On a recent hunt for photos of gorgeous cars for My Life at Speed’s official Facebook page, I came across the latest snake to come out of Detroit. It’s the 2014 SRT Viper TA (Time Attack) and it’s orange. Certainly not like the Lamborghini orange that screams, “Look at me, I’m really expensive!” This car’s crusher orange was saying, “Look at me, helplessly as I blow past you on track day…sucker.” Imagine my surprise to find that this is exactly what Ralph Gilles, SRT’s venerable President and CEO wanted to achieve.
“The new 2014 SRT Viper TA is being engineered for the dedicated track enthusiast, who still wants to drive to the track and take their hobby to the next level” – Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LL
According to Episode 58 of Motor Trend’s Ignition video series on YouTube, “the next level” involved destroying the Corvette ZR1. Mr. Gilles, a globally recognized gearhead, was perturbed that General Motors broke the track record at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with their 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1; a record that was previously held by the Viper ACR. Oh and wiped the floor with the 2013 SRT Viper GTS in the process. So he set his boffins to make a car that would reestablish their dominance. Thus the TA was born –with a thirst for vengeance and no mercy for the weak.
I’ll admit to having a soft spot for supercars in general but there’s just something about this one. As if the SRT Viper wasn’t an aggressive car in the first place, the TA model comes with a serious track package. However, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting and as you’ll see from Randy Pobst’s test drive, this car is mighty tasty. It’s a magnificent beast and probably better left in the hands of capable professionals. The story behind it reminds one of Henry Ford II’s heated rivalry with Enzo Ferrari; and indeed, this battle between SRT and GM has also been a highly productive one. The motoring world got one heck of a car out of it and that track record at Laguna Seca didn’t stand a chance.