Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: Ferrari-Viper Fusion?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Want more proof that Car And Driver Editor-in-Chief Eddie Alterman will believe anything?

Currently floating through the executive offices in Torino is a plan to fit the Dodge [Viper] with a V-10 version of the next-generation corporate V-8. This 90-degree engine would be modular top to bottom as well as by cylinder, with a flat-plane crank for the Ferrari V-8, a conventional cross-plane crank for the Maserati V-8, and pushrod-actuated valves for the balance-shafted Viper V-10.

Too bad Automotive News [sub] already revealed that Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Maserati are not part of the Fiat-Chrysler alliance. And a pushrod V10 based on a new Ferrari/Maserati V8? Isn’t that like basing a the plot of a Babysitters Club novel on the Ramayana? According to Alterman, “Marchionne thinks Viper has the potential to be to Dodge what Miata is to Mazda—a halo car that transmits the brand’s best attributes, and one that has tremendous marketing potential in car enthusiast/amateur racing circles.” Sounds like a top priority. Besides, didn’t the Iso Grifo and the Ghia L6.4 (pictured above) prove that Italo-American fusion works best when the American contribution is a rumbling homegrown V8?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Niky Niky on Aug 11, 2009
    Wolven : August 10th, 2009 at 6:53 pm dgduris beat me to it. I don’t know how successful the Pantera was sales wise, but it was very successful desirability wise. Forgive my ignorance, but what does Fiat have to do with Ferrari? Do they share some common components or something? (I’d certainly hate to think so.) It outsold Ferrari by a wide margin... though not a commercial success on the level of... say... the Mustang, having a couple of thousand units produced during the car's heyday, and being produced for a decade or two more afterwards counts as a win for any "supercar"... no matter how crude or shoddily made it was. -
  • Alex Nigro Alex Nigro on Aug 11, 2009
    Frank IBC, I'm guessing that minivans can be classified as a truck, therefore, the Dodge Caravan would live on in that plan.
  • Windswords Windswords on Aug 11, 2009

    John Horner: The Viper brand could morph into two vehicles, one a big brutish over the top muscle car in the original Cobra mold, and the other a smaller affordable street sporting car in the Miata mold. It wouldn’t hurt Dodge at all to have two interesting sports cars in the showroom." Chrysler toyed with this idea after the 1st gen Viper was introduced. Either a small turbo four or a small block V8 to compliment the Viper. Hence the Copperhead concept. Or was it the Venom concept? I can't remember now. This was of course before the re-birth of the Challenger. And then there was the Firepower concept for the Chrysler brand. I don't see this happening anymore. But the enthusiast in me would certainly like it.

  • HarveyBirdman HarveyBirdman on Aug 11, 2009

    John Horner, I'm all for it, but they'll definitely need to call it the Asp. Snickering teenage boys and their not-quite-grown-up elders everywhere would rejoice.