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[MUSIC PLAYING] MIKE SPINELLI: Hey, welcome to Road Testament I’m Mike Spinelli, this is Leo Parente and we’re talking about the Dodge Viper today which would have had its 20th anniversary in model years this year if it were still in production LEO PARENTE: It’s been around that long and the new one’s coming, right? MIKE SPINELLI: Yes We’re going to see the 2013 Viper next week in the New York Auto Show So we’re going to go back through the Viper history and take a look at what we think is coming and what a lot of reporters have said is coming LEO PARENTE: And frankly, why does it matter? Ooh MIKE SPINELLI: Oh, ouch Ouch But first hit us up on that @drive on Twitter and you’ve already done that and let us know what you think about the Viper because we’re going to go to some viewer Viper opinions in a second LEO PARENTE: So some people already gave us opinions MIKE SPINELLI: Yes they did LEO PARENTE: You asked for their opinion? MIKE SPINELLI: I did And I just want to mention that I’m not endorsing STP, it’s just that I got hot sauce on my shirt this morning so I had to go with the faux, what do you call, faux– LEO PARENTE: The Andy Granatelli look MIKE SPINELLI: Vintage Andy Granatelli look OK so first from Kyle Leclair This is about the Viper These are the pros We actually split this up into pro-Viper and anti-Viper LEO PARENTE: Anti Viper MIKE SPINELLI: So the pro Viper Kyle Leclair says he loves it “It’s raw and unapologetic The new one will have more driver’s aids, sure, but I bet it keeps its character intact.” And that’s true We’ll be talking about the new traction control and all that stuff LEO PARENTE: And I’ll be asking you questions about what the personality and character of a Viper should be MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly LEO PARENTE: So keep going MIKE SPINELLI: Next, Jonathan, “love the viper, we need more cars like it Just like hair metal, excessive and fun.” LEO PARENTE: I can see a trend here MIKE SPINELLI: Yes Also Lardman or Jaeryl says, “I love it personally The name suits how deadly it can be in the right hands.” And that’s very true “ACR lap around the ring, for instance.” ACR did what, 712 or something? LEO PARENTE: Pretty low time One of the leadership laps And a guy named Lardman is talking about naming, really? MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly Also Robert Barnes, “Like it, but costs way too much for what you get.” This is the cons, now “Apart from exclusivity.” Yeah, you’re paying for a little exclusivity, you’re also paying for that Viper mystique you were talking about LEO PARENTE: Hey Robert, I have a Cobalt SS for you, OK? MIKE SPINELLI: Oh, ouch Also Nicholas de Brywne says, “Being not of the US,” and this is important because the Viper doesn’t get a lot of love outside the States “I’ve never much liked the Viper past the first one I think it needs an overhaul to keep up with competition.” That kind of feeds into the whole new traction control and whatever they’re going to do with it LEO PARENTE: Yeah, but wasn’t Viper when it raced a Le Mans winner and raced internationally and had a presence? So I’m not buying into this MIKE SPINELLI: And I agree And we’ll talk about that a little bit more in a second “It’s like a Shelby Cobra,” says Pierre Belliveau, a longtime viewer, “but without all the reasons why I’d want a Shelby Cobra.” And the interesting thing about that is is he saying that it’s not sexy enough or there’s something missing A Shelby Cobra has a kind of x factor that the Viper doesn’t have LEO PARENTE: That’s too convoluted for me And maybe– MIKE SPINELLI: Let’s just, move on right through there and go right to speaking of the Shelby Cobra, Carroll Shelby here sitting on top of one of the first production Vipers that we actually saw as the pace car for the 1991 Indy 500 Interesting story, the original pace car was supposed to be Dodge Stealth RT, but some people objected because that’s a Japanese-made car, American race LEO PARENTE: Some people MIKE SPINELLI: I don’t know what people What people? LEO PARENTE: But whatever MIKE SPINELLI: Certain people LEO PARENTE: So anyway I’m insulted with that picture because you don’t sit on cars MIKE SPINELLI: Right But by the way, back then, just speaking of Carroll Shelby, Carroll Shelby did