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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


The Future of Viper
Road and Track

What lies up the road for America's meanest supercar?

In 2008, Dodge sold 1172 Vipers; in 2009, only 659. Prior to that, close to 2000 Vipers were rolling off dealer lots per year. Over 25,000 of these venomous sports cars have been sold since Dodge introduced it in 1992, making the Viper a success, at least until last year’s dismal performance.

Things actually started going downhill in 2008 when it was announced that the Viper brand was for sale. Within a year Chrysler went bankrupt and then a deal was struck with Fiat that saved Chrysler and, strangely, also the Viper. A quick succession of management changes seems to have worked in the Viper’s favor. In June of 2009, Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne was appointed CEO of Chrysler Group. The next month came news that not only was Viper no longer for sale, but that Ralph Gilles, Chrysler’s vice president of product design (and a known Viper fanatic) would be the new CEO of Dodge Cars and be directly responsible for the Viper. He extended production of the 2010 model as far as it could go, which was this past June, because in July it would have to become a 2011 model. While there won’t be a 2011 model, we have reason to believe we’ll see a concept for a new Viper sometime in 2012, destined for production the following year.

The next Viper will use the same 8.4-liter V-10 making 600 horsepower. There’s nothing wrong with this, especially since the pushrod engine is apparently capable, with reasonable modification, of meeting emissions requirements up to 2018. The simple addition of direct injection could see power output rise to 700 bhp. Ilmor Marine sells the engine in 650-bhp and 725-bhp configurations, built at the Viper factory. Interestingly, Ilmor is still selling the engine even though the Viper plant is closed. Could it be the Ilmor folks know that Viper production will start up again before they run out of engines? It’s a safe bet they do.

Believe it or not, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was destined to be the next Viper’s kissing cousin. Although those plans have since been scrapped, the manual transaxle and longer wheelbase developed in the process will likely be kept for the next-generation Viper, which would help with heat management, interior space and finally allow the driver’s seat, steering wheel and pedals to all line up.

The steel frame and general construction of the Viper will remain basically the same, as it’s already very light and strong. It’s also possible a less-powerful V-8 version would be created as a stepping-stone to the Viper—think Chrysler Firepower concept. Apparently Dodge engineers have even talked to Ferrari about performance stability control and how to improve the car’s steering feel.

But rest assured, the next Viper will not be a Ferrari—Gilles is too much of a Viper fanatic to allow that. The car is guaranteed to have a true manual gearbox and a real off button for the stability control. It will be significantly better than the current version, yet still retain the brutish nature that only serious car enthusiasts revel in. The Viper saga is not over. It’s just on hold.
 

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The ilmor is now also sold in a 625 and 710 hp models.. Becoming VERY succesful in offshore racing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
More on this from Autoblog...

At yesterday's Chrysler dealer conference, the Pentastar people publicly revealed new or updated products from Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat. But there was more on stage than just a facelifted Town & Country and a federalized Fiat 500.

Towards the end of his remarks, Chrysler Group and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne pulled a Steve Jobs-style "one more thing," and onto the stage rolled the 2012 Dodge Viper. According to our sources, the design was all-new, complete with an aggressive greenhouse and fresh, angular sheetmetal.

Chrysler has already confirmed that the next Viper is on its way in two years' time, but showing it off this early is a clear indication that work is well underway. There's still some debate about what powertrain will be fitted to the thoroughly updated Viper, but early reports indicate that the same 8.4-liter V10 could carry on, possibly with the inclusion of Fiat's MultiAir technology to reduce emissions and boost output over 700 horsepower. An entry-level V8 option is a possibility, and there's little doubt that Dodge is tapping Ferrari's engineers to advise on everything from handling to steering and stability control systems.

Another supposed cameo at the event was a Jeep pickup, similar to the Gladiator concept, however, we've yet to confirm its attendance or any serious production plans. But for the time being, we're content with the knowledge that Dodge's next supercar is in the wings and we'll being seeing it in person within the next several months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
MORE: - From The Wall Street Journal

Chrysler: A Preview of the Automaker’s New Lineup
September 15, 2010

Chrysler dealers were still abuzz Wednesday over the 17 new products the auto maker showed off Tuesday in Orlando, Fla. Dealers can start placing orders for most of the new vehicles on Thursday. The following is a rundown of what consumers can expect to see over the next six months gleaned from interviews with about a half-dozen dealers who attended the meeting. Some of these details weren’t released publicly by the company Tuesday.

DODGE:

The Dodge Viper hot-rod will be back in 2012. The concept vehicle displayed at the meeting had been painted more than 25 times with a candy-apple red to give it a sleek appeal. The vehicle is more upscale and has moved away from its race car image. Dealers said they were told the company’s new product committee took one look at the Viper and unanimously approved its production within five minutes.
 

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i was hoping an extra year in between(2013my) so i could have my new career long enough to establish my life enough to get a new viper...though i still love the orig gts
 
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