DETROIT (ots) - More than a decade after the original
Roadster concept was unveiled and seven years after the debut of the
Coupe concept, the 2000 North American International Auto Show in
Detroit again rattles with excitement. DaimlerChrysler (NYSE: DCX)
today took the wraps off a street-legal, LeMans endurance
race-inspired concept car, the Dodge Viper GTS/R.
"The current Viper GTS-R was created in 1996 in response to
numerous customer requests for an all-out racing version of the GTS
Coupe," said Tom Gale, Executive Vice President - Product Development
"Each limited edition Viper GTS-R is designed and built as a true
competition car. So what if we were to perfect this racer for the
street? The answer is the Viper GTS/R concept."
The Dodge Viper GTS/R concept keeps the spaceframe, aluminum
suspension, 488 cubic inch (8.0-liter) aluminum V-10 engine and
high-performance six-speed manual gearbox now used in the current
Viper, which is the undisputed ultimate American sports car.
Like the race version, the engine now is dry-sumped and delivers
500 horsepower, up 50 from the standard Viper GTS engine. Its torque
is increased to 500 lb.-ft.
Viper GTS/R's one-piece carbon fiber body in Enhanced Viper Red
and interior are redesigned from the ground up -- literally. "The
chassis on the Viper GTS/R is two inches lower to the ground," said
Osamu Shikado, Design Manager and responsible for the concept's
"We also took an inch-and-a-half out between the sill and the
roof, making this concept a significant three-and-a-half inches lower
than the current GTS Coupe. Meanwhile, we added three inches to the
wheelbase and two inches to the track, creating impressive
The Dodge Viper GTS/R concept stays true to Viper's bold, muscular
appearance but adds a contemporary and precise execution. The
exterior design underscores the vehicle's power.
Crisp lines introduce the concept to a longitudinal design,
compared to the sumptuously rounded lines of the current version.
Every detail is redesigned for maximum race-inspired functionality.
Air management is dramatically improved.
A lower hood incorporates a larger grille opening -- boasting an
even bolder version of the Dodge-signature cross-hair design -- and
adds integrated engine louvers and a bigger NACA intake duct.
Brake cooling openings are prominent in the front fascia and rear
fenders. An electronically adjustable front wind-splitter, large rear
air diffuser and massive rear hoop spoiler with cockpit-controlled
wing enhance the Viper GTS/R's down force.
Said Shikado: "We gave the body a strong profile with higher belt
line, dramatic side gill, 'bump-up' rear fender shape and a more
defined side crease. Seen from above, the race-inspired front-to-rear
stripe now is tapered for a more dynamic appearance.
"Both front and rear light units and the driving lights are
reminiscent of snake eyes. Light output is dramatically improved,
just in case the concept needs to participate in an endurance race,"
While the rear wheels were moved three inches backward, the
A-pillar was positioned three inches forward. This allowed for bigger
doors and better ingress and egress.
In making the Dodge Viper GTS/R a more street-ready touring car,
its interior offers the driver and passenger a purposefully
sophisticated atmosphere with driver-focused instrument panel.
"The toggle switches, vertically stacked custom engine gauges and
instrument layout with centered tachometer come straight from the
track," said Ralph Gilles, the concept's interior Design Manager.
"Extensive use of clear-coated raw carbon fiber reinforces the
concept's race background.
"But the GTS/R is more attuned to road use with all the expected
amenities -- including a high-end stereo, air conditioning and
adjustable pedals -- and black leather surfaces where it matters,"
The center stack of the instrument panel is a solid piece of
aluminum with exposed fasteners housing the engine gauges, toggle
switches, the concealed stereo and throttle body-style air vents.
Said Gilles: "The driver should be aware of the Viper GTS/R's
awesome performance at all times, even in a traffic jam. Those
tongue-in-cheek throttle vents play off its raw power."
The Dodge Viper GTS/R concept vehicle not only is a show stopper,
it is road ready. The vehicle is expected to accelerate to 60 mph in
3.8 seconds, run the quarter mile in 11.8 seconds and break the 200
Fourteen-inch ventilated disc brakes with four-piston calipers
all-around and 19-inch wheels with P285/30 ZR Goodyear tires up front
and 20-inch rear wheels with P335/30 ZR tires result in an even more
impressive number: 0-100-0 mph in 13.2 seconds.
"When we entered GT racing with the Viper GTS-R in 1996, we were
instantly successful, defying all criticism," added Gale. "We have
dominated the FIA GT2-Championship since 1997, causing our
competitors to step up their efforts. Obviously we won't rest on our
laurels, and the Dodge Viper GTS/R concept shows the potential we
ots Original Text Service: DaimlerChrysler Corporation
Contact: Sjoerd Dijkstra of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, 248-512-2662
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