The biggest news out of Chrysler this week wasn’t Sergio Marchionne’s plan for an IPO in 2011, but the secret showing of a next generation Dodge Viper. Unveiled at the first Chrysler dealer meeting in three years, Chrysler made sure the press didn’t get a look at its new supercar. But according to one observer, the vehicle shown bears a resemblance to the stunningly beautiful Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione – a rare Alfa that shares its platform with the Maserati Gran Turismo and Ferrari California. With swoopy Italian lines, the car does, however, retain the aggressive Viper front fascia.
According to AutoWeek, Marchionne is motivated to bring back the Viper through pure enthusiasm for the car, with little thought to the financial situation. According to their source, he told dealers that, “There are times when you are given the opportunity to give life to something which is so beautiful and unique, so just and equitable, that you pay a lot less attention to the numbers, to the financial reality that surrounds it. They happen only rarely. In my case, three times in more than 15 years as chief executive.”
Marchionne went on to comment that he repeatedly spoke with Dodge CEO Ralf Gilles but could never make a financial case for the Viper. Then, one day, he was shown the prototype and it look “less than five minutes” for those in charge of making the product planning decisions to give it the green light.
Set to hit dealers in 2012, we should see a new Viper as early as next year. There’s still no official word on the powerplant, but it’s expected a direct-injection version of the 8.4-liter V10 will be offered with close to 700-hp, while a V8 is rumored to be under consideration.