In one of the most interesting roundtable discussions we've seen in quite some time, the boys from Motor Trend, along with pro racing driver Randy Pobst, sat down with SRT head honcho Ralph Gilles to discuss the 2014 Viper. And the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, naturally. As you may remember, Motor Trend has filmed two videos pitting the latest Viper from SRT against the standard-bearing ZR1, with the Viper losing the first battle but barely eking out a victory with the upgraded TA model in the second.

A few interesting tidbits sneak out regarding the Viper, such as the fact that an ACR model isn't ready "yet," as well as the story of how the TA model came into existence after the first test by Motor Trend. Apparently, that test also resulted in a slight softening of the regular Viper's suspension for production. Interestingly, Gilles doesn't seem ready to admit defeat even in that first testing session, saying that the Viper used by MT was a pre-production model and that it had been out of alignment – that said, he does offer up an apology of sorts for "throwing gas on the fire" on social networks after the video hit the web.

Moving away from the Viper toward the end of the discussion, Gilles touches on the new Camaro Z28 and mentions that "the Challenger is under the knife as we speak... and we're going to come with an answer to [the Z28] and an answer for our friends at Ford." That sounds mighty intriguing... though Gilles also admits that a Cuda isn't coming "anytime soon," but that it is "a couple years out" on a different platform than the Challenger. Fortunately, it sounds like the next-generation of the Challenger SRT will make an appearance in New York in 2014.

There are plenty more interesting tidbits in the video, so we suggest you take about 20 minutes of at the end of your day to watch it yourself. Scroll down below to watch it, along with the two MT videos comparing the Viper and ZR1 at Laguna Seca.






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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 136 Comments
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its nice to see a top-level executive from one car company admit that while there is a ton of competition within the industry, at the same time they don't see other companies as out-and-out enemies and rather realize that the competition makes ALL cars better.
      Bobby_Sards
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is great. Not a fan of either car but I love the rivalry! I can't wait to see the killer laps on Nurburgring Im always amazed as to how you can drive the pants off these two cars
      no1bondfan
      • 2 Years Ago
      The biggest manufacturers are going head to head with awesome 600+ hp supercars. This is a great time to be a car fan.
      Du K
      • 2 Years Ago
      Man, it's pretty cool giles is not just some ordinary book engineer. He is also a true auto enthusiast!
      miketim1
      • 2 Years Ago
      So proud of Ralph.
        Giorgio
        • 2 Years Ago
        @miketim1
        Seems like a great guy with a very positive attitude.
      Matt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Being that the times were so close (8 one hundredths), I would liked to have seen the Corvette re-timed with the Viper TA so that you could throw out factors such as track condition, temperature, wind, etc. It might not have made any difference, but still would have been nice for comparison purposes.
        Stomp and steer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Matt
        And both cars put on a dyno and checked for factory alignment specs and weight etc. how do we know the viper wasnt a ringer? Wow I'm starting to sound like Ralph now looking for excuses.
      Mike J
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sadly the Viper will ever see its true potential, as long as its in the same family as Ferrari.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike J
        What Ralph was saying about the Viper being power limited to "protect" the hiearchy of Ferrari was a joke. Even if the Viper had 1000hp, it aims at a different class of buyer. Although the new interior redesign mean that the Viper attracts some customers who may in fact own a Ferrari.
          roryn44
          • 2 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          Do not reply to stupid people, I gave up after 5 comments.
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      Awesome the Big 3 are going for kill shoots everytime something comes out. Performance per dollar ZR1 is the best, Viper has the looks and exclusiveness, and sorry Ralph, I love Mopar, would trade my GT in for a smaller Challenger, but once Chrysler builds a 650 plus hp muscle car minus the gas guzzler and not blocking the PC for tunes, your dead in the water on the pony wars my friend.
        Sir Duke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @protovici
        While it is a commendable engineering feat when a car can attain TRUE supercar status and avoid the gas guzzlers tax, not many if any current ZR1 owners would have passed on owning a ZR1 even if it did get slapped with the GG Tax. The only folks that worry about fuel economy of super cars, are the folks that cannot afford the car.
          protovici
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Sir Duke
          Comment has nothing to do with the affordability of these cars. The statement was to comment on how one car maker can acheive 650 plus hp without having a gas guzzler tax proving a better engineering advantage and thats on a muscle car platform. Plus, rather you have the money or not, saving money is still saving money.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Gorgenapper
        • 2 Years Ago
        I have an intense dislike for Lieberman's reviews, he's always too excited for the car, or for the cars which are being compared. He brings it to the point where you think he loves, absolutely adores a car, then turns around and does something else. I find it hard to trust his opinion because of this reason. This has nothing at all to do with his attire or his hipster neck beard.
      me
      • 2 Years Ago
      I prefer to go base model vs base model....the lowest common denominator.....always tells the real story....not upgraded or special version....its like racing a modded vs unmodded car in the same class
      FuelToTheFire
      • 2 Years Ago
      They didn't use the GT-R in the comparo? It would have embarrassed BOTH the Viper and Corvette. It just goes to show, AWD + DCT >>>>>>>>> RWD + MT.
        spam
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Nope. Randy Pobst (same driver) tested the '12 Nissan GT-R on 'Seca, and got a time of 1.36.30. The Viper T/A got 1.33.60. Not even close.
        TrueDat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        yes, great plan. lets use an AWD car as a benchmark while we develop our RWD car. seems legit......
        roryn44
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Haha fuel to the fire
        Swordfish
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        AWD is fast out of the hole but is no fun to drive. In my humble sprint car driving style opinion of course. If you are at the drag strip you definately have an advantage but fun to drive on the street? Eh.
          A P
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Swordfish
          No fun to drive? Are you a moron or what? WOW, just WOW Just another lemming that spews dumb crap that he has no idea about.
      Ben Lee
      • 2 Years Ago
      The pretense is very high with car stylists. They speak in a BS language. I could see Ralph in a turtle neck and some horn rimmed glasses...
        Uhwhat?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ben Lee
        You have no clue what you are talking about! Ralph is highly intelligent and fully understands the logistics of what he's discussing here. You my friend have no clue what the word pretentious means. It amazes me how a guy can build a car and fully explain the logic of how it's engineered and you have the audacity to call him pretentious. I'm a designer and I just schooled you. How pretentious is that?! Nice mustache! Your hairstyle went out of style in '85!
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