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by Jay Traugott
America's supercar has returned to us better than ever - and now it has that iconic paint job.
We should consider ourselves lucky to witness this. During the darkest days of Chrysler's bankruptcy it seemed as if the once great American automaker was on the brink of closing its doors forever. In what many have described as an automotive industry miracle, Chrysler is booming again today thanks to a little help from a company called Fiat (and the US government, but let's not get into that argument today). No, today is a reason to set any aside political differences and celebrate.
Chrysler's SRT division has released the first bit of details and photos of the new 2013 Viper GTS Launch Edition ahead of its live debut at Pebble Beach. The most striking feature, as you can expect, is the iconic GTS blue exterior complete with the dual white stripes, styling that dates back to the previous Viper coupe debuts in 1996 and 2006. The "Stryker" hood badge also has a unique blue background. The exterior is rounded off with a set of five-spoke polished forged-aluminum wheels that are also reminiscent of what was on those earlier models. The fifth-generation of America's supercar was "designed with Viper loyalists in mind", says SRT chief Ralph Gilles.
"Our American-built supercar showcases the very best we have to offer by incorporating superior craftsmanship, the finest materials, a host of new technologies and ergonomic improvements while respecting its focus on outright performance." This man and his team deserve gold medals. Just like the so-called "standard" 2013 Viper, the GTS Launch Edition is powered by an all-aluminum 8.4-liter V-10 with 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. The GTS's exclusive interior features a serialized dash plaque that helps to further improve the car's collectability by aligning the build sequence number to the vehicle identification number.
Also included is Black Laguna leather with contrast stitching that covers the seats, door trim, instrument panel, steering wheel, grab handle, shift knob and the center console. The world-class interior is finished off with Alcantara covering the headliner and white bezels finished in Satin Silver. Production, as expected, will be very limited at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan. Pricing wasn't announced nor was an on sale date. So it's time to forget the past and look ahead to the future of Chrysler and its one and only SRT Viper - a true example of Detroit pride.