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Gilles: Motor Trend “chicken”

by Bill Cawthon on

SRT-Viper-2013-Eyes-Web

Jalopnik reported say that SRT CEO Ralph Gilles called out the test driver at Motor Trend for being scared of the 2013 SRT Viper during a recent comparison test of the 2013 SRT Viper and the ZR1 Corvette.  Ralph Gilles wrote that fear of the Viper was a factor in the test results, after three-time SCCA World Challenge champion Randy Probst piloted the Corvette around the course slightly more quickly than the Viper. Gilles tweeted, “…There is a lot more left in the car, Randy has always struggled with the Viper.” While Jalopnik defended Probst’s skills, they also had some support for Gilles’ criticism, noting that the magazine called the Viper scary to drive and that the “hard to handle” nature of the Viper is a draw for its buyers. Jalopnik also pointed out that Motor Trend‘s competition and handling of the comparison is  “… exactly why they do it. It’s thoughtless trolling and they do it all the time because it works every time. Have no fear Ralph, a Viper, perhaps an ACR or something, will be pitted against a Corvette again. Trust us. … it might happen next month. This is also what they do.  It’s called “building a narrative” and this is only the latest chapter. Useful reportage? Maybe not, but it is good theatre and Gilles is playing along nicely.”   [2013 SRT Viper]

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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