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Which Sports Car Should Be Revived?

Which Sports Car Should Be Revived?

Between 2016 and 2020 the list of supercars will include the Ford GT, the Mercedes-AMG Project One, the Aston Man Valkyrie, and at least one new car from Ferrari. But what are sports cars fans with smaller wallets supposed to do? We have some great cars like the Miata and BMW is bringing a Z4 replacement soon, but so many great cars don’t exist anymore. Especially in the “affordable” range.

So we started talking in the office about what sports cars we want to see revived, and we settled on a pair of classic sports cars and one car that is officially dead, but not out of showrooms yet. The Porsche 944, Honda S2000, and the Dodge Viper are all in our dream garage of dead cars we want to return. Keep reading to find out why!

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Dodge Debuts Heritage-inspired 2017 Color Palette

Dodge Debuts Heritage-inspired 2017 Color Palette

Relive the High-Impact color era with hues like Blood Orange, White Knuckle, and Bruiser Gray

When it comes to paint jobs, most modern cars are offered with rather dull color options. This isn’t the automakers’ fault though, it’s mostly because hues such white, gray, silver, and black have become increasingly popular in recent decades. But this wasn’t the case in the 1960s and 1970s, when American drivers favored livelier colors and carmakers responded with flashy hues - especially for high-performance vehicles. These were known as the "High-Impact" colors. Ford, GM, and Chrysler have revived several classic paints for their respective muscle cars recently, and Dodge has just introduced a range of new color names inspired from its colorful heritage for the 2017 model year.

Although most colors aren’t new, their names revive the brand’s bold paint naming strategy, which should play well with sentimental enthusiasts. Starting 2017, buyers will be able to order hues such as White Knuckle, Maximum Steel, Bomber Brown, Octane Red, White Noise, Blood Orange, Green Go, Destroyer Gray, Go Mango, Contusion Blue, or Bruiser Gray. Granted, some of them sound rather cheesy, but words such as "knuckle," "bomber," "destroyer," "noise," and "bruiser" are definitely bolder options to simply naming the color and adding "metallic" or "pearl" next to it.

On the other hand, other color names aren’t as punchy, while some remained unchanged from previous years. If you’re not a fan of in-your-face names, you can pick one of the following: Redline 2K, Blu By You, Stout Brown, Redline 3K, Vice White, Yellow Jacket, Granite, TorRed, Olive Green, Billet, Black Onyx, DB Black, or Pitch Black.

All of the above will be available not only for Dodge’s hottest cars, the Challenger, Charger, and Viper, but also for family vehicles such as the Durango, Journey, and the Grand Caravan.

Continue reading for the full story.

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An Ode To The Dodge Viper - Episode 1: Video

An Ode To The Dodge Viper - Episode 1: Video

Maybe you’re a fan and maybe you aren’t, but it’s hard to deny that there is something special about the Dodge Viper. Designed with help from Carroll Shelby to be a modern take on the same philosophy that underpinned the original 1963 Shelby Cobra, the car was a serious departure from what was going on in the American automotive industry when it first appeared as a concept in 1989. The changes to the car have been evolutionary, and as minimal as possible over the years, a fact that makes fans of the car incredibly happy.

The Viper has been rewarded with some seriously loyal fans, and the video here has been made for them. This is just an intro though; it teases a whole series of videos that get far more in depth about the history of the Viper and the people involved in all sorts of aspects of it. It does have a bit of an unfortunate corporate training video kind of a feel to it, and to say that at times the sound mixing doesn’t do the exhaust note justice would be a massive understatement. But the subject matter is interesting, and these things presumably won’t be as noticeable in the finished product.

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Dodge and SRT Want To Expand Hellcat Brand

Dodge and SRT Want To Expand Hellcat Brand

Dodge didn’t expect the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to be as popular as they are. In fact, the demand was so high, Dodge just couldn’t keep up. All 2015 models have been spoken for, and all remaining orders that cannot be fulfilled have been canceled so production of 2016 models can begin. Not all of the cancellations are the fault of Dodge or Chrysler as a company, though – a few sketchy dealers unethically took orders after they hit their order cap for the muscle cars.

