The latest SRT Viper may be a kinder and gentler version of the car we’ve had a two decades long love affair with. But, just when we were coming to grips with its more refined personality, there’s a new Viper TA, or time attack model, to get to know. And we know that the only way to get fully acquainted was to attack our favorite slice of Georgia asphalt, Savannah’s Roebling Road Raceway.
Spend any time on a race track in the new SRT Viper and you’ll certainly find it capable. But for the Viper owner who puts in more track time than commute time, SRT has got something truly special, the 2014 Viper Time Attack. It’s the answer to the question “how can I make my big ol’ piece of American muscle even more awesome?”
More power would be nice of course, but that doesn’t always help you get around a road course any faster, and the Viper has always had a surplus of that. What you really need are better brakes and a tighter suspension.
And in that vein, the TA is all systems go, with a full retuning and aligning of its track holding parts, along with a carbon fiber X-brace over the engine.
In addition, the Bilstein DampTronic system gets retuned. You won’t find a comfort setting, just settings for street and race, as comfort modes are clearly for the meak.
If late braking is your thing, you’ll also find a friend here as the TA has got some serious binders. Brembo calipers clamping down on 2-piece high thermal capacity rotors quickly brought a halt to our progress, in a good way. Also, good feedback and after three days of hard abuse, no signs of fading.
It all works together to make the track experience unlike any other streetable Viper we’ve driven, as you’re able to feed in more power than ever before coming out of corners. But just when you start to get comfortable and push harder, the TA will give you a little reminder that this is still a Viper and is willing to dance with your driving abilities very quickly. It may be easier to drive fast, but it’s not entirely effortless.
Now, as for that engine. It’s the same 8.4-liter V10 as before, with the same 640-horsepower and 600 lb-ft. of torque. SRT felt no upgrades were necessary, and we firmly agree.
As it still has plenty enough power to get you to 60 in 3.3-seconds. Launch control is available, but you can probably do better once you’ve gotten some experience at modulating the pedals.
Like every other Viper, instant acceleration in a crazy fashion is the order of the day. Every gear shift is accompanied by gobs of power but with a slower than normal ramp up to full throttle as all of that muscle is applied, taking you to the end of the quarter mile in 11.4-seconds and 129 miles-per-hour. The tachometer works as only a reminder of when to shift, as there’s equal amounts of power through the full spectrum.
The 6-speed manual’s shifter throws are longish, but still decent and very precise. The clutch has a great amount of feel, and pedals are tightly spaced. Great for heel and toeing, not so great for ¼ mile fury.
And with all of those track worthy updates, it is slightly less suited for street duty, but such is life. It’s a compromise we were okay with and if this car at all appeals to you, we’re betting you will be too.
Inside, you know you’re in something special, the moment you park your posterior in the ballistic cloth seats with orange stitching.
Comfort features are few, as this is a place for conducting business. Everything you need is within easy reach; and while there is adequate room to get your work done, there’s not much to spare.
Everyone else will know you’re in something special as well, with the addition of an aero package that includes carbon fiber splitter and spoiler.
All the ground sucking add-ons are fully functional, providing 7-times more down force. They just happen to look menacing as well. And we’re okay with that, too.
If you really want to attract a crowd, opt for our test car’s TA orange paint, but act fast as numbers are limited to just 93.
And now for the best news of all, it won’t cost you a whole lot more money as when adding the Time Attack Package to a standard Viper, pricing is actually less than that of the GTS, at $120,480. So, you can opt for the luxury of the GTS or the awesomeness of the Time Attack
There’s no questioning where our money would go. We’ll drop our coin on the 2014 SRT Viper Time Attack, hit some track days and call it a day. This is truly big boy stuff.
Engine: 8.4-liter V10
Torque: 600 lb-ft.
1/4 mile: 11.4 seconds @ 129 mph