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When I was out in the desert with my new, old buddy Ralph Gilles, we started shooting the breeze about matte paint jobs. Photo-ninja Drew Phillips had driven out to shoot the SRT Viper TA event, and had grabbed the keys to our matte gray Hyundai Veloster Turbo for the journey. Pointing to the Veloster, Gilles asked what we thought about matte paint in general, to which Drew promptly responded, "I think it's a fad." Nice work, Drew.

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Ever look through a brochure or online configurator and wonder how automakers come up with the names for the paint colors? They research, deliberate and focus-group the heck out of them until they've arrived at a catchy name like... Rape Yellow.

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Like every decision involved in a new car, picking the names of the color palette is a delicate process. The name of a paint option means more to buyers than you might think, which is why automakers go to great lengths to pick the right color name and why we sometimes wind up with silly names like Bulldozer (yellow-orange) on the Jeep Wrangler, Red Alert! (and yes, the exclamation is supposed to be there) on the last-generation Nissan Versa, Alien (green) on the Kia Soul and Nobel Spinel Mica (r

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Apparently the folks at SRT thought Viper owners would benefit from a "Rain Mode" stability and traction control setting, and they're probably right. For model year 2014, the setting has been added to the base Viper's On and Off modes, and the Viper GTS's and TA Special Edition's On, Sport, Track and Off modes, according to Chrysler's blog.

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The SRT Design Team recently worked up something special in honor of Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. The crew whipped the sheets off of a one-off SRT Viper GTS at a Sons of Italy Foundation gala. The car features special Avorio Perla white paint, one-off black vapor chrome wheels and custom interior touches. The colors of the Italian flag run down the length of the seats, and tri-color GTS badges adorn the exterior.

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