard.
ONE THING THAT HASN'T CHANGED
The all-aluminIum, mid-front, 8.4-litre V-10 is rated at 472kW and 815 Nm - still the most torque of any naturally aspirated sports car engine in the world.
Standard active safety features include electronic multistage stability control, traction control and a new four-channel antilock brake system.
Sadly, there are no plans to introduce right-hand versions of the Viper, so Chrysler's sports flagship will not be released in South Africa.