Admittedly, this year’s LA Auto Show is a bit low on high performance offerings compared to previous years. This is mostly because of OEM’s move to more sustainable means of transportation; which is especially awesome for a city like Los Angeles. However, guys like me have a leaning interest towards the “go fast” cars and while there wasn’t much in that category there were a few top caliber showings. The LA Auto Show is the world wide debut of the Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series, and the Bentley Continental GT3 race car.
While both those cars are awesome, I have to say the car that had us the most excited was the new SRT Viper GTS! If you really have to ask why then allow us to explain… The SLS AMG Black Series is amazing but it is not really an evolution of the SLS, rather its an extremely limited edition high performance version of an existing car in Mercedes Benz’ line up. The Viper GTS is not only a new model but its a rebirth of something that many of us thought was dead and never to return.
The Viper GTS is also arguably the first new American mass produced super car since the Ford GT! A all new Viper is a sign that America is changing for the better. It is a sign that we are once again ready to truly compete with the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini not just in the showrooms but on the race track as well. The new Viper is also a crowning achievement of Ralph Gilles, one of the coolest CEO’s in the automotive industry. This guy went from being a designer to calling the shots for an internationally recognized brand. He also had the balls to break from traditional CEO decorum and call out “billionaire” Donald Trump when he tried to spread politically charged lies about Jeep.
For Mr. Gilles the Viper had been his baby for two years and he took care to make sure that when it came back after its painful departure, it would come correct. He refined its styling, and refined its performance as well. Not to say that the Viper was ever a slouch in the performance department but it was nothing else if not “rough”. A driver really had to know what they were doing if they wanted to tame a Viper around a race track. The new SRT Viper has been treated with a small suite of technological advances to make the car lighter, more powerful, yet more linear and accessible without neutering it.
Granted my invite to the press drives were ahem… lost in the mail. I can still imagine that the new SRT Viper is a blast to drive and a significant improvement over the previous model. It also had me more excited than any other car on the LA Auto Show floor.
For that, for what it represents, and for all that it is, the SRT Viper is officially MotorworldHype’s favorite car of the LA Auto Show. Granted, this little blog doesn’t mean much in the world of Autoblogs and Jalopniks but we still want to make it known! Thank you to SRT and to Mr. Gilles for bringing America’s super car to Los Angeles!