have a connection with Dodge back then Moved away from Ford for awhile, did some stuff with Dodge, was around when the Viper came around I don’t know if he did a whole lot of actual development work LEO PARENTE: I don’t think he was involved with the Viper in a big way MIKE SPINELLI: Right But first let’s go with the history– LEO PARENTE: But he’s a hell of a pace car driver MIKE SPINELLI: Absolutely LEO PARENTE: Actually he was a hell of a racer MIKE SPINELLI: He was a hell of a racer LEO PARENTE: What’s this one? MIKE SPINELLI: This is one of the first prototypes, the VM-01 Viper prototype This, now you know the Viper as a car with a V10 Back then it had the mopar, the Chrysler 360 QV8 LEO PARENTE: V8 MIKE SPINELLI: Right, LEO PARENTE: But as a concept, as a development car, or was that the plan? MIKE SPINELLI: Well I think they were sort of throwing things around Now development started in 1987 LEO PARENTE: Wow MIKE SPINELLI: So into the ’80s I think people were starting to kind of get tired of slow cars and just dealing with fuel economy LEO PARENTE: Wait a minute, wasn’t this a Bob Lutz let’s perk up the brand initiative? MIKE SPINELLI: Bob Lutz LEO PARENTE: Bob Lutz MIKE SPINELLI: Right So Bob Lutz, this was his Chrysler period LEO PARENTE: His Chrysler period MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly So this was one of the first major

prototypes that they did The second one, this is the VM-02, I believe This is when they had gone to V10 And don’t forget, Chrysler owned Lamborghini at that point So they took their truck V10 and Lamborghini helped them do a couple of things, crankshaft balancing Also helped them figure out how to cast the block in aluminum instead of iron LEO PARENTE: So the rumor is true It really was a truck motor But wasn’t it a V8 that they stretched to a 10 cylinder? MIKE SPINELLI: I think it was based on the 360 which was a truck motor LEO PARENTE: But you can’t call it a truck motor because like you just said, aluminum casting, Lamborghini technology MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly LEO PARENTE: Lamborghini was running V12s and F1 around this time MIKE SPINELLI: Right so– LEO PARENTE: Yay, Chrysler MIKE SPINELLI: They did get some help from Lamborghini Lamborghini didn’t build it– LEO PARENTE: By the way, that engine sucked, but MIKE SPINELLI: Oh my LEO PARENTE: It did It didn’t win a damn thing Anyway, and by the way, they’ve locked in the shape MIKE SPINELLI: Right, exactly So if you can see, you see where the shape was coming from some of the early drawings You can go one more So this is the first concept that– LEO PARENTE: I remember seeing this at the show MIKE SPINELLI: 1989 in Detroit Auto Show LEO PARENTE: It was big It’s big It’s a big car MIKE SPINELLI: It’s big It’s got a hell of a presence And that was the thing I can’t really stress enough what impact the Viper had when it came out in 1989 LEO PARENTE: Oh please try MIKE SPINELLI: [BLEEP] face Anyway– LEO PARENTE: By the way, do you see the side mirrors in this concept That was cool MIKE SPINELLI: It was cool I mean, the concept But the car was so– LEO PARENTE: And at the time it was so far ahead MIKE SPINELLI: It was so far ahead It was so amazing to see a car with curves again LEO PARENTE: Curs? MIKE SPINELLI: Curves Curves You’re racing stuff LEO PARENTE: Yeah whatever MIKE SPINELLI: The giant wheels, what was it, 335s in the back I mean that doesn’t seem like a lot now with modern supercars LEO PARENTE: They didn’t make it all the way to production, but the whole vibe was set in stone MIKE SPINELLI: I mean it was steam roller tires Giant– LEO PARENTE: And it was a big deal that the car, from production to concept, or the other way around, really didn’t shift that much MIKE SPINELLI: Right, right Also, interestingly, very short wheelbase Here’s the rear I mean look, when people saw this in 1989 Detroit they just flipped out They just did because like there was nothing else like this LEO PARENTE: Right MIKE SPINELLI: There’s the motor LEO PARENTE: Overhead valve MIKE SPINELLI: Yep LEO PARENTE: V10 MIKE SPINELLI: Yep Push rods LEO PARENTE: Manufactured headers Cool MIKE SPINELLI: Cool I mean cool You know, ultimately a very cool motor LEO PARENTE: Fuel injection All the runners here MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly