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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 New York Auto Show in New York City.
Dodge SRT Viper

What is it? Arguably, one of the biggest splashes made at this year’s show was the unveiling of the next-generation Viper. Accompanied by a haltingly loud race version of the new car, proudly signaling the brand’s return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in 2012.

Expect this Viper to attain breathtaking velocities since it will be powered by an all-aluminum, 8.4-liter V10. Output is an estimated 640 horsepower (eking out the top-level Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 by a measly 2 hp). The company also claims 600 lb.-ft. of torque – “the most torque of any naturally aspirated sports car engine in the world.” A six-speed manual is standard.

SRT also said that the Viper will be considerably lighter than the last model; our tested GTS coupe weighed 3,480 lbs.

Two versions will be offered: the “base” Viper and the more upscale Viper GTS. Handling may be improved with the new car’s chassis, which is said to have a 50-percent greater torsional stiffness than its predecessor.

And for the first time, the Viper will come with standard electronic stability control.

The interior will also be more upscale – something the last car lacked. We said our GTS’s interior appointments were functional but cheap for an expensive car.

What is new or notable? Even more horsepower than before but now with ESC and a supposedly much nicer interior. The striking styling will again stop traffic.

CR's take: Even with more refinement, the Viper is still a bold, brash, and loud sports car that will still likely be very capable on the track.

When will it be available? 2013.

Consumer Reports New cars: A to Z

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