Chrysler resurrected the Viper as the halo car for a new sub-brand called simply “SRT”, and there was much rejoicing. A brand known for its over-the-top performance cars needs an over-the-top spokesman, and SRT has that thanks to the oft-outspoken Ralph Gilles. Unafraid to speak his mind, Gilles has taken on all comers, though he may have bit off more than he can chew with his latest outburst.
After Motor Trend’s Johnny Lieberman posted a story declaring that the Corvette ZR1 had beaten the new SRT Viper GTS in virtually every respect, Gilles took to Twitter to express his displeasure…even going so far as to say that many drivers “fear” the Viper. But is this really the case?
At least on paper, both the Viper GTS and Corvette ZR1 are nearly identical. The Corvette ZR1 boasts 638 horsepower and 604 ft-lbs of torque to the Viper’s 640 horsepower and 600 ft-lbs of torque. Both cars posted identical 0-60 times and 0-100 times (3.4 and 7.3 seconds respectively) and have similar power-to-weight ratios.
Yet somehow, the Corvette ZR1 beat out the Viper GTS by more than 2 seconds around Laguna Seca. While the Viper posted a 1:35.77 around Laguna, the ZR1 managed to complete the same lap in 1:33.6. With two-time Daytona 24 Hour winner Randy Pobst at the wheel both times, it is hard to make the case that Motor Trend flubbed the numbers.
Still, Gilles took to Twitter, declaring that many drivers “needlessly fear” the Viper, even though the SRT boss says the new snake is a much tamer beast. Suffice to say, we think a few more laps, perhaps with a few different drivers, might be required to settle this issue once and for all. What say you readers? Is this a case of sour apples, or is the ZR1 simply a superior car?