Dodge Offers First Tease of Reborn Viper

Hints of retro for snake charmer.

by on Jan.31, 2012

Dodge offers a first hint of what's to come when the Viper makes its return.

With the reborn Dodge Viper scheduled to make its return debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show, the Detroit maker is offering a first vague hint of what’s to come in the form of this stylized silhouette on the SRT Facebook fan page.

The original Viper roadster,  designed to be a pure American muscle car, not even offering anti-lock brakes or airbags in its original incarnation.  A coupe roof was grudgingly added in 1996, with ABS, airbags and a few other niceties eventually becoming part of the package.  But from Day One, the snake was all about muscle and that’s expected to remain the heart-and-soul of the all-new Dodge Viper when it finally returns to showrooms next year.

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The front-view teaser suggests the design is a bit retro, though the new version of the Viper will be all-new, this time with a platform borrowed from Fiat’s Maserati division – though it is expected to feature a unique-to-Viper engine.

That powertrain is expected to remain the distinctive V-10 layout used since the original roadster hit the streets, though some reports have suggested it could be bumped up to a massive 8.7 liters.  Whether other engine options will be offered in an era of tightening fuel economy legislation remains to be seen.  Viper’s most direct competitor, the Chevrolet Corvette, will reportedly offer a new high-output, low-displacement V-8 option on top-line performance models, such as the ZR-1.

Significantly, there’ll be more digital technology onboard once Viper returns, as the new 2-seater will have to comply with federal rules now requiring the use of electronic stability control, among other things.  Don’t be surprised to see other high-tech touches, such as a tracking system that would display performance figures, such as cornering G forces.

The new Dodge Viper will be a 2013 model and it is expected to initially appear in roadster form with a coupe model to follow – an approach the Dodge brand took with the original line, which debuted in 1992.

The revived sports car, in turn, will be produced at the re-opened Conner Avenue Assembly Plant, on Detroit’s east side, a specially designed facility able to handle the largely hand-built Viper.

“We’re extremely excited that our ultimate American sports will continue to live on and be produced exclusively here in the Motor City,” Ralph Gilles. Chrysler’s chief designer and head of its SRT division, said last month.


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