So– LEO PARENTE: Made a noise MIKE SPINELLI: It made a noise like a UPS truck As, I think it was, was it Road and Track called it a UPS truck or something? LEO PARENTE: I don’t read that crap MIKE SPINELLI: And then at low revs it was a UPS truck at high revs it was God’s own dust buster I believe LEO PARENTE: I don’t read that stuff I watch Drive Here on YouTube @drive MIKE SPINELLI: And then we get to the production car So there you go There’s the RT10 LEO PARENTE: And this really was the side exhaust MIKE SPINELLI: Right, it was the side exhaust LEO PARENTE: Be careful, you’re going to burn yourself, side exhaust MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly, be careful So the V10 we didn’t mention 8 liter LEO PARENTE: Eight flat or eight point something? MIKE SPINELLI: Eight flat originally LEO PARENTE: OK, go ahead MIKE SPINELLI: Originally 400 horsepower Six speed manual 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds LEO PARENTE: Quick Quick now Quick then MIKE SPINELLI: And quick as hell for 1992 when this finally came out So saw the concept in 1989 It ran Indy in ’91– LEO PARENTE: As a pace car MIKE SPINELLI: As a pace car Came out in the end of the year as a 1992 model and there it is LEO PARENTE: They always show it in red MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly And then, the next generation– LEO PARENTE: Yes It’s not that Daytona– MIKE SPINELLI: It’s not this one, but they took the cues from the Daytona coup And built the– LEO PARENTE: Let’s see if you can give me the right picture and I’ll explain why in a minute So show me the coup picture Perfect Because they did, they ripped off the Daytona– MIKE SPINELLI: Yes, exactly Yeah, so the blue with the graphics And that’s the Viper GTS Also improved it LEO PARENTE: Shelby was still around so it was like– MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah it was kind of like we’ve got our old boy around and he’s– LEO PARENTE: And not a big FU to Ford Trust me it had nothing to do with that MIKE SPINELLI: It was nothing to do with that Up to 450 horsepower at this point 0 to 60 in 4.0 at this point LEO PARENTE: 4.0? MIKE SPINELLI: Yes, so it dropped LEO PARENTE: And by the way, I’m going to go on record right now, I think it’s freaking ugly I hate the chrome wheels, but it was a Viper and people like Vipers MIKE SPINELLI: In 1996 it was pretty badass But I mean– LEO PARENTE: Eh, But I like what they did on the track MIKE SPINELLI: Well I think, you know the double bubble roof I think that it just became more usable for the average buyer at that point I think that by this time it had gone– LEO PARENTE: I actually suggest, and I don’t know the fact here, I think they built this thing to get into racing and to start the [INAUDIBLE] process so it can run G2– MIKE SPINELLI: There you go LEO PARENTE: Racing MIKE SPINELLI: Perfect Also went from being a $56,000, $57,000 car to being like an $80,000 LEO PARENTE: That’s a lot of money for raw and unapologetic in this time MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly Raw and unapologetic like hair metal LEO PARENTE: Yes, which you know of MIKE SPINELLI: Right And then in 1999 they put out the ACR which was a little bit

more, it was a little lighter, a little quicker I mean just a little bit more horsepower LEO PARENTE: Sure Actually this, I think was the homologation car Because those really aren’t BBS but they gave it the look MIKE SPINELLI: I thought they were BBS Do you have Inside Track? LEO PARENTE: What I read said– no I don’t read that either What I read says they were not BBS and they had to [INAUDIBLE] and they built 100 of them MIKE SPINELLI: Coney shocks And so it was a little bit lighter than the other LEO PARENTE: And they were quick cars MIKE SPINELLI: They were quick All right, so after the ACR and then we get into the new generation So now we’re in the ZB, I believe LEO PARENTE: Yup MIKE SPINELLI: The ZB generation So you can see the refinement creeping in LEO PARENTE: By the way, not to lose your train of thought, but it was the first generation that they raced When they went to this generation they really stopped racing it as a factory effort, even as a private team effort I mean, I know there were a couple of cars around, but they were just horrible MIKE SPINELLI: Right LEO PARENTE: But the racing heritage