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Friday, December 19, 2014

Hot Wheels SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS-R

Hot Wheels made news in 2012 by unveiling the first sketch of the new Viper before it was revealed for the New York Auto Show.  Of course, it was a bit late to come to stores when the Maisto version came out first, but it still remains the first casting to come out (with examples sold at the N.Y. auto show in 2012) and still is the best one out there.  Now it joins the track-version GTS-R for 2015.

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Inside the GTS-R

Now I described the SRT Viper coupe in the Maisto 1:24 post, now it's time to look at the Viper GTS-R.  This race car is lower than the street coupe but shares the same smooth styling, joined by a larger front spoiler and foglights in the bumper, hood pins to secure the hood, side exhaust that exit halfway through the lower rocker panel, and a raised rear spoiler.  The engine is still the same 8.4L V-10, but with modifications to make more horsepower than the current Viper, including 10 throttle bodies and free-flowing exhaust.  The transmission is mounted at the rear axle and is six-speed paddleshift unit.  The chassis is a much different breed than the road version with tubular rollcage setup, and even the rear wing is part of the chassis as well.  The shocks are manually-adjustable, the integrated air jacks allow for fast pit stops, brakes that have no ABS but has traction control, and larger wheels by Michelin.  For better weight distribution the battery, fuel cell, and master brake cylinder rides just behind the driver, and the alternator and AC compressor runs from the rear transaxle.  The interior is only one seat with the passenger seat removed for more race car necessities.  The dashboard is similar to the road car, but the airbags are removed, a removable steering wheels is placed in front of the driver, the gauges are the digital ones used in race cars, and the central controls are replaced by manual switches.  Even though the GTS-R does not race in the 24 hours of LeMans currently, it still races at other track venues across the globe.

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The Hot Wheels road and track versions

The new GTS-R casting does not look that bad with the right looks and right graphics along the silver paint with gray 5-spoke wheels.  The shapely bodywork remains, now with cut outs for the hood scoops and a rear spoiler at the back.  The grille is separate from the body, but why oh why does Hot Wheels push the front chin spoiler up?!?!?!?!  The base has no details thanks to the smooth body, while the interior has the correct setup despite the lack of any rollcage details thanks to cost-cutting maneuvers.

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As for the SRT Viper coupe, it has an all-gorgeous bodywork in metallic red with detailed headlights, though the dark gray stripe tends to ruin the fun.  The grille details are nicely done, the side exhaust tips are part of the base, while the headlights could use some proper detailing.  The 5-spoke wheels are nice though it would be better if they were dark gray instead.  The base features a few more details than the GTS-R, while the interior has the correct setup minus a few details with the most important is the lack of the passenger-side grab handle on the dash.  The Viper returned in 2014 in a striking yellow with the correct grayed-out 5-spoke wheels, with the stripe gaining a new design that nicely blends in with the body.  As for the blue recolor with red stripe and wheels, don't ask I just passed on this variation.

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If Hot Wheels can fix the front spoiler on the GTS-R and continue the add more sharp colors and deco, this will be one nice family of SRT Viper's in the Mattel line, or 1:64 in general.

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