Are Viper loyalists perhaps mourning the death of the venomous snake too soon? Maybe, as Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has announced that as a part of Fiat’s 5-year plan he intends to position Dodge internationally as an “American performance brand,” anchored by the Charger, Challenger, and Viper.
Marchionne mentioned that the Charger and Challenger’s platforms will not be touched, but may be recycled for future Alfa’s, Lancia’s, and Maserati’s. Interesting, since the Charger and Challenger platform is already recycled from the, now 2-generations old, Mercedes E-Class. We can’t imagine Fiat is really planning on tarting up this platform again with a Maserati badge, because if they did, it would make the use of the jarring F1 gearbox in the first-gen Quattroporte seem like a minor quibble by comparison. The most frightening statement though, is that the “Viper will end up as a quasi-Ferrari.”
So, first Ferrari eliminates manual transmissions, then they plan to position the Viper as a “quasi-Ferrari?” We’re not holding our breaths for this one.
GALLERY: Dodge Viper Final Edition