The good news is that, as of Monday, August 17, 2015, you can now reserve a 2016 Charger or Challenger Hellcat – with a deposit, of course. Dodge also thought ahead and changed up its ordering system as well. This time around, dealerships will not be able to order above their order cap. Moreover, to help accommodate such a high demand for both vehicles, Dodge has expanded its Hellcat testing capabilities — it will now be able to produce more the twice the number of Hellcat models than it did last year

With the success of the Hellcat models, Dodge is planning on bringing the SRT and Hellcat badges to other models in its lineup. Dodge hasn’t speculated on what models yet, but I suspect we’ll see the Hellcat come to the Durango, 2017 Dodge Ram and maybe even the Barracuda — if Dodge and SRT change their minds about axing the fish car. Despite the demand from customers to create a Viper Hellcat, Dodge has implied that it does not intend to do so. The Viper is a “perfect” track car, according to Dodge, and throwing the Hellcat engine into it would disrupt the 50/50 weight ratio that makes the Viper what it is. Of course, if you’re looking to purchase a Viper anytime soon, the 2016 Dodge Viper ACR and its extreme performance should more than satisfy you.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Challenger And Charger Hellcats Get Price Increases

2016 Challenger And Charger Hellcats Get Price Increases

“It’s like the ’71 Hemi all over again.” That’s a pretty good way to sum up the wildfire sales success of Dodge’s 707-horsepower Hellcat twins, and it’s how Dodge and SRT CEO Tim Kuniskis explained it when asked about that success. Now, Dodge is responding to the laws of supply and demand by giving the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat a price increase of $2,500 and the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat an increase of $1,950 for 2016. In return, customers get new standard equipment, including Laguna leather and navigation.

Kuniskis also spoke with Detroit News about broader plans for the Hellcat brand. Dodge has sold roughly 4,500 Hellcats so far in 2015 and plans to double production next year. The previously limited supply meant several customers spent months on waiting lists, which often led to dealers taking deposits for orders they weren’t certain could be fulfilled. In response, Dodge has cleared orders of 2015 Hellcats and reset them for 2016, though customers who initially ordered 2015 cars will get a 2016 at the same cost. A new ordering system also ensures that dealers can’t take deposits for cars they can’t deliver.

The production bottle neck was apparently caused by a limited number of dynamometers at the factory. Each Hellcat engine requires a rigorous 42-minute test, and Dodge has remedied this with expanded dynamometer capacity. Now that Dodge has the capacity to meet demand, expect continued Hellcat sales growth, even despite the minimal price increase.

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2015 SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo

2015 SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo

The Vision Gran Turismo project just keeps on rolling, as one manufacturer after another delivers high-tech and high-performance concepts for Gran Turismo 6 on PlayStation 3. The latest addition to this lineup of crazy supercars is the SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo concept.

There have been some really neat cars to come out of this project, like the 2015 Volkswagen GTI Supersport Vision Gran Turismo and the 2014 Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo, but this one takes the cake. It then smashes the cake into a zillion pieces just to prove how badass it really is.

In all seriousness, with over 2,000 horsepower available and the requirement of a G-suit in the X trim level, this is a digital version of sheer automotive genius. It’s too bad that this concept doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making it to the production line in the next 15-plus years.

For those of you who have GT6 on PS3 and feel up to downloading this car, let us know in the comments just how awesome it is to pilot this crazy race car.

Continue reading my review of the SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo concept

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Dodge Slashes the Viper's Sticker Price by $15,000

Dodge Slashes the Viper’s Sticker Price by $15,000

Although the current-generation Dodge Viper is anything but slow, Chrysler has been struggling to sell its halo car ever since it launched it in late 2012. Viper sales have been so low throughout 2013 and 2014 that Dodge even had to halt production for two months and lay off 91 employees. The Viper’s struggle continues through 2014, with some 600 unsold units on dealer lots, which is why Dodge has decided to knock $15,000 off the sticker price in order to spur sales.

The discount is available for all unsold 2014 model year Vipers and incoming 2015 Vipers, putting their MSRP at $84,995. But the good news doesn’t stop here. In addition to this discount, Dodge is also offering $15,000 coupons to recent gen-five — 2013 to 2014 model year — Viper buyers who want to trade their model in on a 2014 or 2015 Viper. All told, if you own either a 2013 or 2014 Viper, you can essentially purchase a brand-new, updated model for $69,995 after the price cut and trade-in incentive. Quite the bargain, huh?

Cutting $15,000 off the sticker is just one step toward improving Viper sales. The company is also planning to open Viper sales to all Dodge dealers and market the sports car with the rest of the lineup and not as a stand-alone SRT vehicle. More than 2,300 Dodge dealers will be able to sell the 2015 Viper.

Click past the jump to read more about Dodge Viper.

