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Baby-Viper: Gilles off the cuff

by David Zatz on

According to Drive.com.au’s Toby Hagon, SRT chief Ralph Gilles hinted about creating a ”baby Viper.”  He quoted Gilles as saying:

“Going forward, of course, my dream is to continue making unique SRT products, something like a baby Viper or something like that.”

Viper
From there to actually believing that a baby Viper is being considered is a long leap, but one that Hagon was willing to make. While he admitted that “Gilles wouldn’t be drawn on the chances of a baby Viper or how it would come to life,” Hagon speculated on how a smaller, more efficient Viper could help with fuel economy targets (though Viper’s small production numbers are unlikely to harm Chrysler much), and tossed out the Alfa Romeo 4C and next-generation Mazda MX-5 roadster (which Alfa is working on) as possible platforms.
One could also speculate that the upcoming rear-wheel-drive mid-sized platform to be shared by Alfa Romeo and Dodge would be a good potential chassis, but in all likelihood a true “baby Viper” would require either its own custom designed chassis, or one borrowed from Ferrari.
It is also quite possible that Gilles was making a throwaway remark which has been thoroughly blown out of proportion. In past examples of the “echo chamber” nature of some reporting communities, remarks or speculation are picked up by other sources, and each time one or more provisio is dropped, until it reaches the eyes of a high-circulation print publication. Appearing in print — or on the web site of a print publication — often gives the rumor a level of authenticity it does not deserve, and since these publications usually do not credit “lesser” sources, or condescendingly refer to “blogs,” the writers who originated the story then gain confirmation. In the best case, the attention convinces the manufacturer to actually create the rumored object.
(Thanks, Seth Johnson / whfrat)

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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