was developed in the first generation car MIKE SPINELLI: Right And this is when it went to 8.3 liter So we you start moving into the 2013, refinement is going to be, I think, a pretty big part of what the new car is going to be And competitive And, by the way, by refined I mean it’s also competitive with the cars out there like the SLS and the stuff in its category now LEO PARENTE: That will be interesting because I’m thinking about those first viewer comments you wrote about raw and unapologetic So what is a Viper? MIKE SPINELLI: Well let’s move on All right, so this is the last gen, this would be the 2008, I believe LEO PARENTE: That’s attractive That is attractive More aggressive on the– MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, Yeah I mean– LEO PARENTE: But it’s still the same body we just saw MIKE SPINELLI: Right, basically the same body, a couple of differences And I think by then– LEO PARENTE: It kept getting faster and faster, right? MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, yeah, yeah, by then, I mean I think they were up to like 600 horsepower at this point 0 to 60 in under four seconds But much easier to drive LEO PARENTE: Is this a Corvette competitor? Is that what it’s all about or something more? MIKE SPINELLI: It’s a lot more expensive than a Corvette It’s actually probably, what a Corvette Z06 ZR1 competitor? I mean it was always more expensive I mean, this is $100,000 car basically, at this point LEO PARENTE: Got it MIKE SPINELLI: And then we get the ACR which is just absolutely devastating And this is a car that did the 7 minute 12 second [INAUDIBLE] lap LEO PARENTE: Well now it’s God’s gift to cars MIKE SPINELLI: I mean, it is really the fastest true production car I mean, yes, the car, like the Gunpard Apollo, and what was it, the Ultima What was the car that– the Radical, sorry The Radical, which is now the quickest car I mean, yeah it’s a production car, but it has like a 45 minute startup time I love the [INAUDIBLE] but I’m so over these lap time things MIKE SPINELLI: I know So it’s not your favorite thing to talk about LEO PARENTE: I think it’s an incredible car He’s a really fast car It’s got all sorts of adjustability It’s a quick race car Ralph Jill, MIKE SPINELLI: Jills LEO PARENTE: Jills loves this car He races it They’ve got a whole ACR series MIKE SPINELLI: Well here’s the thing I mean, it is an amazingly capable car in the right hands And the problem is now there are a lot of amazingly capable cars that almost anybody can drive to the limit and not die, unlike this car So now the next Viper has to compete with cars that have the kinds of traction control and stability control technologies that keep people safe and let them tail out a little bit without actually killing them LEO PARENTE: Well I’m going to feed in my opinion here Why does the car, if Viper is raw, why does it have to compete with refinement? Is it a legal reason, or is it because everyone else is doing it? MIKE SPINELLI: You know what, that’s a strong point I don’t know I mean I think if you have to keep up with the technology You have to make a compelling technology package LEO PARENTE: Well legally they’ve got to put traction control or some type of stability control I don’t know MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah I know what the law is LEO PARENTE: They’ve got to put something in And that’s going to take away a little bit of that visceral thing But I bet you you can turn it off My question becomes, is it going to become a car that’s chasing a refined Ferrari type driving mentality? And I mentioned Ferrari on purpose with the heritage of this thing And Ralph talking about how Ferrari technology, engineering, and materials are going to be kind of inflicted into this new car MIKE SPINELLI: I don’t know LEO PARENTE: Or should it stay rough and raw? And be American MIKE SPINELLI: Well let’s talk about the new car then LEO PARENTE: I’d love to MIKE SPINELLI: See what we know LEO PARENTE: That was a long ride, by the way MIKE SPINELLI: By the way, just one more thing, that’s the ACRX that’s the cup car version LEO PARENTE: That’s the one with the race tires and the full trick MIKE SPINELLI: Full trick, everything OK, cool Let’s keep going So this is the, we’re going to talk about the new car What do we know about the 2013 Dodge Viper right now? So next week we’re going to get our first look at it ahead of the Detroit, around the same time as the New York auto show So that’s going to be cool LEO PARENTE: You’ve got some teaser stuff in here though, right? MIKE SPINELLI: I’ve got a little bit of teaser stuff LEO PARENTE: Because stuff has leaked out MIKE SPINELLI: All right, so this is what, this is the latest teaser shot from the front LEO PARENTE: Hey, it’s the same Viper MIKE SPINELLI: What do you mean? LEO PARENTE: Front circle, double bubble, headlights, logo MIKE SPINELLI: I mean, you call those things Viper–

