The Viper: It's a car, it's a halo, it's a lifeboat

To Ralph Gilles, the 2013 SRT Viper isn't just a halo car. It's a morale lifeboat.
Gilles, head of Chrysler's SRT brand and the company's design chief, says working on the 640-hp Viper, which is scheduled to go on sale late this year, carried Chrysler's design team through the darkest days of the company's 2009 bankruptcy.
"It was done in the darkest hour you could imagine," Gilles told an audience in Detroit last week. "I threw this project to the designers to keep them motivated."
The Viper, which was unveiled this month at the New York auto show, will be built at Chrysler's Conner Avenue plant in Detroit, which built the last Viper in 2010.
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