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Jay Leno Welcomes Ralph Gilles Bringing along a few New SRT Vipers to his Garage: Video 28
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2013 SRT Viper, Automotive, Chrysler, Editorial, Jay Leno, Jay Leno's Garage, Ralph Gilles, SRT, video on 01 28th, 2013


Lately Jay Leno has welcomed some of the most sought after vehicles into his garage and taking each one for a nice ‘spin’. The latest vehicle to grace his infamous garage is the all-new SRT Viper along with VP of design and CEO of SRT at Chrysler, Ralph Gilles.

Touted as a true car guy heading up design and the SRT brand, Ralph Gilles has a long car-centric resume but a down-to-earth perspective that just about any level-headed car enthusiast would appreciate. Ralph Gilles has set out on a 5,000-mile cross-country journey in the new SRT Viper and stops to see Jay along the way. Gilles and Leno hit it off once again to go over the new SRT Viper and later take it for an exclusive test drive to see what she can really do on the local streets and later on the track at Willow Springs. Hit up the full 2013 SRT Viper GTS review on the latest Jay Leno’s Garage episode.

2012 New York Auto Show: 2013 SRT Viper Officially Slithers On Stage 4
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2013 SRT Viper, Automotive, New York auto show, New York International Auto Show, Ralph Gilles, SRT, video on 04 4th, 2012

The wait is over to get a glance at what the Chrysler Corporation’s SRT division has kept from us for a couple years now in the form of their highest performing production vehicle ever. The all-new 2013 SRT Viper has slithered onto the stage at the 2012 New York Auto Show revealing its authentic snakeskin and mean bite of a 640 horsepower V10 engine.

After all of the speculations, teaser photos, hot wheels cars and renderings, we can now witness to the latest injection of performance into an American car brand. The new 2013 SRT Viper pushes forward the aspirations for Chrysler’s SRT brand making quite a dignified statement.

A torque monster is what the Viper was and still is. A total of 600 lb-ft of torque is available at a relatively low 4950 rpm from the new 8.4-liter (640 horsepower) V10 engine. With all of this power on tap, the new Viper is able to reach a top speed of 206 mph. The body work is composed of carbon fiber bits and light-weight steel. Vehicle weight is kept down to around 3,300 pounds.

To keep things stable and all of that massive power under control, a new advanced traction control system is in place with full-on launch control. Stability control has a total of 4 stages including a full-off mode for those who want to truly unleash the Viper.

Attention to detail has been stepped up, not leaving any stone unturned when it comes to fit and finish. The seats even come from the same manufacturer that supplies Ferrari with their sporty buckets.

The Viper will be released in two flavors, the fully optioned-out more expensive GTS and the standard SRT10. A Viper ACR package is availble lowering the vehicle weight by 40 pound, adding two-piece Stop Tech brake rotors, monotube Bilstein dampers and stiffer spring rates.

The new Viper will wear Pirilli tires on the 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels. Widths are a staggering 295mm front and 355mm rear.


Curb weight est 3300 lb
Weight dist w/ driver 49/51
Height 49.1 in.
Width 76.4 in.
Length 175.7 in.
Wheelbase 98.8 in.
Track f/r 62.9 in./61.0 in.
Seats 2
Trunk space 14.7 cu. ft.
Body/frame composite/steel
Suspension f/r upper & lower A-arms, coil spring, (elec. adj. on GTS) tube shocks, anti-roll bar
Wheels Forged aluminum; 18 x 10.5 f, 19 x 13 r
Tires Pirelli P Zero; 295/30ZR-18 f, 355/30ZR-19 r
Brakes 14.0-in. vented rotors w/4-piston Brembo calipers
Engine 8.4-liter ohv V-10
Transmission 6-speed manual
Horsepower 640 bhp @ 6150 rpm
Torque 600 lb-ft @ 4950 rpm
Top speed est 206 mph

Chrysler Spins Off SRT Brand, Puts Gilles In Charge 8
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Chrysler, Chrysler Group, Dodge, Jeep, Kurt, News, Ralph Gilles, SRT on 06 8th, 2011

The 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8. Image: Chrysler Group, LLC

Ralph Gilles is a car guy who loves to drive, and he’s pretty damn good at it. He’s competed in One Lap of America and the Targa Newfoundland, just to name a few events off the top of my head. Speak with him and you soon realize that he’d rather be sweating in three layers of Nomex, preparing to slam the door on a trailing competitor, than sitting in a boardroom discussing numbers with Chrysler Group head Sergio Marchionne. Still, as the lead designer for Chrysler Group, LLC, and the former CEO of the Dodge brand, that’s how Gilles spent the bulk of his days. I say spent, because things are changing at Chrysler; thanks to a management shuffle, Gilles has been appointed CEO of the SRT brand at Chrysler, and that’s exactly where we need him.

The SRT division encompasses products from Dodge (Challenger, Charger), Chrysler (300) and Jeep (Grand Cherokee), and is also tasked with running the company’s racing efforts. Look for SRT to expand their product lineup, since entry-level products are sadly under-represented, and to increase their racing efforts. Dodge has always been a believer in the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” philosophy, and there’s ample opportunity for involvement in professional racing.

I had a chance to meet Gilles last February, and he impressed me as the perfect guy to run a performance car division. He assured me that good things were in the pipeline, and this move is further proof that Chrysler is on the right track. Congratulations, Mr. Gilles, and here’s wishing you much success in your new role.