When you think of companies that build truly exceptional interiors into their sports cars, who comes to mind? Chances are good that Audi and Ferrari are at the top of the list, Porsche is likely in the middle, and Chevrolet is at the bottom with the Corvette. Just above that is likely the original Dodge Viper, since the kindest thing we could say about its interior is that “Chrysler needed to save money by using common parts.”
The original Viper wasn’t a luxury car and it wasn’t a grand tourer. If you wanted to go really fast on a reasonable budget and knew a thing or two about car control, the Viper was a solid choice for track days, club racing or time attack events. It was never a great choice for a street car, since driving any model of Viper required your full and constant attention. Perhaps it was a good thing, then, that the seats weren’t comfortable for long hours behind the wheel.
That changes with the 2013 Viper, and the video below gives a good overview of the design process on the new car’s interior. Gone are the cheap, uncomfortable seats and “pulled from a Ram pickup” interior bits. Hard, squeaky plastic is replaced by leather and (presumably) vinyl-wrapped trim, accented by contrasting stitching. The new Viper looks like a more expensive car inside, partly because many high-end sports and luxury car interiors were studied during the Viper’s design process.
Despite its shortcomings, we were fans of the old Viper. It did what you asked it to, and it was comfortable enough for its intended purpose. We expect that the new Viper will be improved in every way, and we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one.