The Viper is meant to go fast, and previous generations of Dodge's favorite racer made no apologies for the fact that -- despite the steep price tag -- there was no intention of truly competing with the luxury class. High-end European sedans might be extremely comfortable and also go fast, but the speed was an incidental benefit, a perk rather than a purpose. The Viper, by comparison, was rather coarse -- a notoriously uncomfortable entry prepped driver and passenger for a sparse interior and a rough, loud ride.
For 2013, the Viper has shed the Dodge name, and it's considered a product of the SRT team -- Chrysler's Street & Racing Technology division. (Other vehicles in the SRT family are allowed to keep their Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge nameplates, but the RWD two-seater Viper sits a bit away from the pack.) It's a bold move, for sure. It seems a bit contrary, then, that the Viper's rebirth comes a bit gussied up rather than stripped down.
The Viper features Sabelt racing buckets, which is pretty much the only businesslike part of the cabin. The rest is all luxury -- well, world-class sports car luxury, anyway. An 8.4-inch display screen dominates the dash, controlling the navigation system, Bluetooth interface and stereo (which features 12 or 18 speakers, depending on which audio package is selected). That's a lot of distractions on a racetrack, and that's a lot of speakers for a cabin that's only slightly bigger than the two seats it surrounds. And if that's still a little too raw and unrefined for you, well-heeled drivers can upgrade the interior with selections worthy of a high-end furniture showroom.
Just try to remember: The color or texture of the leather won't matter all that much when you're steering the SRT Viper through turns and using the 6-speed manual gearbox to control the massive 8.4-liter, V-10 engine that cranks out 640-horsepower. But the addition of cruise control and stability control might help ease the transitions between track days.