2003 Dodge Viper Competition Coupe



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(from DaimlerChrysler Press Release)  In August 1995, Dodge unveiled an extraordinary racing coupe that would ultimately make an historic mark on the world’s motorsports stage.

The Dodge Viper GTS-R was the answer to enthusiasts and competitors who asked if a racing version of the amazing Viper RT/10 was in the works.

In a repeat of history, Dodge has delivered the next chapter in the Dodge Viper racing legacy … the new Viper Competition Coupe.

“We knew when we introduced the Dodge Viper GTS-R race car that it was ambitious, yet extremely logical,” said John Fernandez, Director, Dodge Motorsports Operations. “We set out to develop a history and tradition for the ultimate American sports car – and the Dodge performance icon – that would cast a halo over every racing endeavor, and every car and truck we built.

“The Dodge Viper has exceeded our highest goals for what an American sports car should be. And now, as loyal Dodge owners receive their versions of the third chapter in the car’s history — the 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 — we can’t lose sight of the heritage that Viper has built. And with that, we’ve developed a new generation of the Dodge Viper racing car – the Viper Competition Coupe.”

With a coupe-shaped carbon/Kevlar body based largely on the Dodge Viper GTS/R concept car shown at the 2000 North American International Auto Show, and a track-ready chassis based on the new 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10 convertible, the Viper Competition Coupe should emerge as a serious competitor from the first lap.

Every effort has been made to produce an affordable yet competitive GT-class race car, and Dodge executives expect high demand from its competition-oriented Dodge Viper owner base.

“The idea for a next-generation racing version came from the Viper owner body,” Fernandez said. “A large proportion of owners enjoy racing their cars in organized competition. At the same time, DaimlerChrysler received inquiries from major motorsports sanctioning bodies looking for Dodge Viper participation. With that input, we knew there was a real demand for a factory race car. And based on our customers’ reactions, we were right on.”

Dodge expects to build about 60 cars in the first year, but have the ability to expand production as demand grows. Plans include technical support for competitors at all
major events.

The Viper Competition Coupe makes extensive use of production pieces to keep the estimated retail price slightly more than $100,000. With 520 horsepower and 540 lb.-ft. of torque on tap, the Viper Competition Coupe will deliver racers an extremely high level of performance for the price.

A full complement of racing enhancements, including cage, window net, fire-suppression system, six-point restraints, racing slicks, differential cooler and ducted brakes ensure that the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe is track-ready as delivered. The Viper Competition Coupe cannot be titled for highway use.

The Viper Competition Coupe’s sleek concept car shape retains the 2003 Viper SRT-10 convertible’s windshield, and as a result, affords the driver two inches of additional headroom as compared to the GTS/R concept car.

Among those events in which the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe is eligible to compete are:
 Skip Thomas Viper Racing League — The Viper Competition Coupe will have its own class and be the primary wheel-to-wheel event at the Viper Days weekends
 Grand American Cup — The Viper Competition Coupe will be eligible to compete (when homologated) in the Grand Sports Class with the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche 911
 Speedvision World Challenge — The Viper Competition Coupe will be eligible to compete (when homologated) in these American Le Mans Series support races

The Competition Coupe’s predecessor — called the Dodge Viper GTS-R and based on the 1996 Dodge Viper GTS Coupe — passes on one of the most distinguished
pedigrees in the modern history of endurance racing. The Viper GTS-R earned five international GT championships including the 1999 and 2000 American Le Mans Series GTS class titles and the 1997-1999 FIA GT Championships. The Viper finished 1-2 in the GTS class in three consecutive years –1998-2000 – and notched an amazing overall win at the 2000 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, the first for an American production-based car.

The Dodge Viper race car began life in the GT1 class in 1996. The escalating costs persuaded the manufacturer to switch to the GT2 class for the 1997 season. The Viper’s production volumes (approximately 2,000 annually) qualified it for the category and it embarked on a racing program that was to earn it a reputation as the most successful American production-based racing car of all time.

As Dodge began to focus more of its engineering resources on development of the next Viper — the 2003 Viper SRT-10 — it was announced in December 2000 that Dodge would take a hiatus from its factory support for Viper endurance racing.

There are no plans at this time to homologate the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe for American Le Mans Series or 24 Hours of Le Mans racing.

Dodge Viper Lineup

Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster – The original Dodge Viper. Introduced as a concept car at the 1989 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Served as 1991 Indianapolis 500 Pace Car. Began production in mid-1992 model year as a two-seat roadster. 2002 will mark final year for this design.

Dodge Viper GTS Coupe – Originally designed as a one-of-a-kind show car, introduced in January 1993. Widely praised as a natural extension to the Viper line, the production version debuted in spring 1996. It was chosen that year as the Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500. 2002 will mark the final year for this design.

Dodge Viper GTS-R (later called GTS-R/T) – An all-out racing version of the GTS Coupe producing approximately 700 horsepower and featuring a carbon fiber and Kevlar composite body. Raced as a “Chrysler Viper” in Europe. This car, which retailed for $325,000, earned the 1997-1999 FIA GT2 (later GTS) championships, 1998-2000 LeMans GTS Class and 2000 Daytona 24 Hours outright.

Dodge Viper GT2 – Commemorative 1998 model celebrating Viper’s 1997 FIA GT2 World Championship. White with blue stripes, only 100 individually numbered copies produced. Featured high-mounted rear wing, special badging and graphics, front splitter and ground effects, blue interior accents with “Viper GTS-R” seat inserts, five-point restraint system and other special features.

Dodge Viper ACR – American Club Racer (ACR) model was introduced as a limited-edition, street-legal performance model in early 2000 (1999 model year). ACR models feature modified suspension and 460 hp/500 lb.-ft of torque. Lightened for club racing, the ACR is at home both on the road and on the track.

Dodge Viper ACR Plus – Mopar Performance Parts accessorized ACR model tuned to produce more than 500 hp/530 lb.-ft. of torque.

Dodge Viper GTS/R – Dodge Viper Concept Vehicle was first unveiled at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The GTS/R concept took racing-inspired technologies and applied them to a street car, wrapping them in an exciting new coupe shape. This same shape was the basis for the Dodge Viper Competition Coupe.

Dodge Viper SRT-10 Convertible – Originally unveiled at the 2001 North American International Auto Show, the 2003 Viper SRT-10 offered a first look at the third chapter in the Dodge Viper history. The SRT-10 is a true convertible with a more powerful V-10 engine (500 hp, 525 lb.-ft. of torque and 505 cubic inches displacement) and a new design inspired by the GTS/R concept.

Dodge Viper Competition Coupe – A closed-cockpit competition model based on the newest generation Viper, the 2003 Viper SRT-10 Convertible. With concept car bodywork, full racing cage and other safety features, this is an affordable, limited-production race car for competition-oriented owners.