SRT has just introduced its latest track oriented TA (Time Attack) package for its V10 Viper halo. In the intensifying war for supercar supremacy, a sports car must win at home before it can fight abroad. In a nutshell, the primary objective of the new SRT Viper TA is to dethrone its countryman, the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.
When MotorTrend received its press SRT Viper last year, the veteran auto publication set off to answer the question on everyone's mind: is the new Viper the new king of the American sports car? MotorTrend pitted the ZR1 and the Viper GTS against one another in a hot lap face-off around the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Pro racing driver Randy Probst acts as the control as he gets behind the wheel of both to compare the performance and abilities of the two monsters.
The 3344 lbs. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 boasts 638 hp and 604 lb. ft. of torque from a supercharged 6.2 liter V8 engine. Challenging the longstanding benchmark with strikingly close specs, the only slightly heavier 3357 lbs. SRT Viper GTS also possesses a slightly higher output of 640 hp and 600 lb.-ft. of torque from a naturally aspirated 8.4 liter V10.
In fact, the figures were so close that Motor Trend logged identical 1/4 mile times of 11.4 seconds at 128 mph during a head-to-head drag race. However, the nuances between the two cars began to surface when MotorTrend brought the duo to Laguna Seca.
Randy Probst posted a blistering time of 1:33.70 around Laguna Seca in the Corvette ZR1. In the SRT Viper, on the other hand, Probst could only manage a 1:35.77. A significant 2 second difference in a minute and a half long track, a dissatisfied SRT CEO Ralph Gilles tweeted, "There is a lot more left in the car. Randy has always struggled with the Viper." Convinced that there's no way the SRT Viper could lose, Gilles was quick to attack Probst's ability to muscle the SRT Viper around the track.
Challenging Gilles, Probst said, "Well, yeah, I've always had a hard time with cars that don't handle well!"
The new SRT Viper TA might just be a car born from Probst's criticism. The new TA features a number of crucial hardware upgrades including a new carbon fiber front lip kit and rear spoiler that improves stability by adding 300 lbs of downforce at 150 mph. Next, SRT throws in a new set of Brembo rotors that are twice as thick as the standard StopTechs.
Beyond mechanical grip and stopping distances, SRT will improve the driving experience by offering two track-oriented suspension modes in the Viper TA. What's more, the suspension system's spring rates and anti-roll bar tuning are specific to the TA package.
Finally, the new SRT Viper TA will weigh 3,332 lbs. 12 pounds less than the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. A total of 33 SRT Viper TA's will be built and sold for 2013. All TA's will be painted in a special bright orange.
Despite the ravamped hardware, will the new Viper TA be capable of taking on the Corvette ZR1? SRT claims the new "snake" will be capable of catapulting from 0-to-60 mph in just 3.3 seconds, edging out the ZR1 by a slim 0.2 seconds. More importantly, SRT sent the Viper back to MotorTrend for another shot. You do not want to miss this.
Be sure to watch MotorTrend's SRT Viper GTS Vs. Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 head-to-head and the new Viper TA around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the videos below: