You don’t want to mess with Ralph Gilles. Oh sure, he may be an accomplished automotive designer and the head of Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand. But if you try to besmirch the reputation of him, his coworkers, his company, or the products made by his company well, may Walter Chrysler have mercy on your soul. When Donald Trump parroted presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s, uh, factually-deficient proclamation that Jeep was moving all of its production to China, Ralphie G made a beeline to the Twitterverse to disseminate his opinion of the reality TV host, provocateur and sometime real estate kingpin.
While the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1’s defeat of the freshly minted SRT Viper GTS in a recent MotorTrend comparison test wasn’t quite the same genus of trolling as The Donald’s jaw-flappings, Mr. Gilles still found it irksome. So irksome, in fact, that he and the SRT team moved the development of the new Viper TA – as in Time Attack – ahead of schedule. By at least half a year. And when the more hardcore Viper was ready for review by the motoring press, which outlet do you think Ralph called first? (Hint: It wasn’t us. Not that we’re bitter or anything…) As you can see in this video from MT, the results of the TA’s upgrades speak for themselves (with a bit of help from our bud Jonny Lieberman and the magazine’s tame racing driver Randy Pobst).