By on October 14, 2015

Conner Avenue

Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, Dodge will end production of its supercar Viper in 2017 when the current generation has finished its run, Allpar reported.

(OK, so the Viper wasn’t exactly perfect.)

The website reported that United Auto Workers proposed contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles doesn’t include a product at the Viper’s Conner Avenue plant when Viper finishes in 2017. Viper has languished since its introduction in 2013, suffering from a high price and increased competition from the Chevrolet Corvette. Last year, Dodge sold 760 coupes, which was the best year for the current generation so far, but far from the nameplate’s zenith in 2003 when it sold 2,103 examples.

This year, Dodge rolled out the Viper ACR, a track-focused version of the Viper, to spur further sales of the highly specialized V-10 supercar. (Read Jack Baruth’s excellent review here.)

But the Viper never overcame the significant blow of Chevrolet’s C7 Corvette. At roughly the same time as the ACR, FCA rolled out the Charger and Challenger Hellcat models, of which sales have exploded. Production on Viper halted for two months for the company to sell what cars it had on lots.

The Viper was discontinued once before, for three years, and became somewhat of a football for FCA executives during negotiations to either keep shelved or sell to another specialized automaker.

It seems with the Conner Avenue facility’s uncertain future, Viper’s future is equally in doubt.

A spokeswoman for FCA didn’t immediately comment on the report.

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62 Comments on “Report: Dodge Viper Will Come To An End in 2017...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    What in the hell am I supposed to park next to my 250 miles purple Prowler and 1,225 miles teal 2002 Thunderbird now?

  • avatar
    cwallace

    Everybody who thought they already stopped making these three years ago, raise your hand…

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Any tears out there? Anyone?

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Would it be fair to say that the C7 along with the Hellcat twins did this thing in finally?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      That would be fair. The C7 ZO6 is ridiculous. For $80K, it’s hard for the Viper to compete.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      I’m surprised they didn’t figure out a way to fit the Hellcat engine into one of these. It makes no sense that the viper doesn’t have the strongest engine.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The decision to kill the Viper was probably made long ago when Hellcat was in development thus certifying it for that engine did not make business sense.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        Hemi is too wide and would require a major frame and suspension redesign. Add to that the fact that the iron-block 6.2L Supercharged Hemi is heavier (and much of it up high on the engine with the supercharger) than the 8.4L, it ruins the balance of the car for a measly 57 horsepower. There are aftermarket solutions if you really want 57 horsepower that won’t add as much weight.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    Might be a good time to pick up a Snake. I’ll take mine in burnt orange with gunmetal sidewinder wheels.

    This car is not for everyone, but for those who succumb to its charms…youtu.be/ETegyBzAQnc… it can be an absolute hoot.

    Anyway, there won’t be many more naturally aspirated, manually shifted, V-10s coming down the pike. Get yours while the gettin’s good!

  • avatar
    George B

    The Viper is too disconnected from Dodge to provide any halo effect. That role a Dodge is already filled by “Hellcat”, unfortunately without sports car efforts to reduce weight. In contrast, the Chevrolet Corvette and its excellent LS engines help boost the image of lesser GM models. “It has a Corvette engine” is a selling point that can be applied not only to performance versions of the Camaro, but to SUVs too.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Probably unrealistic to suggest and maybe a little cruel to say, but this thing should be half the price and way easier to live with. In other words, a Corvette Stingray.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Half the price?

      A hand-built sports car with an 8.4 liter V-10 should start at 42.5k?, which happens to be about 4k more than the starting price of a BMW 328i sedan and about 5k more than the 2016 Camaro SS.

      The Viper has its issues and yeah, at 42 grand I know plenty of people who would’ve purchases a Mustang, Camaro, 335i or something similar that would buy a Viper but a money maker it wouldn’t be.

      Now easier to live with… yeah. A DCT would help but I doubt FCA could develop/source anything that could handle the torque and fit in price wise with the car.

      Popularity wanes, but if production ends for good this car will be a future classic.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Half was a bit much. Maybe 2/3 or 3/4. And even at that price, it would have to be more refined.