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2015 Dodge Viper SRT

2015 Dodge Viper SRT

The Dodge Viper saga began in 1991, when Chrysler introduced the semi-supercar commonly known as the modern-day Cobra. The production model was based on a concept car showcased in 1989 and carried an 8.0-liter, V-10 engine under its long hood. Sold as a roadster at first, the Viper gained a coupe version in 1996, when the second-gen car was unveiled. Numerous upgrades were implemented until 2010, including a displacement increase to 8.3 liters and an output update to more than 500 horsepower, when the Viper was discontinued after four generations only to return as the SRT Viper in 2013. Heading into 2015, the SRT and Dodge brands have again become one, allowing the Dodge Viper SRT to return.

When the Viper returned under the SRT brand, it arrived with a redesigned body and a slightly larger engine. Enlarged to displace 8.4 liters, the V-10 powerplant delivered 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, a figure that remained unchanged until 2014. Going into 2015, the iconic Viper remains pretty much the same, save for the name change, a five-pony power bump, and various, but minor interior and exterior upgrades.

Updated 07/28/2014: New details on the 2015 Dodge Viper report that the sports car will deliver an additional five horsepower over the 2014 SRT version. The only question is if the 645 horsepower will help boost the very poor sales of the sports car. (Road And Track)

Updated 09/08/2014: Dodge announced that the 2015 Viper will go on sale at a price of $84,995 - which represents a reduction of $15k over the previous year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Viper SRT.

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2014 SRT Viper GTS by Inspired Autosport

2014 SRT Viper GTS by Inspired Autosport

With a whopping 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, and fearsome, American-made looks, the 2014 SRT Viper is one mean and powerful machine. To most, the "Snake" is perfect. To others, albeit not that many, the Viper could still use some improvements. It’s not often we see the near-supercar receive an aftermarket makeover, but companies such as Inspired Autosport are always up for the challenge.

Known for adding a touch of uniqueness to an array of vehicles, ranging from Mercedes-Benz SUVs to Lamborghini supercars, IA added the 2014 SRT Viper to its portfolio. The request came from a customers who did not want to take delivery of the 640-horsepower beast without a few extras inside and out, and thus "Project #Merica" was born.

The base car was none other than the GTS, the top-of-the-line Viper that costs no less than $124,985 before options. Did IA succeed in their mission to enhance a one of America’s coolest sports cars? Read on to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper GTS by Inspired Autosport.

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Video: SRT Viper GT3-R Sets Fastest Lap at Virginia International Raceway

Video: SRT Viper GT3-R Sets Fastest Lap at Virginia International Raceway

The race-spec SRT Viper is already a successful track machine, having won many prestigious trophies since its introduction in 1996. The latest iteration of the race car, the GT3-R, has yet to reach the heights of its forerunners, but its recent success during the Detroit leg of the Pirelli World Challenge Series in May 2014 is proof enough that the Viper is headed in the right direction. More recently, the "Snake" developed by Riley Technologies made yet another step toward track glory by setting the fastest lap in the Ultimate Track Car Challenge.

The event took place on July 18th at Virginia International Raceway, where the SRT Viper GT3-R rendered its competitors obsolete. The race car, built by Riley Technologies and driven by American Le Mans Series ace Ben Keating, wasn’t shy about tackling the track at full throttle and set the fastest lap at 1:44.71. The Viper was quicker than a 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo Super Trofeo and its benchmark would have been enough to earn it the pole position at last year’s American Le Mans Series on the same track.

The Ultimate Track Car Challenge is an annual event held by Grassroots Motorsports at Virginia International Raceway. The competition is open to any type of car, including classic vehicles, and its sole purpose is to find America’s fastest track cars. Hit play to watch the SRT Viper GT3-R in action as it reaches speeds of up to 171 mph.

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2014 Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R By Riley Technologies

2014 Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R By Riley Technologies

At its core, the SRT Viper GT3-R is a born and bred race car that’s capable of inflicting some serious damage on the track. The car proved as much during the Detroit leg of the Pirelli World Challenge Series in May 2014 when it scored its first-ever series victory. On July 19th and 20th, 2014, the World Challenge Series travels to Toronto and the Viper GT3-R is expected to be front and center once again.

SRT Motorsports is bringing one to the race where it will be driven by Kuno Wittmer, a man who is no stranger to driving the SRT GTS-R, his full-time ride at the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship. But on July 19th and 20th, Wittmer will be piloting a special SRT GT3-R prepared by Riley Technologies.

He’s also no stranger to driving Vipers in the series, having competed there from 2008 to 2010 and boasting two victories while piloting the Viper. For one weekend, Wittmer returns to the Pirelli World Challenge Series with an even more incredible Viper by his side, ready to take the GTA class by storm.

