Dodge Viper Rumored To Be Killed In 2017; No Successor Planned
Chrysler may finally be ready to send the Dodge Viper out to pasture after reports surfaced that the company is leaning on letting the current generation model run its production course in 2017 with no clear-cut replacement model scheduled to arrive after that. According to Allpar, the rumored departure of the Viper will coincide with the shut down of Chrysler’s production facility in Detroit.
For all the things the Viper represented – it had all-American looks and a powerful engine – the sports car never really gained the kind of traction that Dodge hoped it would. In fact, the Viper’s existence has been met with numerous episodes of discontent, especially the current generation model. Launched in late 2012, the present iteration of the Viper has never been able to live up to its own hype as low sales numbers have plagued the American sports car to the point that Dodge even halted production for two months back in March 2014 and took $15,000 off of its price tag in September 2014.
Now that the rumored closure of the Detroit factory appears to be coming to fruition, I’m wondering if the Viper, which is built in the same facility, will also go by the wayside. It certainly wouldn’t be surprising considering that Chrysler has already toyed with this idea in the past. It would be disappointing, though, for all the reasons that the Viper was supposed to stand for but never quite attained in its life.
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Why it matters
The Dodge Viper is the perfect example of a car whose public image didn’t jive with its actual sales popularity. From a distance, the Viper represents everything you’d want in a sports car. It had the looks to match its performance capabilities. It was even named as one of the most iconic American-built cars in history. But that’s as far as it went for the Viper because for one reason or another, it just didn’t sell as well as many people think.
I’m a little sad that it’s come to this for the Viper, even thought I’m not exactly shocked that rumors of its demise are once again bubbling into the surface. Maybe this is yet another temporary hiatus for the Viper and we’ll see the model again in the future.
Unless Dodge or Chrysler explicitly say otherwise, that possibility will remain. But if you ask me, I’d say that there’s no point of bringing it back if its sales numbers continue to struggle. I’d tell Dodge to just start over and develop an all-new sports car that’ll at least be a little more environmentally conscious than the Viper. It might be a slap in the face of the Viper’s tradition of using the massive V-10 engine, but the current landscape of the automotive industry dictates that such measures might need to be taken if the car will, in turn, be taken seriously.
The Viper was never the car to tout its low emissions efficiency and that might have played a part in customers turning their backs on the model. If the Viper does ride into the sunset in 2017, I’d bid it adieu and wish it all the best. But like most people, I’m not going to be bummed about it seeing it end.
Simply put, the Viper would’ve been an incredible sports in another time. It’s just not this one.
Read more about the Dodge Viper SRT here.