Dodge Viper SRT-10

Viper Remains True to the Original Mission

Dodge took its directives and built a mission statement for the new car. When Dodge laid out the mission for its new 2003 Viper SRT-10 Convertible, it started with five vision statements:

Build a true convertible version of the original Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster
Refine the original caricature without losing its outrageous design
Raise the benchmark for unmatched performance
Maintain the back-to-basics approach from the original Viper
Preserve the American sports car heritage

The 2003 Viper SRT-10 once again underscores the core philosophies of the Dodge brand by being the ultimate automotive icon for extreme performance and extreme attitude.

"Back in 1992, the purpose was to re-orient what the Dodge brand was all about," said Jim Julow, Vice President - Dodge Motorsports and SRT Marketing. "We had just come out of a lot of years without any significant performance-oriented products. We needed to send a message that we had a new concept - a very historically accurate concept - but one which had not been seen in America for a long time. We wanted to come up with something that was so outrageous, so cutting edge, so purpose built that it said we still had a lot of car nuts around here; people with the know-how to put the most outrageous street car ever on the road.

"The continuation of the Viper allows us to hatch a whole new line of performance cars that go across more vehicle types than just two-door roadsters," continued Julow. "This whole SRT line of vehicles will aspire to be the Viper of their category."

Improving on a Legend

In creating the next chapter of Dodge Viper, the goal was also to enhance its unfiltered blend of performance.

As part of the Dodge Viper's complete redesign, more than 100 changes and improvements have been made to the chassis, brakes, suspension, tires, engine, transmission, cockpit, electronics and more than a dozen body panels.

Yet Viper retains a traditional front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout with a six-speed manual transmission. The commitment was made early on to use a racing-style chassis including fully independent four-wheel suspension, wide tires and wheels for maximum grip and massive brakes for stopping power.

A race-derived two-seat cockpit looks over a highly functional instrument panel with center-mounted tachometer and a 220 mile-per-hour speedometer. A traditional push-button starter reinforces the purposeful layout and race-car inspirations.

A new version of the Viper's four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system, originally introduced for the 2001 model year, is enhanced for this next-generation car.

With a new bored and stroked aluminum engine block that increases the Viper's displacement from 488 to 505 cu. in. and pushes its V-10 power output to 500 horsepower and 525 lb.-ft. of torque, Viper has no equal on the road.

"For a brand like Dodge, maintaining best-in-class performance claims are absolutely the most important thing we can do," said Julow. "As a brand, we must differentiate ourselves based on performance and driveability in creating a true enthusiast car. We need these proof points because frankly, not everyone wants to have a 500-horsepower, two-door convertible. Not everyone necessarily wants to have a turbocharged, manual transmission small car. Not everybody's looking for an aluminum block full-size truck.

But they're looking for a brand that's willing to put a little bit extra into everything it builds, and the proof points for that are the SRT (Street and Racing Technology) line, which pushes the envelope as far as we can."

On the Outside

Serious Wheels