Auto Service World
News   October 11, 2001   by Auto Service World

DaimlerChrysler Taking Orders for “Grassroots” Competition Viper


DaimlerChrysler is now taking orders for its $100,000 U.S. "grassroots" 2003 Dodge Viper Competition Coupe.
The Competition Coupe is not intended to replace the three-time Le Mans GTS Class-winning Viper GTS-R, but rather to be a grassroots-level race car based on the underpinnings of the 2003 Dodge Viper Convertible. The race car, officially unveiled in August, will be sold in very limited numbers, expected to be about 25 each year. Due to the limited availability, purchase applications are being accepted from experienced racers only.
Prospective purchasers are required to show evidence of intent to actually race the car, along with current racing licenses and other information, and provide a certified deposit of $20,000 U.S.
Although the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe’s price tag of under $100,000 U.S. will make it a comparative race car bargain, it is not street legal, and cannot be titled for on-road use.
The Competition Coupe makes extensive use of production pieces, but delivers an extremely high level of performance for the price. A full complement of racing enhancements, including cage, window net, fire- suppression system, six-point restraints, racing slicks, differential cooler and ducted brakes ensure that the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe is track-ready as delivered.
The Viper Competition Coupe will feature a single-seat cockpit with Recaro Pro Racer competition seat, Motec instrumentation and data acquisition system, and driver-adjustable front anti-roll bar. Power comes from a 520 horsepower (est.), 540 lb.-ft. of torque (est.), 505 cu. in. aluminum V-10 engine with six-speed transmission. The car features racing exhaust, a racing fuel cell, lexan rear window and wind tunnel-tuned aerodynamics, including rear wing, front splitter, rear diffuser and partial undertray.
Performance estimates put 0-60 mph acceleration times at 3.8 seconds; 0-100 mph at 9.2 seconds; 0-1/4-mile in 11.8 seconds at 123 mph; top speed 192 mph; 60-0 braking in 90 feet and lateral acceleration of 1.25 g.
“It’s no exaggeration to say customers began lining up the minute we pulled the cover off the new Viper Competition Coupe,” said Jim Julow, vice-president, Dodge Global Brand Center. “We received an immediate response among the Viper owners and grassroots racers. It tells us we do a good job of listening to our customers. When we introduced the new 2003 Viper Convertible, they were the ones who asked for a version that they could race competitively on the weekends.”
Dodge Viper Competition Coupes are being sold to participants in the SCCA Speedvision World Challenge, Grand American Grand-Am Cup Class and the Skip Thomas Viper Racing League. Production begins fourth quarter 2002.


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