Arguably the most frenzied reaction at the New York Auto Show came when the brand new Dodge SRT Viper was unveiled. It's a new-from-the-ground-up iteration of America's most iconic supercar. And of course, it's a phallic stunner.

The basic shape is familiar (like Porsche with the 911, Dodge isn't ever really going to change the blueprint), but the new Viper is better than its predecessor in every which way: it's lighter, has more power, and has an interior that no longer seems like it was shipped in from a Taiwanese toy factory.

It's still an anachronistic caricature, though, with a massively long bonnet hiding an 8.4-litre V10 engine pumping out 631bhp. In the turbocharged era that's a bit pathetic, really - the McLaren MP4-12C has 592bhp from a 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine - but it's still awesomely cool, and will be the most torque-laden non-turbo V10 on sale, with 600lb ft.

At least the bodywork and chassis mix it up with the best of them, because Dodge has used "alooooooominum" (aluminium to you and I) and carbon fibre extensively, lopping a huge third off the weight of the old car.


It's still a right old hooligan, however. The Viper has always had a reputation for frisky handling on the limit, and although this one will undoubtedly be much better balanced than before, it'll remain a handful.

The rear tyres are over 35.5cm wide, and made from a different compound to the fronts, which says something about this car's handling characteristics. The quad-stage traction control can be switched off entirely.

It also says something that instead of a gearshift indicator the instrument cluster has a snake that glows. The car will reportedly be sold with a stick-on 'tache and a cucumber wrapped in tin foil. We're not sure what that second thing is for.

A more comfort-oriented GTS version will be launched alongside the standard SRT (Street Racing Technology) variant, featuring adaptive suspension and a longer equipment roster.

Here's some footage of the Viper driving and that...