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The Dodge Viper after 2017

by Daniel Bennett on

Speculation. Though it is a fine flagship car, its factory has no official commitments past 2017, which suggests that the Dodge Viper’s days may be numbered.

The Viper is quite expensive to engineer, with its unique engine and chassis. The huge V10 has already been beaten in peak power by the Hemi Hellcat, which won’t fit into the snake car.

14 viper ta

Some argue that the Challenger Hellcat is a better Dodge flagship, and it has certainly drawn many people into showrooms. FCA leaders, though, have hinted that more limited-production cars will carry the Hellcat forward, though that may not happen until after 2020.

Combine the two legacies of Hellcat and Viper, and we can see the potential for a new direction.

The plan calls for a new Alfa Romeo Alfieri; it’s possible that a jointly engineered replacement for both cars is being created, using the new FCA rear wheel drive plans as a starting point.  The Dodge Viper would use the Hellcat, while the Alfa Romeo would use a Ferrari engine. Adding an automatic would broaden its draw, and that extra market could mean more sales per year, which would mean lower costs for each car.

Another option, less likely, would be switching to a full-fledged racing frame with carbon fiber body panels, or even a dedicated carbon fiber tub and body, using FCA’s experience with the 4C, to directly compete with the high-priced Ford GT40. Doing this could lose almost all repeat Viper buyers and defeat the purpose of the car.

A final option is revisiting engineer Ian Sharp’s proposed Viper with a kinetic hybrid design — technology now being used in Formula 1.

There’s no telling which, if any, of these plans is being implemented, or even discussed, in Auburn Hills and Turin now.

Dan Bennett was doomed from the start. His parents bought a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner when it was known that he was coming along, and the rest of the story was written from that point forward.
Raised in a Mopar only home, Dan has also been Mopar only. From ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s muscle to current SRTs of various flavors, Dan has owned, and in many cases raced, each of the Mopar brands.
Dan’s real career is as a “parts guy” at a local dealership, but he also is a muscician, computer geek/gamer, avid reader, and general all around seeker of knowledge. His whole working career has been spent in the parts industry, starting in the aftermarket, and now at the dealership level. He took a couple years off and went in a different direction for a bit as a jewelry designer and salesman, and even though he won a design award for a piece, his true calling, automotive, won out in the end.
He has written articles, or has had vehicles that have appeared in Mopar Muscle, Sport Truck, and Truckin’. In various forums and social media, he has made a name for himself as the “Go-to” guy for tech information for all things Mopar. He also has a large background in many forms of racing and engine building, holding at one point a ASE Certified Master Engine Machinist rating. Though he no longer keeps that certification up to date, he is still very active in the engine building side when he has spare time.
To Dan, there is no option to covering the Mopar world, it is an imperative that must be done to keep his world in balance.
You can contact him at (206) 736-7670.


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