The Viper is back, and along with it the new Viper GTS-R that SRT has been campaigning in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series. Now, the new 2013 Viper is an amazing street car and is plenty competent, but the GTS-R is built to do just one specific thing – go as fast as possible around the track. Let’s take a quick look at what makes the GTS-R do what it does so well.
The GTS-R looks the same externally to the street Viper, but a few subtle aerodynamic touches like the rear wing and heat extractor clamshell hood aid the race car’s mission for downforce and subsequently better traction. Under the hood, the GTS-R’s V10 uses the exact same block and cylinder heads as the production car, with a few upgrades like tubular headers and beefier components for endurance racing. SRT reports that the GTS-R’s V10 is “heavily restricted to keep it within the GT Class standard of just over 480 crank horsepower. The GTS-R’ engine also runs on E85 rather than pump gas. For the transmission the GTS-R uses a beefed-up rear mounted transaxle to save a bit of weight.
The GTS-R’s suspension uses the same basic design as the Viper street car, but with numerous changes specifically for racing. Both cars do use coilovers, but the GTS-R has four-way adjustable dampers unlike the street car. Both cars wear similar wheels, but the GTS-R’s race wheels weigh about three pounds less and are bigger at 18×12.5 front and 18×13 rear center-lock wheels. For brakes, both cars use Brembos, with the GTS-R’s being designed to handle the abuse of endurance racing.