Emerging from bankruptcy this summer, the Dodge Viper was the first vehicle to have its production go back on line, but the iconic sports car will be end production next year according to Ralph Giles, President and CEO of the Dodge Car Brand. Giles said that the Dodge Viper SRT-10, which has been around since 1991, will cease production in July 2010. The Dodge Viper, along with its powerful V-10 engine, is hand-built at Chrysler’s Conner Avenue Assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan.
Production of the Dodge Viper has been up in the air over that past 18 months including an attempt to sell it off as a separate franchise, but ultimately it was kept in the Dodge portfolio. In a business plan that laid out the future of the entire Chrysler Group over the next four years, Giles said that the discontinuation of the Viper is an attempt to preserve the value of the existing models, and he also said a future rebirth of the Viper is under consideration. According to a slide revealed in the business plan, the fifth-generation Viper could make a possible debut in the summer of 2012 likely as a 2013 model.
With Ferrari under the parental umbrella of Chrysler’s parent company, Fiat S.p.A., it is not clear what role any of the Italian-based automakers would play in the development of a future Dodge Viper. Unlike Ferrari’s high-horsepower output from a relatively small engine displacement, it is likely that the Dodge halo sports coupe would retain its big V-10 to produce similar output of the current model’s 600 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque. The redesigned model should also keep a similar design language to the first two body styles offering both hard- and open-top models with aggressive styling and a low, wide stance.
Giles added that there would be a final run of 500 of “the most special Vipers ever” when production ends next summer, but he gave no indication as to what would make the final run of Vipers so special. We expect the final Viper models will most likely be limited to exclusive appearance and packaging combinations including paint jobs, interior materials and even special, high-performance models, and there is sure to be extensive pomp and circumstance when the final Viper models are introduced.
Date : 11/04/2009