Thread of the Day: 2013 SRT Viper or 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1? – With Poll

When the Dodge Viper slithered its way from concept car to production car in the early 1990s, it was Chrysler’s first serious attempt to dethrone the Chevrolet Corvette as America’s unofficial sports car. Since then, both cars have evolved into legitimate supercars. With the all-new 2013 SRT Viper, the automaker claims to have made the mighty serpent a bit more civilized, as the original beast provided a raw experience.

2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 2013 SRT Viper GTS track graphic1 297x300 imageWhile the 2013 Viper is new, the 2013 Corvette is celebrating two milestones: its 60th anniversary and the last year of its sixth-generation as GM completes development of the seventh-generation 2014 Corvette. We took the new 640-hp 2013 SRT Viper GTS and the outgoing 638-hp 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca to see which front-engine, rear-drive American sports car could return the fastest lap.

“I can’t think of two other direct competitors that are so equally matched, so equally designed, so equally sadistic,” says our road test editor Scott Mortara in our 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 vs. 2013 SRT Viper GTS Comparison. “The Viper and the ‘Vette are twins separated at birth. Their technical specs overlay each other’s as far as length, width, and height, power output, drive configuration, seating position, weight, everything. There simply isn’t a better comparison when you look at the numbers. But that’s why we do comparison tests, because numbers never tell the whole story.”

We asked professional race driver Randy Pobst to lap the two American supercars for us. In the Corvette ZR1, professional race driver Randy Pobst set an all-time production car lap record of 1:33.70 – a full 2.07 seconds quicker than in the Viper GTS (1:35.77) and ahead of the old record of 1:33.99, set by Chris Winkler in a 2010 Dodge Viper ACR.

After reading our 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 vs. 2013 SRT Viper GTS Comparison and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Record Lap Time Analysis vote in our poll and tell us in the comment section: Which rear-drive American supercar would you choose?

By Jason Udy