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Old 02-14-2013, 03:35 PM   #1
Car&Driver
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Info SRT Viper Convertible Is In the Pipeline, According to Report



It makes sense, of course, that there should be a convertible version of the new-generation SRT Viper. Earlier iterations were launched with open tops, with the hardtop version following thereafter. This time around, SRT’s opening act, so to speak, is the closed model, but SRT boss Ralph Gilles has told WardsAuto*that there will be a convertible version of the new Viper. Considering it took roughly three years to add the SRT10 coupe to the third-generation Viper stable, we could be in for a wait. But, Gilles said, “We won’t wait that long,” telling Wards that he hopes the topless snake will arrive “within a few years.” He then added that, “The car was designed to be a convertible. 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.”
It’s understandable why SRT chose to launch the coupe first with this generation when considering that the previous-gen Viper sales were split 60/40 in favor of the coupe. It also illustrates just how valuable the convertible is to the car’s sales.
Beyond sales, there’s another element behind SRT’s decision to lead off with the coupe, and that will become evident when the Viper race car hits Sebring next month for the first round of the 2013 American Le Mans Series championship. Racing is an important element in Viper history, with GTS-R versions having scored overall wins at Daytona, Spa, and the Nürburgring. Then there are three class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and five FIA GT championships. However, the Chrysler Group’s performance arm has been unable to add anything to the Viper’s trophy case for nearly a half-decade, so one can understand SRT’s desire to get back in racing to underscore the car’s potential. That point is particularly poignant considering the long, strong race record of its crosstown rival, Chevrolet’s Corvette.

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