Hell’s Serpent: Viper GTS-TT
There are cars that are attractive, curvaceous, and artistic in their design which not only look great in motion but are absolutely stunning while parked. We all know them: Mid-90s Japanese sports cars, the Porsche 930 and it’s air cooled relatives, the AC Cobra, and just about anything that comes from Britain. The Viper, specifically the second generation, absolutely beguiles onlookers. Following the American styling cues of bigger and more is better, the Viper takes those voluptuous curves and gives them a healthy dose of botox. This Dodge Viper GTS received yet another surgical enhancement in the form of forced induction.
The shapely figure of the Viper is something of a fantasy in the creative mind of an automotive designer. It’s large sweeping curves command attention and captivate onlookers.
Few cars make me feel something in my core when I approach them. James May of The Grand Tour refers to this feeling as “the fizz” and, well, it doesn’t happen in his core. The Dodge Viper, like it or hate it, has embedded it’s outline in the minds of every gear head with it’s poster car-like body lines. It’s name is befitting of it’s design. The rear of the car is hunched back as if it’s building energy in preparation to strike with it’s vicious looking fascia. Seeing this car in your rear view mirror will certainly increase your heart rate be it from excitement or fear.
From the factory this Viper was outfitted with an eight liter odd-firing V-10 engine producing 450 horsepower. That’s enough to really get your blood pumping. The sights, sounds, and sensations this car generates is guaranteed to make you smile, sweat, or both. But for some 450 horsepower isn’t enough. Some people want to dance with death — no, they want to sleep with death. This Viper instead produces over 900 horsepower at the wheels. This Viper will kill you.
Part of what makes this Viper so special is it’s sort of sleeper look. Yeah I know, “sleeper” and “Viper” aren’t words that typically share the same sentence but if you approached this car in the wild, how would you know that it makes 900 whp without someone telling you? Open the hood and discover an intake manifold from a third generation Viper with custom fuel rails.
What you can’t see is the fact that this engine has been bored out to 492ci to accommodate the .020 over Diamond pistons that are perched on top of K1 connecting rods and bolted to the factory crank with ARP hardware. Pro Gram billet main caps keep the crank in place. The engine’s power is transmitted to the factory transmission via a chromoly flywheel and a Spec Stage 3+ clutch.
The cockpit of this car is not like those aforementioned cars of beauty. Cars like the third generation Mazda RX-7 and fourth generation Toyota Supra make you feel like you’re in control. Those cockpits are just compact enough to make you feel like you’re a part of the car and each control and gauge is situated just for the driver. The second generation Viper does not feel like this. Sit in the driver seat and it feels like you’re operating an MRAP. The dash is quite expansive and the center controls are very utilitarian. If the tachometer and speedometer didn’t end at 6k and 200 MPH, I would have thought that Dodge pulled those right out of the MRAP. Perhaps this is the sort of feeling that the interior should invoke. Afterall, driving a Viper is likened to commanding a machine designed to kill.
The Evil Within
I mentioned this Viper makes over 900 wheel horsepower and if you looked underneath the hood, you might not believe me until your eyes met the two blow off valves at the mouth of the engine. Where are all the go fast bits? We’ll have to get underneath this Viper to see.
A labyrinth of exhaust and charge piping usher gases through the two Precision T4 Billet Wheel 6262 turbos tucked away inside the rear bumper.
Business in the front and party in the back! The factory exhaust pipes take a slight detour into the corners of the bumper to feed the turbos. Five inch resonated down pipes exit through the factory exhaust tip location. Something that I think is quite trick is how the wastegate pipes are routed. You can see the two small diameter pipes feeding into the elbows that are just before the exhaust tips, but they don’t end there.
Instead they continue through the tips and create the only telltale that this Viper is far from ordinary, at least until the car barks to life. It truly is a radical sound, especially in the calm of night. The sound of this odd-firing V10 churning the twin turbos sounds like a demon tearing through flesh with a hint of a banshee’s wail.
Another audible cue that this engine is far from stock is the Weldon 2025 fuel pump as it whirs loudly while pumping fuel to the DeatschWerks 1000cc injectors. The fuel feeds through a -10an line, Aeromotive inline pre/post filters, Magnafuel boost reference fuel pressure regulator, and returns to the tank through a -8an line.
A shaped Samco charge pipe coupler snakes over the lower control arm on it’s way to the intercooler. Huehue, get it? Snakes. Viper. I’ll stop now.
The owner reports that while this might appear to be cause for concern, there are no interference issues with the placement of this coupler. It certainly works and helps to keep the whole package nicely contained in this rear mount turbo setup.
This is about the only way to see that aforementioned intercooler.
As with every other area of this car, there isn’t much real estate available for turbo bits so creativity is required to make it all come together. The factory bumper certainly does limit the exposed surface area of the intercooler and given that this is street car, sacrificing parts of the fascia for a cooler intake air temperature isn’t in the cards.
Transmitting the power to the pavement requires meat. A lot of meat. These 18″x13″ forged Fikse wheels are shod in 345/35/18 Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials and they certainly suite the appearance of this Viper. Changing out the wheels on such an ostentatious vehicle can be tricky thing to do right so opting for a conservative design will yield eye pleasing results. Also there aren’t too many wheel manufacturers making wide wheels in the six lug pattern for a Viper so you kind of have to take what you can get or empty your pockets for a one-off piece.
The telltales and sounds from hell really make this a machine to think twice about disturbing. As if the Viper isn’t a sinister enough machine, adding two turbo chargers to the equation definitely amps up the chaos. Don’t fall asleep around this Viper. It will bite and it will kill.