By on May 25, 2018

2017-dodge-viper-hero

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]

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46 Comments on “Is Dodge Bringing Back the Viper in 2020?...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    “a naturally aspirated V8”

    I want to believe FCA is working on a next-gen V8 like this for future Dodge/Jeep/Chrysler products. But, I’m getting used to having my hopes dashed these days.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    This has been *wink wink* hinted at by FCA people at Viper owner meetings a couple of times now.

    It’s obviously exciting to think about the return of a name that means so much in the performance world. That said, Viper has always stood for things that are less and less relevant, desirable, and possible in today’s automotive market:

    Natural aspiration
    8+ liter V10
    Manual only
    RWD
    Barest minimum of safety and driver aids allowed by law
    Outrageous image, bordering on the obnoxious
    Performance above every other consideration

    How much of this DNA can be preserved in an all-new model released in the age of autonomous electric CUVs? Anecdotally, people who buy Vipers care deeply about the name, and often own several. Change it too drastically and they risk alienating these buyers. In that case why not simply badge this thing an Alfa or Maserati?

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      I think, so long as the “irrelevant” version(s) can be optioned, it makes perfect sense to offer the more “relevant” options to flesh out the business case.

      As for timing, if they really want it in 2020 they better get cranking. Two years might as well be five minutes as far as automotive development timelines are concerned.

    • 0 avatar
      kkop


      Natural aspiration
      8+ liter V10
      Manual only
      RWD
      Barest minimum of safety and driver aids allowed by law
      Outrageous image, bordering on the obnoxious
      Performance above every other consideration

      These are all very desirable properties as far as I’m concerned, especially considering how neutered other former great cars have become.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Since the Conner Ave. assembly plant is no more, shall we assume FCA is farming out production to Raj Nair at Micromatic?

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      I think Prefix is more likely given their existing relationship with SRT & Viper.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      No, it’ll be using a coupe chassis shared with Maserati or Alfa and likely built on the same production line, in Italy. If the naturally aspirated rumor is legit then it sounds like the 426 that is showing up in 2020 to replace the 392.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        @ MoDo – that was my first thought, shared platform and built in Italy and I’ve recently heard about the 426 as well as Ford bring in a 427 DOHC for the F-series truck – fun times ahead it seems!!!

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          But which platform? It seems hard to believe the Viper is viable as one-off chassis unless its priced in hyper car territory. Given what they’ve done with the Hell Cat and Demon we know Dodge can make an insane engine and people will pay for it. So I hope for some more Viper madness.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      @ R Henry – I honestly cant tell if that’s a misspell or a jab at Multimatic on your part!

      Still made me laugh though so bravo!

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Ahhh, so this is why people are getting rid of those Ford GT’s even though they’re being sued for doing it. They want to get on the waiting list for the 2020 Viper ACR. Mopar or no car.

    • 0 avatar
      Giltibo

      Mopar as we knew it is DEAD. Fiat has killed it. The Chrysler brand now has only 2 models, Dodge is only a shadow of its former self, with the OOOOld LX platform – that would completely disappear if FCA follows Ford and GM in discontinuing its car lines, the only thing that’s worth anything to Fiat is the Jeep brand (Ram is a North-American phenomenon that will most likely be sold in the next few years).

      Every new model launch has been awful since Fiat took over, as the Company is completely unwilling to invest in quality. The Cherokee and its uber-problematic transmission, the Pacifica still has not solved all of its teething problems (that’s one of the main reason the Grand Caravan still exists), and the 2019 Ram launch is a nightmare as of now, and will be for the foreseeable future (the plant is unable to produce quality in reasonable numbers, and has thousands of vehicles waiting in the repair areas).

  • avatar
    NoID

    These rumors excite me, but I sure wish Viper production wasn’t a step function. This on-again, off-again thing isn’t helping maintain brand/name recognition.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Dodge Viper has always been about absurdity to the extreme, a sort of toxic masculinity on wheels. The 8.0L V10 is part of that formula, but considering the Viper’s sales demise, the V10 is not enough to power sales figures through the misplaced European sophistication FCA tried to bring to the Viper.

    The Viper is supposed to be loud, low, and stupid, and have some abstract spiritual connection with the Shelby roadster and coupé. It’s supposed to make muscle-car-loving American men rationalize taking out a second-mortgage to behave like teenagers again. Naturally-aspirated V8 will work fine. Just make sure it has side pipes, and a glorious lack of sophistication. The rowdy bourgeoisie will leap at the opportunity to drive them up and down Rodeo Drive, like they did 25 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      “It’s supposed to make muscle-car-loving American men rationalize taking out a second-mortgage to behave like teenagers again.”

