SRT Viper Roadster Finally Arrives - but Doesn't Come from Chrysler
Since the first generation of the Dodge Viper was introduced back in 1992, each new design generation was introduced first as a roadster/convertible and later as a hard top coupe. The Viper was initially created with inspiration from the Shelby Cobra Roadster so it only seemed fitting that when the Viper was introduced in 1992, it was only available as a roadster. A coupe would follow a few years later, but when the new look Dodge Viper SRT10 was introduced for the 2002 model year, it was once again a convertible-only affair – once again followed by a hard top version a few years later.
With all of that in mind, it came as a shock to some that the 2013 SRT Viper was introduced as a hardtop coupe and it came as just less than an outrage to some that there was no top-down version at all. Chrysler Group reps have since referenced the possibilities of a 5th gen Viper roadster, but that is as close as we have gotten to an SRT Viper roadster – until now.
This New SRT Viper Roadster Doesn’t Come from Dodge
You might be thinking to yourself “if there is a new SRT Viper Roadster…why haven’t I heard about it in any Dodge or Chrysler Group material?” Well, that is because neither Dodge nor the Chrysler Group are actually responsible for the production of the new Viper Roadster. In fact, you cannot even order this topless supercar from your local Dodge dealership unless your local dealership is Tomball Dodge in Tomball Texas, because this convertible is being produced by a third party company.
Prefix Performance of Auburn Hills Michigan is best known for being the Tier 1 supplier who is currently responsible for painting the SRT Viper coupes rolling off of the Connor Avenue assembly line, but the company is looking to spread its wings a bit more. Its first effort is to convert the 2013 and 2014 SRT Viper from a coupe into a roadster – with the result being the Prefix Viper Medusa Roadster. Prefix is marketing these custom topless Vipers through Tomball Dodge (the nation’s leading dealership in terms of Viper sales) and to start, they are offering just 10 examples before committing to building any more.
Based on the images provided by Prefix, the result of their Medusa Viper package is an SRT supercar that looks very much like a factory build. While the car clearly looks best with the cloth top folded down, it has a full coverage canvas top like your average production car. Also, since the chassis of the current Viper was designed with a roadster in mind, Prefix doesn’t need to reinforce the chassis to compensate for the lack of a roof. This means that the Prefix Medusa Viper doesn’t gain lots of weight like most aftermarket convertible version – actually weighing 70 pounds less than the normal production Viper coupe.
Having 1 of the 10 SRT Viper Roadsters is a Serious Investment
While the Prefix SRT Viper Roadster conversion doesn’t add the crazy weight that many convertible packages add, Prefix does add the big price of other convertible conversions. To be exact, the Prefix Viper Roadster package carries a price of $35,000 – and that obviously doesn’t include the price of buying the Viper in the first place.
In other words, having a Gen V Viper Roadster will cost you at least $139,480. That begins with the $102,485 base price and adds on the $1,995 destination fee and the $35,000 price of the Prefix conversion.
In reading through the various automotive forums, many Dodge/SRT/Viper enthusiasts are more annoyed by this package – and the massive price tag – than they are excited to finally see a Gen V Viper droptop. The Viper already isnt selling well, so introducing a third party package that is only available through a dealership in Texas with a price tag that is a Dodge Challenger R/T more than the factory production Viper might be a tough sell…which is likely why the company is only committing to 10 units at first.
In the long run, I have little doubt that Tomball and Prefix will having a hard time selling all ten of the first SRT Viper Medusa Roadsters. $35,000 might seem outrageous to us, but to someone who has no issue cutting the roof off of their $100k+ supercar – it might seem like pocket change in exchange for having one of the rarest high performance American cars in the world.
What I really don’t get is why they would name their Viper Roadster project Medusa. For those unsure, Medusa is a figure in Greek mythology that had a head of hair comprised of snakes but worse yet, she was so graphically ugly that she could turn people to stone simply by making eye contact with her. I don’t get name a project after a famously ugly monster…but at least their topless Viper looks great.
Source: Prefix Facebook