In fact, the TA has already proven itself with US mag Motor Trend eclipsing the ZR1’s Laguna Seca Raceway 1:33.70 production car lap record with a 1:33.62 lap time.
Before the ZR1’s stint atop the Laguna Seca mantle, the previous-generation Dodge Viper ACR held the title with a lap of 1:33.92.
The magazine had earlier attempted to beat the ZR1’s figure with a 2013 Viper GTS, but only managed to record a 1:35.77 lap.
SRT boss Ralph Gilles was publicly disappointed with this result, and industry whispers suggest this brought the TA’s development program forward by at least six months.
Key to the TA’s resultant track capability is its specific suspension setup, with retuned springs and swaybars controlled by dual-mode Bilstein dampers.
These modes are more aggressive than the existing GTS dual-mode units, and are simply titled “Rough” and “Smooth.”
Complementing this suspension setup are specific Brembo brakes front and rear, and the usually-optional matte black Sidewinder II wheels are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres.
"Our engineers revised the suspension settings to refocus the Viper specifically for track duty, using a blend of components from the GTS and the SRT models,” Gilles said.
"Add in the extensively developed aero package and the new Time Attack package is born."
This aero package includes a carbon fibre front splitter and rear spoiler, along with the usually-optional carbon fibre taillight surround.
All Viper badgework is replaced by slightly lighter decals for the TA, and the existing models’ engine bay X-brace is now carbon fibre instead of aluminium.
Outputs for the Viper’s 477kW/812Nm 8.4 litre V10 are unchanged, so the existing models’ low three second 0-100km/h and mid-11 second 0-400m acceleration figures will be little affected.
The first 33 examples of the TA will feature the pictured ‘Crusher Orange’ paintwork, and are set to commence production in September.
Production is set to continue in 2014, but with colour options limited to simple black or white.
With the all-new 2013 C7 Corvette only revealed in ‘regular’ Stingray guise for now, a future C7 ZR1 variant could make the SRT Viper TA’s reign at the top short-lived.
An even more hardcore Viper ACR could well follow, and given Ralph Gilles’ clear desire for the Viper to stay on top, you can bank on some exciting rivalry ahead.
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