Is Dodge Bringing Back the Viper in 2020?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

We thought we’d be mourning the Viper for years before Dodge readied its return. Fortunately, that might not be the case. Fiat Chrysler has apparently green-lit the model’s return for 2020. But, with production ending in 2017 and FCA’s subsequent closure of Conner Avenue Assembly, it’s still a little difficult to believe any of this is real.

And yet, here we are.

Typically, we’d expect details on something this huge to be razor thin and parsed out over an extended period of time. However, Car and Driver has already reported that the new Viper will use a space frame with fully independent suspension and retain the long-nosed structure we’ve become accustomed to. But it will not be equipped with a V10.

Instead, the rumor mill has the model working with a naturally aspirated V8 slotted behind the front axle. The prospective downgrade in power is expected to be offset by a plethora of aluminum and carbon fiber. However, the publication expects later examples of the new Viper to see ludicrous amounts of horsepower.

Initial offerings are said to be convertible-only with a high-powered SRT variant and hard-top coupes coming a year or two later. Anything else is pure speculation. In fact, Dodge hasn’t even confirmed any of the above, though Car and Driver sounds pretty sure. We hope they’re right because, while we really like the Corvette, we don’t want it getting too comfortable.

[Image: FCA]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Johnster Johnster on May 27, 2018

    It sounds a lot like the Chrysler Firepower concept sports car which was based on the old Dodge Viper platform, but used Chrysler's hemi V-8 engine. The Firepower was positioned as a more luxurious GT alternative to the Viper. I often thought it disappointing that Fiat-Chrysler did not use the Maserati GranTurismo platform, probably with a shorter wheelbase, for a new Viper. I would really like one with a Hellcat V-8, but one with a normally aspirated version might be a competent rival to the base version Corvettes.

  • El scotto El scotto on May 27, 2018

    I really, really hope that somewhere in Auburn Hills, there's Fiat Spider with a big ole honking hemi stuffed in it. Dodge engineers have been known to do crazy stuff like that. Think of it as a mini-Viper. Or FCA could spend $4.83 and have the valve covers say "Maserati" and charge 60k for a baby Maserati. MOPAR drive train and HVAC (Americans kick ass at HVAC), Italian interior and and Japanese body shell. Do it Sergio.

    • NoID NoID on May 29, 2018

      You and I are on the same page. Unfortunately, I've not seen such a beast running around Auburn Hills. But to your point, Flyin' Miata throws small block Chevy V8 engines into the same basic car, so I'm sure FCA could make at least a Pentastar V6 fit. 305 HP in that package would still be nothing to sneeze at, and would differentiate it from the Spider enough that I don't think they'd step on each other much. Not that Spiders are flying off the shelves anyways...

  • Seanx37 Seanx37 on May 28, 2018

    This is cool and all But doesn't Dodge need real cars and SUV's? How does a car that will sell a few hundred cars a year help Dodge? Wouldn't a new Journey, Charger, and some really small CUV make far more sense?

    • Maxb49 Maxb49 on May 29, 2018

      "Wouldn’t a new Journey, Charger, and some really small CUV make far more sense?" No, the market is flooded with that CUV garbage and the Charger is perfect as it is.

  • LXbuilder LXbuilder on May 28, 2018

    I'd love a little of what they're smokin over at Car and Driver if they are serious that Viper will return in just two years time. Maybe in like five years after the new platform for a flagship coupe Maserati(Alfieri concept)arrives and gets shared with Alfa Romeo and Dodge. I would think the Maserati will likely get here in next two years or so, and then development will begin for the Dodge. FCA has it's hands full with many new vehicle launches to come ahead of any Viper. So pass the pipe Car and Driver, we want some of that stuff too.

    • Flipper35 Flipper35 on May 29, 2018

      You are assuming they haven't been working on it already.