SRT® Hallmarks: Viper adds convenience without compromise.

When the original Viper made its debut at the 1989 Detroit International Auto Show, GPS technology was military, cell phones were the size of bricks and cassette tapes were still the most popular form of automotive entertainment.
Posted on Nov 09, 2012

When the original Viper made its debut at the 1989 Detroit International Auto Show, GPS technology was military, cell phones were the size of bricks and cassette tapes were still the most popular form of automotive entertainment. Today, Viper drivers come from all worlds. They are highly successful, well-connected men and women who rely on technology as a part of their daily lives.

"Life doesn't stop because they go for a drive, it actually accelerates," said Tome Jovanoski, Lead Designer for the SRT® Viper interior. "Our drivers come from all ages and backgrounds. They can be average people living a dream, to multi-millionaire celebrities and sports stars. We cater to all of them."

Implicit in Jovanoski's comments is the belief that vehicle controls should serve the driver, and not vice versa. "There are a lot of competitors putting technology ahead of the customer. That's not the SRT way. To us, controls should keep drivers informed and connected, and let them make the decisions."

The key to bringing this ethos to life was to embrace LCD technology. "Prior to the new Viper, we devoted a lot of space to traditional gauges, which in turn drove much of the rest of the interior design," said Jovanoski. "This technology helped us simplify."

The result of consolidating multiple functions to a single LCD screen actually unleashes more useful information, communication and entertainment capability while using less space, a true win-win for the SRT Viper.

In practice, the center 8.4" diagonal LCD screen is home to a variety of functions, including all three levels of sound systems, as well as controlling the Uconnect® Media Center, climate control system and navigation system. Everything is managed through intuitive touch screen commands, or through voice command, which helps the driver maintain focus on the road, track or both.

"It's literally in the driver's hands to customize and control their information and entertainment," added Jovanoski. "The vehicle simply offers the choices, and leaves it to the driver to choose what makes their experience better. If they so choose, they can turn it all off. It's up to them.

"The system also has built-in Bluetooth connectivity, which now lets the driver access virtually all of the entertainment stored on their smart phones or personal audio players, including music services such as Pandora®. The possibilities are almost limitless."

But why would a car like the Viper need all this connectivity? Isn't it about having two seats, 10 cylinders and a blue horizon?

"The original Viper was known for its styling, and raw power," said Jovanoski. "The interior was minimal for a lot of reasons including speed and cost, but most of all to create the sensation of a throwback to the famous sports cars of the '50s and '60s.

"We still respect that traditional ethic, but the new Viper had to be in step with the times. We have a lot of highly successful young entrepreneurs, celebrities and media people who expect to utilize their Viper to the fullest. We want them to enjoy their vehicles and talk about them."

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