Well, how I managed to sit with Ralph Gilles was a wonder in itself. He was in the men’s bathroom as was I, and we met on the way out. Finally, I had him before any other press could get him! I asked him if I could ask some questions about the Vipers that maybe others didn’t ask or he didn’t cover. He said that I had five minutes. I took out my phone and started recording, but due to the construction of the charity event that will be taking place later in the night, it was very hard to hear. Below is the dialogue to the best of my hearing:
Me: Thanks for taking the time to chat before heading back to the SRT booth. I was wondering what your first thoughts were when you woke up this morning and knew that the Viper would be introduced into the world.
Ralph: Glad to take the time [looks at press badge], John. Well, I knew that I had a huge responsibility on my hands, and that the public has been waiting long enough for this debut. I’m very pleased with all who have been working on the project, especially the [PR] team, which did an excellent job of keeping this project under wraps. It is a proud day in the Chrysler Group‘s history, one for the history books, at least in the automotive books.
Me: Thanks Mr. Gilles. What were some of the features or designs that were thought of during the designing process that never made it into the Viper on the show floor?
Ralph: Well, I can’t speak much of what the design team hadn’t decided to implement in our Viper, partially because of the technology that will be used in future SRT designs, and partially because I didn’t know that [info].
Me: Oh ok. Could you explain a little bit about the new features in the Viper that were not in previous models?
Ralph: First off, cruise control was a must. Some want to put it as a track car only, but there are plenty of previous Viper owners that want to cruise on the highway and didn’t want to have to keep their foot on the gas. Some pure enthusiasts have disagreed with this decision, but we all believe it is for the best.
Second, we have greatly improved the interior. In previous models, it was a bare-bones basic interior that some thought was lacking in style. In today’s Viper, that has changed. If you have taken a look inside, you can see that we have increased the luxurious feel, as well as the new LCD panel and the instrument cluster I introduced before.
Lastly, as I spoke about before, the new chasis that was redesigned and reengineered, which made it much stiffer.
Me: I noticed on Viper forums and Twitter about how people complained that the heat from the door sills was very uncomfortable. What has SRT done to fix that issue?
Ralph: SRT has increased the airflow around the doorsills and also underneath them to remove heat from the exhaust area. Because of the design, noise and heat will always be there, but we have noticed that and have done our best to mitigate this issue. Thank you for the interview, I wish I could chat more, but I need to be going. Thank you and have a good day.
Me: Thank you very much for the opportunity sir, and love the Viper!
- Watch The SRT Viper Tear Up A Track On Forza [Video] (jalopnik.com)