LEO PARENTE: Ish MIKE SPINELLI: Well they’re the things that make a Viper a Viper LEO PARENTE: OK Well there you go MIKE SPINELLI: All right, well– LEO PARENTE: So good So it’s staying true MIKE SPINELLI: Let’s continue The internet went nuts over this because this was the Hot Wheels version that shows a little bit of what the– LEO PARENTE: So this is the 2013 Viper according to Hot Wheels? MIKE SPINELLI: According to Hot Wheels LEO PARENTE: I’m, um, it doesn’t look that different MIKE SPINELLI: It doesn’t look a whole lot different So this is– LEO PARENTE: Well there you go, now I can clearly see what we’ve achieved MIKE SPINELLI: So this, this was the original, pixelated because the picture was like this big No, I did this on purpose, right? So this was– LEO PARENTE: Oh MIKE SPINELLI: Yeah, exactly So Auto Blog– LEO PARENTE: I thought I was freaking going blind MIKE SPINELLI: An Auto Blog reader did this, and we’ll put up the annotation so you can go right to the site LEO PARENTE: OK, so spirit of the Viper MIKE SPINELLI: So spirit of Viper LEO PARENTE: I’ve read it’s got a more aggressive headlight treatment I read that these snorkels are a little different Actually I think you might have a rendering that shows they’re more air exits, which is logical The nose, aerodynamics But still that whole Viper look with the big tires, big wheels, big nose because it’s got the V10 MIKE SPINELLI: Right LEO PARENTE: And you better love Viper Hey there it is MIKE SPINELLI: All right so let’s talk about the– LEO PARENTE: There’s the motor MIKE SPINELLI: You’re talking about the motor Right, so, they’re talking about– this is an interesting thing because as more information was leaking out about the new car there was talk that it was going to go with a hemi-V8 and then after that dealers had seen it and then other things started leaking out that they were yes going to go with the V10 But it was going to have some of Fiat’s technology It wasn’t going to have Ferrari technology or wasn’t going to have the Ferrari Maserati connection, but it was going to have Fiat’s multi-air system LEO PARENTE: Basically multi-air is an assist to the cam driven valves to make the engine more powerful, 10% more powerful And more efficient during part throttle and start up So it’s Fiat’s way of doing what BMW does fully electronically to control valves during those moments where our engine’s not really efficient MIKE SPINELLI: Right, to keep the unburned fuel from sitting around and being inefficient LEO PARENTE: And Fiat does it with an electronic electric solenoid running a hydraulic whatever that pushes the valve away from the cam during part throttle and start up Which I guess closes it early MIKE SPINELLI: So it can decouple from the cam so that the computer can take over and do the fine tuning adjustments during commercial throttles LEO PARENTE: And the obvious, obvious thing here is to make a V10 be more fuel efficient so no one freaks out and either A, doesn’t buy a V10, or buys it and keeps stopping at the gas station every third shift MIKE SPINELLI: Right, exactly So– LEO PARENTE: By the way, this engine is not in the Viper Where is this engine? MIKE SPINELLI: This engine is actually in the drag pack– LEO PARENTE: Challenger MIKE SPINELLI: The Challenger drag pack edition LEO PARENTE: And to me that’s the strongest rumor why the V10 is going to be in the Viper because they kept this engine alive This is 512 cubic inches, 8.4 liter MIKE SPINELLI: 8.4 liter LEO PARENTE: 620 horsepower without the multimatic MIKE SPINELLI: Yep, with 700 horsepower, they’re talking about No wait a minute, this is the rumor By the way, this also falls in the rumor mill Some rumors have said 700 horsepower for the new car LEO PARENTE: Well