The car itself looks like a real world beater. That’s a credit to the work put in by Riley Technologies to turn it into a full-fledged, competition-ready race car. With a massive V-10 engine under its hood that produces 680 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque, this SRT GT3-R is ready to take turn some heads in Toronto.

Click past the jump to read more about the Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R By Riley Technologies.

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Dodge Celebrates its Centenary by Offering up Special Items

Dodge Celebrates its Centenary by Offering up Special Items

Things looked a lot different a century ago. There was no pre-sliced bread, running water was prevalently lacking in rural communities, and every automaker was considered a fledgling start-up business. Fast forward to 2014, and it’s apparent that’s no longer the case. Now as we roll into July, Dodge celebrates its centenary of making some of the most memorable vehicles in American history.

Technically happening July 1, 2014, Dodge’s 100-year celebration falls in a time of corporate reorganization that puts Dodge and SRT together. Dodge, owned by Chrysler, is tasked with building “mainstream performance” cars while SRT, is to build Dodge’s “ultimate performance” lineup. The consolidation of the two should play well for the company. But back to the party.

The company is offering specialized merchandise including car decals, key fobs, pens, coffee mugs, and clothing. There’s even a “Dodge 100 Years” book that depicts the brand’s rich history. Perhaps the biggest way Dodge is celebrating its heritage of building legendary street machines comes in the form of horsepower; that’s 707 horsepower, to be exact.

Now the reason Dodge has been holding out of the 2015 Challenger Hellcat’s performance stats makes sense.

Click past the jump to read more about Dodge’s centenary.

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Chrysler Resumes SRT Viper Production

Chrysler Resumes SRT Viper Production

The Chrysler Group has resumed production of the SRT Viper following a two-month shutdown period due to slow sales. Production at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant was idled on April 14th, with 91 UAW-represented employees being laid off. As of March 1, Chrysler had delivered only 100 Vipers for the year in the United States and Canada and had 756 unsold Vipers in its inventory.

Since then, SRT sold 324 examples of its halo sports car in North America, AutoGuide reports. April was the Viper’s most successful month this year, with 97 units delivered in the United States and 15 sold in Canada. Surprisingly enough, Canadian sales have climbed from 4 vehicles in January to 21 in June, while U.S. sales took a nose dive from 97 units in April to just 36 in June.

There’s no word as to how many SRT Viper will be built per day for the remainder of the year. Last year, production peaked at nine vehicles per day before SRT decided to slow things down and assemble only six units per day.

The 2014 SRT Viper is priced from $102,485 and can fetch more than $124,985 when selected in the range-topping GTS trim. The Viper costs twice as much as the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and will likely be more expensive than the brutal 2015 Corvette Z06.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.

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Three-Way Shootout: Viper, Vette, and Z/28

Three-Way Shootout: Viper, Vette, and Z/28

Forget what they say, these are the glory days of muscle. Sure, carburetors and glass packs are out, but direct fuel injection, variable-flow exhaust pipes, and computers have revolutionized the way modern street and track fighters do battle. We’ve pitted three of the most purpose-built machines together to see not only which car would win on the track, but which car would be the easiest to live with on a daily basis.

The competitors all hail from the U.S. of A. and sport snarling engines making huge amounts of power, all sent to the rear wheels though a manual transmission. They’re brash and unapologetic, unforgivably fast, and diabolically cool. Though they’ve all got the performance creds, do they have what it takes to impress the missus enough for a purchase to occur?

Our three contenders are the SRT (now back to Dodge) Viper, the Chevrolet Corvette, and the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.

In order for this to be a fair fight, we’ve got to price these cars correctly. Starting with the Viper, its base MSRP is comes in at $102,485 — well over that of the Vette and Z/28 — but considering the hard time Dodge has had selling the sultry snake, there are dealer incentives to be had. According to a few price-checking websites, a 2014 base Viper can be had in the mid $90,000 range.

The Camaro Z/28, on the other hand, starts out at $73,300 — but that’s bare-bones stock without air conditioning. Another $1,150 makes the car livable in the summertime. Its total cost comes to $76,150 after destination and the gas-guzzler tax.

The Vette represents the bargain of the bunch, coming in at $70,985 in its top-line, 3LT trim fitted with the Z51 Performance Package, Magnetic Ride, Performance exhaust, and Competition Sport seats. It may be the highest equipped here, but will its least-powerful engine be able to keep up?

Click past the jump to find out.

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