        Having cars handbuilt at the Viper’s price is more of a liability than a boon IMO. Would be better for them to cut that cost nobody sees (or sees in ugly big tolerances) and put that into making the car livable. A $100K car that’s only at home on the track that doesn’t have a Porsche/Corvette emblem or some wacky kit essence (i.e. an Ariel Atom or Cateram) is DOA

    • 0 avatar
      akatsuki

      So you mean looks fast, but engineering that doesn’t let it actually go around a track?

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        They really should have toned it down. Let’s be honest, the overwhelming majority people that buy these things new don’t take them around tracks. Toning it down would have been a good idea. A lower price tag would have been also. But what really killed the Viper was the lack of an Automatic trans.

        I think like 80% of non-high spec Covettes are automatics. The market clearly wants them.

        It’s easy to say “But…But… The Viper is about the raw pure experience, save the manuals, legacy wagon! Small trucks! Earth colored t-shirt!” But the people who actually BUY these things want automatics. The car wouldn’t be going out of production if BUYERS wanted what it had.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree with you but I would also point out pre-95 S10s and Rangers which are not completely destroyed sell briskly in these parts and sometimes carry a premium (and S10 was a crap platform, Ranger OK on the 92? and earlier platform from what I understand).

          I don’t want to awaken the small truck jihad but one of similar size that wasn’t crap could do well. I will now pause to hear why I am wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            As I’ve opined before, it seems to me that because of CAFE regs, the only way a smaller-than-midsize truck could meet MPG standards is if it was a FWD/AWD unibody platform (not that this is necessarily a bad thing). And this is before crash and rollover standards are taken into account. I would not be against any manufacturer having three different-sized truck lines (like Dodge did in the late ’80s), but right now it seems like most former compact owners’ needs could be met with a Transit Connect or similar vehicle.

  • avatar
    Chan

    The Viper basically created the American supercar genre. There have been other ventures like the Saleen S7 and the Vector cars, but those are relatively obscure.

    Its ever-increasing price point is the biggest problem. European supercars have walked away to $200-300k minimum, leaving just Porsche in the awkward $100-200k bracket. A $100k+ Viper is not accessible to its traditional audience.

    The other problem is the cheaper competition that is the Corvette Z06 which produces (for about a lap-and-a-half, at least) more power and has a lower base price.

    The third problem is the Hellcat. It’s cheaper, and it provides the only performance parameter Americans understand–straight line speed.

    Personally, I wish the Viper sounded better at WOT. It sounds mean as hell just idling, but going up the rev range it’s underwhelming. Perhaps a smaller, higher-revving V10 is the ticket. I definitely feel the old 8+L V10 needs a change.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Vector?!?! Oh boy.

      How did people let Gerald Wiegert take all of their money? Apparently, all it takes is a Chevy 350 and a “car” built in a shed. He then took more people’s money with the AquaJet jetbike. Look at the ridiculous webpage that is still up:

      http://www.aquajet.com/

      Hahahahahahaha

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        @bball

        Don’t hate the playa, hate the game!

        This reminds me. Would you be interested in investing in an idea I have for a motorcycle?

        It’s similar to this one operated by Megaforce (see video)…

        —>youtu.be/O1NpZxn860M

        …but is much faster (thanks to a new patented rocket fuel formula) and is much more maneuverable (which helps when evading Syrian SAMS).

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I think Grango needs to weigh in on this.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Freind”

            Oh I can tell you sometimes when I am at the nearby larger commercial city, sometimes I see the motor-bike of there usage their. Even here in my Country, there is not as much extrapolated of attachment!

            And I think, “Oh Grango, is only for movie of American time from 1980’s, what judge can you make when there is you’re Country with Iron Drapery like so, you know?”

            So, I relinquish from too much thinking of evading a SAMS (much like evading SAMurai, like the older of favorite of its’ Asian, Jackey Chan or maybe Bruce Lee’s.) ha ha, Ok!

