Size matters: A short wheelbase enhances the SRT® Viper’s track capability.
When it comes to on-track performance, smaller is often smarter. In a world of ballooning supercars that dwarf their predecessors, the SRT® Viper confidently holds one of the shortest wheelbases in the segment at 98.8 inches. Retaining the important attribute helps to return lightning-fast lap times.
"Competitors have stretched their wheelbases to increase passenger volume," says Viper Vehicle Integration Manager Erich Heuschele. "We have not."
Despite the trend, Heuschele is quick to note that the new Viper can still comfortably accommodate the frame of Klaus Busse, Head of Interior Design at Chrysler Group LLC. Busse, who stands at six feet, seven inches, describes the Viper interior as "comfortable at any speed, even for tall people."
Creating a comfortable space for passengers did not come at the expense of compromising the fundamentals of on-track driving. SRT engineers were able to give Viper occupants the space they need, in a world-class cockpit ready for track or touring duty.
"When you stretch the wheelbase, the vehicle has a higher polar moment of inertia, and the vehicle becomes less responsive," Heuschele says.
The result is a wheelbase shorter than that of the most recent Lamborghini Gallardo (100.8), Nissan GT-R (109.4), Audi R8 (104.3) and the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette (106.7). SRT designers carefully preserved the traditional long lines of the SRT Viper, but never sacrifice the mandate of a concise wheelbase. The overall length of the 2013 Viper (175.7) is actually shorter than that of the 2013 Porsche 911 (176.8).
"A car with a shorter wheelbase is more closely coupled," explains Graham Henckel, Chief Engineer of the SRT Viper. "The Viper's smaller wheelbase contributes to more responsive turn-in than a longer, bigger car."
Sharper responses are just the beginning. Shorter wheelbases inherently lead to lighter cars with reduced mass. For one, the driveshaft becomes shorter, smaller and lighter.
A short wheelbase is just one facet that makes the 2013 SRT Viper a true track-ready supercar. Discover more technical details of the SRT Viper here.