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Gilles: Next Viper aimed at Corvette, Porsche

by Bill Cawthon on

According to Chrysler styling chief and Dodge brand CEO Ralph Gilles, the next Dodge Viper will be styled to win Porsche and Corvette fans.

Inspired by “a naked woman on the beach,” Gilles told those attending the Automotive News World Congress, the 2013 Viper will be drop-dead beautiful. Gilles also said the new Viper will be profitable and volume is not an issue.

“It’s an icon and, as a performance brand, it’s important for me to have a performance vehicle,” Gilles told reporters after his presentation.

During his presentation, Gilles, who turns 41 today, touched on what makes Chrysler work and what he thinks of working for Sergio Marchionne (“When you have a CEO who works five times harder than you, you can’t help but respect him”). Some excerpts are included in this video clip.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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