            -Dearly-

            GR

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Yay Grango!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Grango needs a weekly column.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ha, I try and limit when he comes around to times when it’s strangely applicable for some random reason.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          If it is powered by a Chevy 350 and built in a shed, you may have $350,000 American dollars.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Time for a DIFFERENT Halo car! These are mostly driven by geezers living on retirement…much like the Corvette.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    I remember PPAP’ing a diecast support bracket for the Viper ZB1 and 2 revision. We literally PPAP’ed the part, ran the tooling for a month, oiled and sealed the part dunnage, then placed the die in storage where it probably sat until 2010.

    The piece cost was really high. We ate about half of the engineering costs as the product line was a favor to secure higher volume Mercedes programs that ended up getting yanked away in the end. Fuck Diamler.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    The current gen Viper is a beautiful sports car, beautifully made, successfully blending American hot rod and European performance car attributes to a degree associated with exotic vehicles that cost much, much more, yet it remains comfortable enough for driving back and forth to work and home, despite its brutal power.

    This is very sad news, but is the result of there being limited demand for two seat, high-powered, road legal race cars (essentially), rather than anything else.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    What happened to all the Vipers?

    I mean I’ve literally seen like 2-3 on the road in the last 10 years, but in the 90’s, it seemed like it was like seeing a Tesla. A pretty normal, everyday sighting.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    This thing is awesome, but I, for one, long for a balls-out gonzo roadster version, track snobs be d*mned. How about it, Daimler? I’d love to wistfully daydream for one.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Discontinued? Finally the people who bought one with the intent to sell it later, when the price of their “rare collectors low mileage specimen” went up, can cash in on their investment.

    Or maybe (more likely) they’ll just continue to collect dust in sad garages.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Amazing how a rare, incredible looking, high powered sports car can’t sell for $100,000 but a stupid electric SUV with no range that can’t carry sh!t can sell for $140,000. What a sad day.

  • avatar

    A MASSIVE WASTE OF MONEY.
    If these morons at FCA had invested this same money into upgrading the Dodge Magnum to a Pentastar/AWD, 392 and HELLCAT, they’d have something to show for their wasted efforts.
    A $100,000 plus, 2-seat coupe with a stupid manual and less space than a Chrysler Sebring??? And an engine that IS NOT easily upgradeable?
    Simply STUPID.
    Do these people even understand who their target audience is???
    BIG CARS.
    BIGGER ENGINES.
    If I wanted to get more than 9MPG I’d be driving a CAMRY.

  • avatar
    raph

    Great car but it was just killed by the vettes dollar/performance advantage not to mention the widowmaker image.

    I know,people in the blue oval camp want a vette competitor beyond the GT350 and R variant but I,think it would be folly just like the Viper. Better they are going for the high end market and had better hope GM doesn’t come out with the mid-engine car everybody keeps talking about as the General will surely look to set the bar and undrcut the GT in price.

    Then again the Z06 with Z07 option is damn near running over the 918 with a decent driver at the wheel which says a lot about the front engine vette in any event.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Last I heard the GT will be priced around 400 large. If that pricing is correct or even somewhere in the neighborhood, I’m pretty sure that whatever GM builds, won’t come in nearly that high.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    Our dealership has one Shelby Series 1 roadster with 64 miles on it. It looks better all the time and that Aurora V8 engine is so fine. I just believe that Carroll Shelby should have selected a better “Snake” name, like the Viper has. Maybe not Mongoose, but Anaconda comes to mind…The Series 1 was awarded to Karen McDougal, the Playboy Playmate of the Year in 1998. We delivered a non-engined version to the Playboy Mansion.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    Will I miss the Viper? Not so much, though it’s nice to have a supercar built right here in the good ol’ USA.

    I am more saddened over the fact that the LH is no more…eleven years after the fact. Never had a chance to get RWD, never had the opportunity to get the 3.6L Pentastar V6, never had the potential to see how it would have evolved past the second generation. That’s tough to get over.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    Had they put the Hemi 6.4L V8 and lowered the price, it at least would have had a chance. What they really needed to do is the unthinkable, put the ZF 8AT with the Hemi 6.4L.

    Either way, I won’t miss it. I’d rather have a Corvette anyway for what they’re charging for it.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I logged in just to say this. If there was a wussier version with less power and an automatic, they’d sell a lot more. I’m glad that car doesn’t exist, no matter what happens.

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