      The men who wanted to do that already bought one.

      • 0 avatar
        Tele Vision

        “The men who wanted to do that already bought one.”

        And the men who couldn’t then afford one now can.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Too bad they’re getting too old for the raw performance of a Viper. The generation that wanted one is increasingly cashing out of the car hobby, either because they need the money for end-of-life concerns, or they just can’t keep up with the physical demands anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            JD-Shifty

            umm, does it need to be explained that more old people get “made” every day. Witness FOX news.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I forgot…stupid millineal twits think the world revolves around them and their idiocy.

            You’ll find that the raw power of these is reasonably easy to live with so long as you put your phone down, spit out the tide pod, and yank the condom out of your nose. You may even enjoy it.

            Of course you can’t take out a second mortgage on Mom’s basement to buy I so maybe not.

          • 0 avatar
            Maxb49

            “Too bad they’re getting too old for the raw performance of a Viper.”

            Stupidest comment of the day. I know a 94 year old man who daily drives is 2014 911 Turbo. Anyone who can drive is not “too old for the raw performance of a Viper.” Get off your smartphone and pay attention.

          • 0 avatar
            Maxb49

            “I forgot…stupid millineal twits think the world revolves around them and their idiocy.”

            Twit is a good description for them. We finally found a generation to top the baby boomers in worthless self-absorption.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            My 16 year old daughter would buy one in a heartbeat if she suddenly came into money.

          • 0 avatar
            Maxb49

            “My 16 year old daughter would buy one in a heartbeat if she suddenly came into money.”

            Your 16 year old has good taste in cars. She is not, however, a millennial.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      Care to explain why a simple, straightforward approach is “stupid?”

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    We know an SRT version 426 is in the works for Challenger/Chargers. That’s 7 liters- close enough? It’s rumored to be all aluminum for weight savings too.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      Doubt it, likely just going to be a 392 with a 4.05″ crank to hit 426 cubes and safely make north of 500hp NA. It’ll also stay in 4cyl mode longer so it may get better gas mileage than the 392. If they were making an aluminum block it would have been used on the hellcat or demon. Both of those simply use the beefy truck 6.4L block.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        The Hellcat and Demon don’t need to spawn an ACR version that is supposed to compete with the very best in the world on a road course. I would hope they use an aluminum block for weight balance, and if the Viper is forced to step down to a V8, at the least they could make it an all new one.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          There have been many reports of the current 5.7 going away to be replaced with an alloy block and heads to reduce weight. If that is the case it would work great in a new “baby” Viper. A lighter V8 Viper had been discussed in the past so it may not be as far fetched as it seems.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    This brand only sells 5 models at the moment, so I guess expanding your portfolio by 16.7% is a pretty big deal!

  • avatar
    fIEtser

    Isn’t the Tesla Roadster 2.0 coming in 2020 too?

  • avatar
    Kalvin Knox

    To me, the main reason for buying a Viper (or a baby lambo for that matter) is the screaming V10.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Pushrod V10’s don’t really scream in much the same fashion as GM LT V8’s don’t really scream. Grunt and growl would probably be a better description at least in stock form.

      Ford is the only domestic manufacturer that has a fairly high revving V8 in the form of the gen III Coyote and 5.2 Voodoo and even then your only talking 8250 rpm for the Shelby engine.

      Also the Viper’s V10 hasn’t always sounded that good. I remember when the first SRT10 cars rolled out, they had a rather unflattering sound. I think it improved somewhat with the later coupes

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        Actually, the Gen V has no exhaust crossover (in the interest of keeping the cabin cool) which means each side pipe is basically coming off an in-line 5. The sound is certainly not pretty but it is distinctively Viper.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    A V8-powered Viper is FCA’s way of making the old V10 cars more valuable.

    Quoth a dejected Homer Simpson,

    “Uhh, it’s all right…I guess.”

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I have never liked the styling of the Viper.

    Maybe FCA will go to Ferrari and style the next Viper off the 812.

    Now, that would have to be the nicest looking conservative 2 door around.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Oh for all that is good in Moparland I hope they don’t follow Ferrari styling.

      Then again, I liked the styling of all the generations of Vipers.

  • avatar
    Aron9000

    Hopefully they’ll learn from their past mistake and not price this new Viper too high. There was a HUGE price jump when the 2013 models came out, they were all over $100,000.

    There were two other reasons why the last model didn’t sell, no automatic transmission option and just a general lack of refinement/comfort. Which of course if you offer an automatic and make it plush like a Corvette or 911, is it still really a Viper????

  • avatar
    Johnster

    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.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      NoID

      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…

  • avatar
    seanx37

    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?

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      “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.

  • avatar
    LXbuilder

    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.

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