Sometimes moderation is okay. When Dodge handed us the keys to a Viper for our fleet , we returned it in the pristine condition. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for this unlucky owner in northwest Texas. Reports have the driver taking this curve at about 140 mph, and well, the result is obvious.
The Dodge Viper had four long generations spanning from 1992-2010. There were actually no 2010 models, only extended 2009 models, and 2011 saw zero production Vipers at all. Dodge is planning on picking up the Viper once again in 2012 with a fresh look and feel. The Viper came in two different trims: the SRT10 and the ACR. The 8.4L V10 powered Viper delivered 600 HP and 560 lb-ft of torque, and was mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The 0-60mph sprint was done in fewer than four seconds, while the quarter mile came in at 11 seconds. Careful with this one though, it doesn't come with electronic stability control.
Back in December Hurst announced that it would celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special edition Dodge Viper . It will be limited to only 50 units, and the very first of them will be auctioned this Saturday at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction.
The production Hurst/Viper vehicles will feature the new Hurst HARD-DRIVE gold anodized pistol-grip shifter, Hurst 19" and 20" polished aluminum wheels, Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires, Corsa exhaust and Moton Club Sport adjustable coil-over suspension with Eibach springs. The interior features a special Katzkin charcoal leather with Hurst embroidered logos, gold thread detailing and perforated leather inserts. In honor of the Golden Anniversary the vehicle will be available exclusively in Hurst’s legendary color combinations of Black with Gold stripes and White with Gold stripes. HURST/Vipers are available for individual order though Hurst Performance Vehicles and Woodhouse Dodge.
Partial proceeds will go to Victory Junction, a year-round camping facility for children for chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. We really liked the Viper in our test fleet , so a Hurst modified one must be even better.
Lookie what we got here. The Dodge boys decided to drop off their ultimate pavement pounder on our doorstep. They must have really liked our review of the Challenger SRT8 for us to deserve this reward.
When the Dodge Viper first showed up in 1992, it was the meanest thing around. It looked mean and sounded mean, so it was trivial why many people were surprised when the Viper had a mean attitude.
The original car was meant to be out in the elements. The car had side curtains and a fabric roof that was only meant for temporary duty, just like the open top versions Lamborghini Murcielago and Bugatti Veryon .
The Viper wasn’t ashamed of what it was, the American roadster. The Viper was designed to be the spiritual successor to the Shelby Cobra, but the public decided that modern cars needed modern conveniences. So over the 17 years Dodge has kept its snake in production there has been a little softening. But don’t think this is a compromised car. This is a pure sports car, which means we have no complaints.
One of less exploited benefits of the DaimlerChrysler marriage was McLaren sprinkling a little bit of it magic over the Chrysler line-up. Unlike Carroll Shelby , it seems McLaren was not willing to soil its name by a few hopped-up economy cars. The only exception to this was when the racecar maker laid its hands on the Dodge Viper for American Specialty Cars (ASC).
The ASC Diamondback Viper was first shown at the Detroit Auto Show in 2006, and now three years later it can be taken home by the first person to cough up $295,000. The car includes a carbon fiber roof, deck lid, rockers, fascia inserts, body trim and hood with ten Can-Am style trumpeted air intakes. This all resulted in the in about 85 lbs of savings, which results in a car that goes from 0-60 in about 3.5 seconds (about the same as a factory-fresh $85,000 2008 Dodge Viper .)
Hurst made a name for itself for being the shifter of choice for Mopar buyers (Yes they were available for other company’s cars, but anyone who has seen Vanishing Point knows how cool a wood grain pistol-grip shifter can be.) So now that Hurst is going for its 50th anniversary, its only fitting that its grabbed the ultimate Chrysler vehicle, the Dodge Viper , to help celebrate.
Beginning this month, Hurst will pluck 50 Vipers from the assembly line to create the special edition cars. The Hurst/Viper will feature the new Hurst HARD-DRIVE gold pistol-grip shifter, Hurst forged aluminum wheels, Katzkin leather interior, Corsa exhaust and Moton Club Sport adjustable coil-over suspension with Eibach springs. The interior features a special Katzkin charcoal leather with Hurst embroidered logos, gold thread detailing and perforated leather inserts. Hurst will sell these cars in any color as long as its gold (with trademark black or white stripes.)
The first of these Vipers will auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction on January 17th. Partial proceeds will go to Victory Junction, a year-round camping facility for children for chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.
Press release after the jump.
It seems that even in a down economy, people like to go racing. The Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR it is sold out.
The hand-built Vipers seem to become a target of an increasing number of investors: "Those customers are in a high-income group, and [a Viper] is a safe haven," Chrysler Vice Chairman Jim Press said. "Look at what’s happened in their stock portfolios: The resale value of Vipers shows they’re still in great demand. Smart investors figure out it’s a safe place to put their money — and also have a lot of fun."
If the Chrysler’s overall sales were down 32%, the amount of sold Viper remained the same: the maximum 100 units. The Viper is priced at $85,000, while the club racer ready ACR version is priced at $105,000.
Gallery Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR
Chrysler seems to be gaining some interest in the Viper brand. Last month Chrysler reported that it was looking to sell off the Viper supercar as its own brand . Although Chrysler Vice Chairman and President Jim Press would not give specific names, he did say today, "We have been approached by outside individuals who want to work with us to buy the asset and sustain Viper going forward."
If this is true, it would seem that Chrysler is having a much easier time of getting rid of niche car lines than General Motors. Hummer has been on the sales block for most of this year. The difference must lie in the price of the company and the undying appeal of a sports car, because the H2 and the Viper get similar gas mileage.
Well if the Viper is for sale , the price may have just gone up. On August 18, Dodge Viper ACR established a new Nurburgring record (unofficial) with a time of 7:22, coming in front of the Corvette ZR1 and Nissan GT-R.
The man who established this result is FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) driver Tom Coronel, who pilots a Leon TFSi for SEAT Team Holland. On his fourth attempt, he established an amazing 7:22.1 (first two laps-a 7:42 and a 7:35 and third 7:24).
Until someone else will have something to day about it, the Viper ACR is the most lethal "ringer" around.
Gallery Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR
The Dodge Viper was put on the chopping block as Chrysler restructures. It’s hard to blame Chrysler for killing its spartan supercar. American car companies are in the fight for their lives. A hand-built low-volume sports car may look good in the window, but it won’t pay the electric bill.
But the Viper’s story may not be over. Chrysler announced today the possibility of selling the Viper as its own brand to a new company. “We have been approached by third parties who are interested in exploring future possibilities for Viper,” said Bob Nardelli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler LLC. “Viper is an integral part of this Company’s heritage… our intent would be to offer strong operational and financial support during any potential transaction, in order to ensure a future for the Viper business and perpetuate the legacy of this great vehicle.”
This would not be the first time an American car would live on without its parent company. When Studebaker closed its doors in 1966, its Corvette fighting Avanti proved the to be the car that wouldn’t die. Although Studebaker’s initial troubles producing the fiberglass boded Avanti may have actually killed the company, the last incarnation of the independent Avanti was produced in 2007.
The Viper is dead. Long live the Viper!