The Dodge Viper, the original American "supercar", has been given a working over for the 2008 model year.
From its inception in 1992 until the current third-generation model, the Viper has been one of the most conspicuous, uncompromising supercars money can buy.
With its bakkie-sourced engine, simple tubular chassis and elaborate styling, Dodge Viper represents the American approach to high-performance motoring.
Replacing finesse with brute force the third generation Viper SRT10 has received an incremental power increase with some styling changes both inside and out.
Both Roadster and Coupe models feature a dramatic new bonnet with a larger, more efficient hood scoop for air induction and larger, functional hood louvres to facilitate a greater cooling effect.
The cockpit retains its characteristic red push-button starter and performance-oriented, highly functional instrument panel with centre-mounted tachometer and 360-km/h speedometer.
The monstrous V10 engine now displaces 8.4 litres and produces a very under-stressed 450kW and 760Nm.
And yes, the aluminium recast engine still uses pushrods, making it probably the first car to feature variable valve lift and timing with such antiquated technology.
Featuring new cylinder heads equipped with computer numerically controlled (CNC)-shaped combustion chambers, larger valves and variable valve timing (VVT), the engine also uses a two-piece intake manifold that combines a cast aluminium lower plenum with smooth runners for better air flow.
For 2008, ViperSRT10 channels its power through a new, smaller-diameter, twin-disc clutch (a change from the previous larger-diameter, single-disc setup). The new ZF Sachs clutch reduces rotating inertia by 18%, reduces clutch-pedal effort and improves engagement feel.
Transferring the Dodge Viper SRT10's power to the rear wheels is a heavy-duty six-speed manual transmission, curiously manufactured in Mexico...
Less curious is the Dana M44-4 rear axle and new 4-pinion GKN ViscoLok speed-sensing limited-slip differential for higher torque capacity and improved traction.
Viper retains independent race-bred aluminium, four-wheel suspension featuring lightweight, high-performance aluminium control arms and knuckles, damped by lightweight coil-over shock absorbers ensuring race-bred handling.
For 2008 Viper will ride on polished forged aluminium 18 x 10-inch front and 19 x 13-inch rear wheels, clad in Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 non-run-flat tires. Each tyre includes low-pressure sensors in the valve stem.
Stopping power is provided by 14-inch brake rotors gripped by Brembo 44/40 dual opposing piston calipers in the front and Brembo 42/38 dual opposing calipers in the rear.