This Is what The 2025 Viper Could Look Like
Dodge has always had a particular kind of demographic: people in their 20s, and people who think they’re in their 20s. It’s just kind of what happens when you specialize in fulfilling the most juvenile of automotive desires. So you’d think asking high-school students to design the Dodge of the future would be a no-brainer. But it’s a little more complicated than that. Mostly because people who think they’re in their 20s want the car they wanted when they actually were.
It’s a tightrope to walk, and Dodge has done it by specializing in modern interpretations of muscle-era dream machines. The Charger and Challenger are obvious examples; but even the Viper was created as an homage to Peter Brock’s Shelby Daytona Coupe of the 1960s. It’s not easy to tread that line between past and future — but Chrysler-Fiat may have found a few designers worthy of the task.
This year’s Chrysler-sponsored Detroit Autorama Design Competition was a little different than the last two. Previously, the competition was open only to Michigan high-school students; but new owners Fiat bid "benvenuti!" to all comers nationwide. The four finalists, and in particular the winner, 18-year-old Joshua Blundo of New Hampshire, proved the Italians wise in opening the national floodgates. His 2025 Viper truly does look like something we might see in 10 years or so, given the Viper’s design direction over the years.
Don’t doubt these precocious designers. Joshua isn’t the only one who’ll be in his late 20s when this beast hits the streets, assuming it does. All four are off to a fantastic start, crafting the look of things to come in the automotive world. And if this is a vision of the future, it looks like those of us who still think we’re their age then will find kindred spirits in the Mopar design department.
Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Viper.
First Place — Joshua Bluendo
Josh is serious about making it into the world of automotive design. He considers himself as much scientist as artist, and his practiced hand shows in his talent for computer modeling. However, Joshua is no stranger to old-school pen and paper, as you can see with his concept for the 2025 Viper.
It’s clear Joshua’s been studying the Viper’s design direction. The 2015 headlights are plainly evident, as are the inlet duct lowered onto the front fascia, and the straight-cut side outlet ducts raised past the wheel centerline. That front grille may look a little Lexus LF-A for some tastes, but a quick glance at what’s on the market today shows a very distinct trend toward that. So too is the trend toward contrasting lower body accents.
In passing, you could almost — almost — mistake this for Nissan’s next-generation Z-Car. However, the two-tone hood subtly referencing the last generation SRT-10, the overall profile, and the greenhouse set back nearly over the rear axle make this concept difficult to mistake for anything but a Viper.
Speaking of the greenhouse — interesting touch with the A-pillars that don’t touch the body. Obviously, those "fangs" aren’t the most practical aspect of this car from an engineering standpoint. However, it could be done, visually at least, blacking out real, structural A-pillars, and putting them behind the glass. Overall, there’s no real reason Josh’s design couldn’t be a sign of things to come. It’s certainly on the mark with today’s design directions and trends, both inside and outside of Dodge.
For the winning design, Fiat-Chrysler has given Josh everything he needs to take those first steps toward joining the big leagues: a $60,000 scholarship to the College of Creative Design, a free three-week automotive design course there over the summer, an Apple MacBook Pro and three passes to Detroit Autorama.
Second Place — Conner Stormer
Conner hails from Rochester Hills, Michigan, not far from Detroit. His concept clearly isn’t a Viper — to hazard a guess, it looks more like his interpretation of a 1980s Omni. Or, if you wanted to be a little more contemporary, a Colt. Either way, its a cab-forward compact with what appears to be an extended hatchback roofline.
Making another guess, it seems Conner envisions an electric future for the 2040-ish Omni/Colt. The design doesn’t leave much in the way of room for an engine, but it jibes pretty well with an electric using four independent motors. Given that, this would probably be a...dare we say it...Omni GLH-S? Something about those side ducts is oddly reminiscent of a certain older Shelby...
For his second-place contribution, Conner gets the MacBook Pro, three-week pass and tickets to Autorama.
Third Place — Hwanseong Jang
Hwanseong Jang of Bloomfield Hills, another Michigan town, delivered his vision of what can only be a Challenger. Actually, if anything, it looks a bit more like a Lamborghini Reventon specifically designed to batter the air aside with brute horsepower instead of cleaving cleanly through it. Nevermind the rest of the car’s surgical steel rakishness — Jang’s front end has all the aerodynamic qualities of a sledgehammer. Then again, that’s Dodge for you. Nice job of keeping it within the family design language.
For his 22nd-century Sledgehammer, Jang recieved an Apple MacBook Air laptop, the three-week design course and tickets to Autorama.
Fourth Place — Dongwon Kim
Sunnydale, California has given us us a fine young automotive artist by the name of Dongwon Kim. To be completely honest, while it is stunning in its own right, it’s hard to see where this design would fit into the Dodge family tree. Well, squint hard enough and you might see some 1990s Intrepid in the profile. Fair enough — the Intrepid was an extremely important car for Dodge, and it was after all based on the Lamboghini Portofino concept. That’s more than you can say for the Omni, anyway.
Otherwise, though, this design is really more Mazda than Dodge. There’s a lot of the company’s modern Flow Design language in those sweeping curves. It’s integrated well into the Viper-esque wheel ducts and the chopped tail reminiscent of Brock’s original Daytona Coupe — and that in itself deserves praise for pulling off.
So, despite having designed a car for the wrong company, Dongwon Kim truly deserves mention in this company of great young designers. He’ll have Conner and Jang looking over their shoulders when he designs the next Miata or RX-7.
For his efforts, Kim walked away with an iPad, the three-week summer design course and tickets to Autorama.