Motor Trend Magazine, April 1996

DODGE PACERS FOR INDY 500



A pair of Dodges will be in the spotlight at the Indianapolis 500 this year. The stunning Viper GTS Coupe will pace the field at the 80th running of the spring classic while a modified Ram pickup will provide on-scene support.

The 450-horsepower GTS Coupe needed no performance modifications to meet the track's pace-car specifications. Bob Lutz, president of Chrysler Corp., has been designated as the snake's pilot for the May 26th run.

Although it won't produce GTS replicars for public consumption, Dodge will offer an "Indy 500 Special Edition" pickup. Available this spring, it's based on the Ram SLT Sport and features the same classic paint sceme as the Viper GTS Coupe. For $21,050, about $900 over the cost of a standard SLT Sport with the 5.9-liter V-8, it also includes unique 17-inch wheels, performance tires, a more agressive-sounding exhaust, and engine enhancements that scare up 15 extra horses.

For those whose power craving extends even beyond the "basic" Indy Special Edition's 245 horses, there's a Magnum R/T Performance Package, offered by the Mopar Parts Division. This dealer-installed kit ($1768 plus labor charges) includes a hotter engine controller, a deep-breathing cam, and a low-restriction air filter and headers. Chrysler dyno testing indicates almost 300 horses can be harnessed from this buffed 5.9-liter V-8.

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