you’ve got Mustang at what, a bazillion? MIKE SPINELLI: Mustang is a little below a bazillion LEO PARENTE: You’ve got CR1 at 6 and plus MIKE SPINELLI: I know, I mean Lamborghini doing sevens Everyone’s in a sevens now Well not everyone, but sevens are the next six LEO PARENTE: By the way, never go into a Detroit bar with the auto executives because they just slap their– on the table in the form of quoting horsepower MIKE SPINELLI: Exactly So we should sort of parlay, or not parlay, what is it, segue from this into racing because this is your field LEO PARENTE: Ok, so let me go on record You know Viper may be raw and unapologetic, but the original Viper also had this very strong racing heritage Chrysler hired companies like Reynard, chassis builder and racing, ORAC, who is now running the Toyota ts030 program and builds their own racing chassis And they went out and raced Viper internationally and won just about everything They won Daytona overall one year They won Le Mans 24 They won the [INAUDIBLE] 24 three years with the Viper And it was a statement car at that time Why did I ask you to put this picture of this 1970s Dodge Daytona NASCAR? Because this car, at that time, was a leap forward statement car for Dodge or whatever it was And my fear is that this new Viper is just going to be a continuation of the same old Viper where I’m craving this Viper to be a leap forward statement car for this whole SRT thing The reason why I picked this picture is because this is allegedly a mold for the nose of the car But what fascinated me, this is the cut out space for, I

think they’re called Aerocatch, the racing body fasteners And I am loving the moment where I’m going to show Ralph this picture and ask him is there a racing Viper in the future or not? The rumor is that there is a program The rumor is that Riley, the chassis company that does a lot of grand am cars is working on the racing version I know ALMS would love to have this car You’ve got to believe that someone like Marchione would love to go back to Le Mans But I wonder if it’s going to be a little bit of Grand-Am end or whatever MIKE SPINELLI: I think it would be a perfect vehicle, at least from a marketing stance, to bring a Viper back as part of a Fiat Chrysler joint plan back to Le Mans It’s the Grand-Am thing that I’m not sold on, but I you have the inside track a little bit more LEO PARENTE: I don’t have an inside track other than logic Dodge is in a place where they want to still be friends with NASCAR They need that help NASCAR always put the thumb on their manufacture partners to support Grand-Am It’s easier to do a Grand-Am car than it is a full blown ALMS or Le Mans car MIKE SPINELLI: Right, and also Viper has some heritage in Le Mans LEO PARENTE: There we go That was one of the ORICs One of the last ones branded Chrysler This was just before ORIC, Reynard, and Chrysler got together to try and do an LMP car It was a massive failure But this thing was winning Le Mans, winning GT championships in Europe MIKE SPINELLI: So can Chrysler bring back the Le Mans mojo? LEO PARENTE: How about the question is should they? MIKE SPINELLI: Good point Should they? Hit us up on @drive on Twitter LEO PARENTE: As if, if people don’t know by now MIKE SPINELLI: And next week you’re going to see the new Viper So it’s not going to be like you have to wait a really long time It’s like next– LEO PARENTE: I’ve got my interview request in I mean we may be going according to height, but I’m going try to have that conversation we had with Ralph once before and see if we can get closer to where this car really is going to be in terms of its ethic and its whole performance and racing vibe MIKE SPINELLI: And by the way, should, mention that they’re really, really concerned with loyalty So they’re giving the Viper club guys first dibs on the new car, which I think is actually very cool because people have shown the loyalty to the Viper Because, we haven’t talked about it a lot, but there was a lot of Viper hate Specifically because a lot of people see it as that kind of brash American low-tech super car LEO PARENTE: That’s me MIKE SPINELLI: Speaking of brash American low-tech super cars Leo Parente, I’m Mike Spinelli Thanks for hanging out with us We’ll see you next week [MUSIC PLAYING]

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