(Somehow our photo gallery and description disappeared from our post, which is fine by us…. It gives us a reason to blog the entire thing again.)
When the original Dodge Viper debuted over twenty years ago, it was known for being a beast of a car with a cheap, minimalist interior (watch Jeremy’s review from Top Gear Series 5). Well the new Viper, now by Chrysler’s SRT division and under Fiat ownership, has a new interior that’s being described as downright “luxurious.” Perhaps the new Viper is all grown up:
Well, sort of. There’s still an aircraft carrier-length bonnet atop a massive V10 engine, cab-back driving position and a side-exit exhaust. So far, so enjoyably juvenile. But the latest iteration’s lighter, stiffer, more advanced, easier to drive and also sight more pleasant inside.
There’s a carbon fibre bonnet, roof and boot lid, which has whittled weight down to 1455kg, some 55 kilos lighter than the old car, and a huge 50 per cent stiffer. And there’s an upgraded version of Dodge’s 8.4-litre V10 producing - in basic form - 640bhp and 600lb ft of torque. That makes it the torqueiest naturally aspirated engine to be fitted to a sports car… ever.
But inside is where there’s the biggest surprise - it’s actually luxurious. And not just ‘luxurious for a Viper’ either. The cow peelings are soft and sumptuous, the stereo is by Harman Kardon, the abundance of screens are TFT, there’s not a solitary centimeter of wibbly stitching. There’s also 40mm more headroom and 90mm more legroom. This is a car you could feasibly use every day, not just when you fancy peering over the edge of existence.
See our next post for details.
Fisker has long claimed to have ambitions beyond the high-end-luxury-sports-hybrid market and here is their first salvo of seriousness: the mid-range luxury-sports-hybrid Atlantic.
Called the Atlantic, the stunning all-new four-door saloon developed under the codename of Nina will go head to head with the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 when it goes on sale ‘sometime in 2013’. It will cost around $63,000 after tax rebates, according to the company.
Powered by a similar electric drivetrain with petrol engined generator set up as the Karma, the Atlantic ditches the occasionally rough-edged GM-sourced four-cylinder turbo in favour of a shiny, new 240bhp/260lbft BMW unit.
No official details have yet been released about the Atlantic’s chassis, but the company has confirmed that the car will be offered in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive layouts. Performance versions echoing BMW’s M Sport models will be added to the range after launch, as will a convertible. A small SUV to go up against the Audi Q5 is also being considered.
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