No Entry-Level or Automatic SRT Viper in the Pipeline
While every other automaker on the planet is embracing change, SRT looks as if it is resisting the modernization of its Viper lineup. In an interview with Edmunds, Ralph Giles said that the SRT Viper will remain with only a six-speed manual transmission, while nearly every other sports car and supercar is heading toward offering at least an optional paddle-shift transmission.
Gilles had this to say about Viper buyers in relation to the paddle-shifted auto: "The people who buy (the Viper) relish the manual, they relish the driver’s car, the raw connections to the vehicle. That is what it is about. So we are not chasing rainbows here." We see your claim, Mr. Gilles, and raise you the fact that SRT had to slash the production of the Viper because they are growing roots in dealerships. Maybe you need to recheck the pulse of the American sports car buyer, sir... Just sayin’...
Edmunds then queried Mr. Gilles about the possibility of dropping a HEMI V-8 into the Viper, and releasing a less-powerful "entry-level" Viper to help boost sales. To that, Gilles answered, taking a jab at the Stingray in the process: "We have no interest in becoming a Corvette." Well, considering the Corvette is one of the hottest items available and the Viper is little more than dealership eye candy, he may want to rethink his position.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Viper, but the market has apparently spoken...
Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.
Despite a massive V-10 engine that pumps out 640 ponies, a redesigned exterior and a 3.3-second sprint to 60 mph, the Viper just can’t catch a break. Last year, ST had to cut its production volume due to poor sales, but Ralph Gilles blamed this mostly on dealers not knowing how to market the Viper rather than low demand.
Regardless of the reasoning, the Viper hasn’t sold as planned, as only about 600 cars have found garages as of January 2014. Part of its slow sales could be the fact that it checks in at $93k for the base model, pitting it dangerously close to the GT-R, which is much faster, cooler and has all-wheel drive.