Dodge Has Big Plans to Save the Viper
Dodge is reportedly turning its attention to the slow-selling Viper now that the automaker has the 2015 Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcat models shipping to dealerships. With sales of the Viper just now rebounding after a drastic price cut, the brand is looking to make its next move.
The 645-horse Viper is no longer the horsepower king of the Pentastar, but that might not last for long. In an interview with Detroit News, Dodge CEO and President Tim Kuniskis was quiet on details surrounding the Viper’s future, but eluded to a brewing marketing pitch for the twin-seat supercar. A $15,000 price reduction and an appearance on a recent “Dodge Brothers” commercial has helped boost sales some 200 percent in month-over-month sales.
"We’re going to tell a story here shortly that I think has needed to be told for a long time about how this is the only handmade supercar in the industry," said Kuniskis. While the Viper isn’t really the only handmade supercar, it is paid special attention to at the factory. It takes 10 days to build and its carbon-fiber bodywork is hand-laid.
So what’s next for Dodge’s halo car? Perhaps a serious boost in power to exceed the Hellcat’s 707 horsepower. That would keep the Viper on top and beat the best Chevrolet has to offer in the 2015 Corvette Z06 and likely any upcoming Ford Mustang derivative. Only time will tell, but until further word, we can rest easy knowing the Viper is getting a lot more venomous.
Click past the jump to read more about Dodge Viper.
Why it matters
The Viper is an immensely important vehicle for Dodge. Not for sales and revenue, but for marketing and brand image. The car competes directly with the baddest supercars on the block, including its cross-town rival, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Now that the Viper is competing for horsepower bragging rights with an in-house vehicle, Dodge is likely to up the ante, bringing the Viper closer to hypercar performance levels. Don’t expect anything to happen to the number of cylinders it has though.
The Dodge Viper — or earlier, the SRT Viper — is Mopar’s baddest track toy. It employs a 8.4-liter, naturally aspirated V-10 that makes 645 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission pushes the power to the massive rear tires, resulting in a 0-to-60 time of just 3.3 seconds. Top Speed is listed at 206 mph.
The Viper has several trim packages and special editions, including the base, GT, GTS, TA 2.0, and the Ceramic Blue. Pricing was just dropped an impressive $15,000, bringing the base price to a more competitive $84,995.
Source: Detroit News