SRT Boss Confirms New Viper Roadster, Says Interior on Par with Porsches and Astons

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Every single previous generation of the Viper was first shown as a roadster, with the coupe models entering the lineup at a later stage. With the new 2013 Viper that dropped the Dodge nameplate and adopted the SRT badge, Chrysler turned the tables around by launching the fixed-top coupe.

Does that mean we will not see a roadster of the new generation model? When Wards Auto popped that question to SRT boss Ralph Gilles at the Chicago Auto Show, he confirmed the development of a brand-new Viper Roadster.

Given that, with the previous iteration of the Viper, it took Chrysler four years to present the Coupe after the open-top model, the publication asked Gilles when does he expect SRT to release the roadster: "We won’t wait that long to begin selling a convertible version of the new Viper," replied Gilles. What this means is that we could see the Viper Roadster within the next couple of years.

The Chrysler executive added that the automaker designed and engineered the Viper to be a convertible from the offset. "Under the skin is a convertible chassis. It’s already there – the stiffness is there. It’s extremely easy should that come, but we’re not in any rush," he said.

The always-talkative Gilles answered a few more questions in relation to the coupe model, in which he revealed that more than 80 percent of the first 800 buyers opted for the more expensive $120,395 GTS version vs the $97,395 base model. Chrysler had forecasted that 70 percent of initial sales would be GTS models.

"I’m very proud we can do the SRT at that price point," he told Wards Auto. "I can’t think of another car on the planet that powerful and fast, capable of 206 mph (332 km/h) and under $100,000."

Gilles also said he doesn't see the new Corvette as a direct rival due to the higher price tag and exclusivity of the Viper, but welcomed its presentation. "Corvette allows Viper to exist, and vice versa. But I think they are very different cars. We are very low volume, race-special, bespoke, more exotic in a way than Corvette is."

SRT's boss also pointed out that he is extremely pleased with the quality of the new Viper's cockpit. "I would put that interior up against anyone in the world," he said. "The fit-and-finish is on par with the very best. I’m including Aston Martin in this, as well as the Porsche 911."

Story References: Wards Auto