Dodge Viper Central
Dodge Sharpens Fangs of Viper GTS 

A limited-edition Viper GTS, built to commemorate the company's FIA championship in GT2 last season, goes on sale in August. This GT2 Championship Edition Viper is not just a decal job. Horsepower has been increased to 460 bhp at 5200 rpm, up 10 from the stock GTS. Torque is increased to 500 lb.-ft. from 490. The peak occurs at 3600 rpm, 100 revs lower than stock.

John Fernandez, who oversees the Viper racing program, said the improvements in output were obtained by using a different air filter element produced by K&N as well as using smooth instead of corrugated tubes to direct air from the air dam to the airbox. "We get more air into the engine," Fernandez explained. "This package is not just cosmetic."

The car looks like the GT2 race car with a full aero package that includes a front splitter, side splitters and a carbon-fiber rear wing similar to that used on the first GT2 racers. "We set the wing for a zero angle of attack since this package is primarily designed to be used on the streets," Fernandez said.

In addition to the aero kit, the GT2 edition rides on 18-in. BBS alloy wheels similar to the ones used on the race cars. The Michelin MMX3 tires are the same compound and construction as those mounted to the stock car's 17-in. wheels.

The interior is black with blue accents on the door

inserts, seatback bolsters, center console and parking brake. Blue stitching is also used on the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. A five-point harness with 3-in.-wide straps is standard (and detachable, allowing use of the stock three-point harness for street use).

Only 100 cars, each with a numbered dash plaque, will be built as 1998 models. The price is $85,200, a $15,000 premium over the Viper GTS Coupe.


Viper GTSR