This weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans is a special one for U.S. fans, as it marks the Viper’s return to the world’s most famous endurance race. In 1998, 1999 and 2000, the Viper GTS-R won its class at Le Mans, so the bar is set at the highest possible point for the its return to the French classic.
U.S. fans will no doubt keep their fingers crossed for the GTS-R this weekend, and I'm sure most of them will wonder what it’s like to drive such a beast. Well, the closest thing to driving the GTS-R is this, the SRT Viper GT3-R.
A direct descendent of the GTS-R (see video below) campaigned by SRT Motorsports in the LM GTE Pro Class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the car was designed and developed by Chrysler Group’s SRT (Street and Racing Technology) Motorsports team together with Riley Technologies.
Chrysler says the technology developed for the factory GTS-R for engine, chassis, suspension, electronics and aerodynamics is incorporated into every Viper GT3-R. The car features an aerodynamic package, Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission with paddle shifters, six-piston front brake calipers with four-piston rears, lightweight wheels and a multi-disc race clutch.
Under the hood, the Viper GT3-R has an upgraded version of the 8.3-liter V10 engine that pushes 680 horsepower and 640 lb-ft (868 Nm) of torque. The SRT Viper GT3-R is available for purchase for $459,000 (€348,400), but gentleman racers who have that kind of money to spend on a racecar will have to wait until late 2013 for their orders to be delivered.
By Dan Mihalascu