Portrait of a Supercar: 2014 SRT Viper TA

It’s going to take more than your usual charm to keep me under control. Have you learned to syncopate your eyes, hands and feet in precise rhythm? Then together we’ll strike, taking any tarmac or twisting stretch we find. But handle me with the intent to showboat and you’re bound to get bitten, my lovely. I’m the 2014 SRT Viper Time Attack (TA), an even sharper fanged, Mopar race-laced variant of the snake that’s already notoriously hard to tame.

Like a serpent about to assail his prey, my hood stretches wide before tapering down to an agile frame. Underneath is nestled the same pushrod 20-valve aluminum block V10 from my more common species; a deliciously cruel power plant from Dodge’s SRT division, good for 640 naturally-aspirated horses, not to mention a frame-twisting 600 pound-feet of torque. You were expecting more? With those numbers, I can already swallow competitors whole—without unhinging my jaw. No, instead of making me even more of a beast to master, my masters had your sinfully sweet driving delight in mind. Every piece of skin shed and scaly hide groomed is not about upping power; it’s about making this power even more focused, targeted, venomous.

At all four corners, I sit perched on model-exclusive Pirelli P Zero Corsas—track inspired to give my underbelly maximum traction and stopping power, keeping me from lunging out of line. My devilish smirk has been amended with a pair of subtle, aerodynamic carbon fiber splitters that are almost invisible given their proximity to the Earth—yet paired with a new rear spoiler, their triangulation routes air in a way that delivers a fierce 460 lbs of down force at 150mph.

That’s up a touch from the base model’s 75 lbs at the same speed, wouldn’t you say? This enhancement is not for street racers that treat Deer Park Avenue like an NHRA drag strip. These are serious, track-tried modifications that—along with a more aggressive suspension, stiffer roll bars, and carbon-fiber engine-bay brace—are meant to help shave seconds off your lap times. I’m not saying I can’t get you to your favorite track in comfort, but keep in mind that city or highway, I’m a very petrol-thirsty reptile.

Being swallowed up inside my belly is not the hot, dark, eighth level of hell that it once was. My predecessors were admittedly little more than an engine, seats and a steering wheel draped in daunting snakeskin. My confines, though still tight and only suitable for driver and co-driver, have reached a level of refinement that is commensurate with my price tag. From my multi-ringed gauge cluster, to sport-trimmed wheel, to short-throw shifter, I’m a serpent poised to strike. And it seems as if I’ve recently dined on a few plush hides…and perhaps a tailor or two—my inner body scales and center console boast style—stealthy, sleek, sexy style. Like the sunset delineates the coming night, a bright orange trail of stitching traces my interior.

The heat of this setting sun can extend to my outer skin, too. SRT will only breed 159 serpents of my kind, the majority in exclusive orange (93 to be exact). My 66 remaining brethren will be split evenly between equally mysterious shades of black and white. And while my enchanting basket of add-ons will be available in full over the Mopar parts counter, building me à la carte will also have you miss out on the numbered dash plate, a testament to the world that you have what it takes to charm the likes of me into submission. But we shall ssssssee about that my lovely, won’t we?

Vital STATs
Engine: 20-Valve Aluminum Block V10
0-60: 3.2 seconds
Max Speed: 193mph 
Max Power: 640hp @ 6200rpm
Max Torque: 600lb-ft @ 5000rpm 
Base Price: $120,480

william k. gock

william k. gock

William K. Gock is the automotive content contributor for Playboy Magazine. His car and motorcycle reviews can also be found in numerous national print and online publications. Born and raised in New York's Hudson Valley, Gock currently lives with his wife and son in Babylon.