Yes, you read right. Not only has the Viper reclaimed the production car lap record at Laguna Seca, but Dodge brand President & CEO Ralph Gilles says the Viper will continue beyond the 2010 production run!
When a car manufacturer puts the reins in the hands of a real car enthusiast, you can be assured that there will be some exciting product. When you put an absolute gearhead like Canadian Gilles at the helm, you know the line is going for a ride! In case you don’t remember, Gilles has competed at Targa Newfoundland several times including his most recent run in the wicked green Challenger SRT8. This guy is serious about cars and really serious about the Dodge brand.
This is what Gilles has to say about Viper’s future:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to keep DodgeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s performance icon alive and well by not only producing some of the most special Vipers ever built, but weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re also investigating what the next-generation Viper is going to be,Ã¢â‚¬Â added Gilles. Ã¢â‚¬Å“When we have partners across the ocean who are known as the best sports carmakers in the world, the future opportunities are huge.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Of course Gilles had more to say than just that:
For 2010, the Viper SRT10 ACR received a shorter 5th gear ratio to improve top gear acceleration and top speed, a short throw shifter and a massaged rear wing. While these changes may seem small, they are all a direct result of the time the development team spent at the famed Nurburgring. While the Green Hell has become the ultimate spot for breaking world records, we have our fair share of historic tracks too. Back in 2008, pro racer Randy Pobst set a new lap record for production cars in a Viper of 1:35.117 which was beaten by a Devon GTX prototype this past August. The new time to beat was now 1:35.075.
SRT vehicle dynamics engineer Chris Winkler was the man this time, heading out on the tricky Laguna track for only the second time. Changes to the car after it left the production line involved adjusting the ride height and adjusting alignment settings, nothing more. Winkler took a full 1.1 seconds off the record, with a 1:33.915 run.
A 3rd video was shot, narrated by Winkler with some in car footage.
There you have it. Another new lap record for the Viper SRT10 ACR and Ralph Gilles’ word that Viper will live on in the future!