Dodge viper :: News


News Release :: October 2002

The unveiling of the first factory backed R/H/D Dodge Viper at The Sydney Motor Show, converted and complianced by Viperformance®

Sydney Motor Show Unveiling   Viperformance® pioneers remanufacturing program

Chrysler Jeep's world first approved factory refinish right-hand-drive (RHD) program outside of the US makes its venomous strike on the Australian marketplace in October this year.

Judith Wheeler, Managing Director Chrysler Jeep Australia/Pacific Islands said "this is the first time the US has approved a RHD factory refinish program to be conducted outside of the US. This is a re-affirmation of Detroit?s commitment to the Australian market".

"We are very excited about the Viper program. A total of 64 local produced parts, which are to exacting specifications of the original parts, has been used and in some cases the local parts have been further refined to a higher specification by the Viperformance® Factory," said Ms Wheeler.

"The Viperformance® team understands the passion that goes hand in hand with ownership of a Viper and carefully hand build each project. Every detail of the Viper has been checked for maximum functionality and true performance."

The Factory Refinished Program

The Viperformance® Factory in Melbourne has carried out the factory-refinished program. Established in 1994, the Viperformance® Factory is a specialist restorer, repairer and adapter of luxury vehicles that prides itself on quality workmanship and dedication and always delivers on its promise of complete customer satisfaction.

The process has included:

Steering: The RHD Chrysler steering rack is a one-piece construction, which is welded to the chassis and X-rayed. The wheel alignment process includes adjustment of "bump steer".

Brake/Clutch/Accelerator Pedals: During the process the position of the pedal saddle is such that it gives a direct in line position to the bodyline. All new brake lines are checked with an X-ray and positioned so if they require replacing, major components do not need to be removed.

Dash Assembly: A number of areas have been refined for visual appeal and to enable access to components in the dash without removing the whole assembly. The air bag cut off switch has been removed and the dash panel has no provision for the switch as ADR does not allow this feature.

Heater/Air-conditioning: The components have been transformed and refined into a new box assembly to provide more efficient heating and cooling.

Centre Console: The gearshift, handbrake and ashtray have been repositioned to accommodate RHD. A new console cover has been manufactured.

Radio: The radio is modified by Alpine Australia to meet local reception bands.

Exterior Mirrors: The glass is replaced to meet local regulations and the mirror on the left side of the vehicle is repositioned on the door to give the driver a proper ?field of vision? in the RHD position.

Engine/Transmission: During the process the engine and transmission is removed from the vehicle and stored on special trolleys that are designed to put no weight on the sump pan. All engine inlets are covered to keep dust and moisture out.

Bodywork: Special fitted covers were made to cover the rear bodywork, windscreen and lower side panels, as well as wheel covers, to avoid any damage during the process.

Functionality: Before the process commences, each vehicle has a full DRB3 scan to ensure full functionality of all systems. When the process is complete the same procedure is conducted on the finished vehicle.

Electrical: To accommodate the transfer from the left side to the right side some changes are required to the dash and other minor wiring harnesses. When the process of modification is completed the harness is wrapped in a special ?fire proof? tape.

World Class Performance

The heart of the Viper begins at its 8.0-liter V-10 engine. It represents the only V-10 available in an automobile other than a racecar and produces 336kW power at 5,200 rpm and 664Nm of torque at 3,700 rpm.

Air intake is through a cast aluminium manifold with formed tubes, including an integral fuel rail cored in the castings. The dual throttle bodies and bottom-fed, high-performance fuel injectors control fuel flow and mixture. Fuel is fed to the injectors by a sequential multipoint injection system.

The engine's forged aluminium pistons are set in cast iron liners. The aluminium cylinder head features a conventional two valves per cylinder with higher-revving dual valve springs.

Race-Ready Chassis

Strip away the Viper's composite body panels and you have, in essence, a classic race-bred sports car chassis.

Viper's massive V-10 engine is mounted on what is believed to be the stiffest sports car chassis ever built. In fact, Viper owes its remarkable handling characteristics, in large part, to its excellent torsional rigidity.

The engine is cradled by two massive rectangular-tube frame rails, which turn out at the front bulkhead and continue on down the sides. Positioned between the front bulkhead and the back of the cockpit is a central backbone of smaller rectangular tubes. This is attached at the back to a cage or box that encompasses the rear suspension, fuel tank, spare tyre, battery and the trunk.

The fully independent front and rear suspensions feature unequal-length upper and lower "A" arms and coil-over springs made of lightweight, yet strong micro-grain alloy steel. High-performance gas-filled shocks minimise aeration.

The power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system features positive on-centre feel and a fast steering ratio for quick and responsive manoeuvring. Lock-to-lock is accomplished in just 2.4 turns.

Viper's high-performance brake system features four-opposed-fixed-piston front callipers and single-piston slider-type rear callipers.

High-performance Michelin Pilot Sport tires created specifically for the Viper are instrumental in providing traction for the car's abundant horsepower and torque. These uni-directional tyres are a major factor in Viper's lateral acceleration capability. Tyres are mounted on forged aluminium wheels with Viper logo.

Assembly and Testing

Each Viper was initially hand-assembled at DaimlerChrysler's Conner Avenue assembly facility in Detroit, Michigan, by a specially trained team of UAW craftspersons.

More than 50 component modules comprise Viper, each shipped to the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant. All casting, stamping, welding and painting take place away from the plant. Composite body panels arrive already painted. Complete instrument panels are supplied with the gauges tested and set in place. Engines are assembled and tested at a DaimlerChrysler engine plant. All components are then put together in a precise, well-orchestrated manner. A separate team works together to verify all procedures.