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Desperate to get a glimpse of the 2013 Viper when it’s unveiled at the New York Auto Show tomorrow? Why wait?
Several screen captures have leaked online showing the American supercar in all its shiny red glory. It’s expected they’re from a video that will be shown during the car’s world premiere in Manhattan tomorrow.
Undeniably a Viper, there’s certainly some Italian flare in the new car with hints of the Alfa Romeo 8C and the Ferrari 575. Other notable style elements include the large side vents, the large hood scoop, side exhaust and sculpted roof.
The flagship of the newly-minted SRT performance brand, what isn’t yet clear is what high-output engine will power 2013 Viper.
GALLERY: 2013 SRT Viper
This 1:64 scale model looks similar to the original leaked image and is far from a dramatic styling departure from the previous generation Viper. The new photos also give us a first look at the rear-end design of the car, as well as the sculpted roof.
No details about the powertrain have yet to leak out, although it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest the Viper will continue to use its burly V10 powerplant. Look for full details in the weeks to come as the newly-minted SRT division at Chrysler prepares to launch its first ever model at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
GALLERY: 2013 SRT Viper Hot Wheels
When it debuts, the Viper will be the flagship model for the new SRT (Street and Racing Technology) brand, which has evolved from being an in-house tuning division to its own entity, headed by Chrysler design boss Ralph Gilles. Other models in the brand include SRT performance versions of the Challenger, Charger, Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Demand for the new American sports car will be significant and so as to reward loyalty Chrysler has decided to limit the few thousand first year units to only Viper owners and members of the Viper owner’s club.
Now that it’s confirmed that Dodge is producing the 2013 Viper at its Conner Avenue plant, Chrysler corp decided to shake things up by announcing the new Viper will be known as the “2013 SRT Viper” and not as the “2013 Dodge Viper”.
That’s right, after a brief hiatus of production, Dodge decided to drop its own namesake from the American muscle car. And this isn’t really the first time they’ve attempted such, as Chrysler has made previous efforts to spin off the Viper to its own standalone car brand.
It all makes sense given the notoriety behind the Viper, and Dodge’s focus on looking more economical and fuel efficient for Chrysler to leave the V10 super car of its portfolio. Either way, we don’t think anyone really cares what it’s called so long as it’s still a Viper – the more interesting thing is whether or not Dodge has more SRT models in the work.
The Conner Avenue Assembly Plant has been sitting idle since production on Dodge’s Viper ended back in July of 2010. But with the next generation Viper on the horizon as a 2013 model, Chrysler not only reopens a plant giving much-needed jobs, but America’s ultimate sports car will live on being produced exclusively in Motor City.
Current Chrysler hourly employees who previous worked at Conner will have the first opportunity to return, while the balance of the positions will be filled by hourly employees volunteering to transfer to the Conner plant. Chrysler Group will also begin transforming the Conner plant by integrating World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a system focused on reducing waste and continually making improvements towards quality and productivity.
The Chevrolet Corvette’s dominance in the U.S. sports car segment has gone unchecked since Dodge dropped the V10-powered Viper last year. But that will all change in 2012 with the re-introduction of the, “icon of the Dodge brand’s performance car lineup.”
In addition to this news, Dodge has released a single teaser photo of the next-gen Viper. OK, so it’s actually a 2010 model year car. Except there’s one big difference – this car has stability control. Dodge SRT engineers used the old platform to create and test a stability control program that will be fitted to the fourth-generation machine, making the first time the Viper will have the driver aid.
Does this mean the 2013 Viper will be a watered-down versions of itself. Hardly. After all, it’s not like the Dodge engineers, accountants of lawyers had anything to say in the matter, as stability control is now required by the government.
According to Ralph Gilles, Chrysler Group design chief, the next generation Dodge Viper will be drop dead gorgeous – the car’s look being inspired by “a naked woman on a beach,” he declared at a recent Detroit press conference.
However, the new car, to be launched next year as a 2013 model, will have a different mission than its predecessors. Rather than being a brutish, all-out muscle type sports car, relying on cubic inches and brawn to get the job done, it will be conceived to go head to head with the likes of the Corvette and Porsche 911, with features designed to woo drivers away from those iconic machines.
That will probably also mean targeting younger buyers. According to Rebecca Lindland, an auto industry analyst with IHS, “Dodge needs to do more to make the Viper an aspiration to consumers and the redesign gives them a chance to “make it a renaissance of that vehicle. There are not a lot of younger people, and by younger I mean under 45, who [currently] aspire to own a Corvette or a Viper.”
Perhaps, but given the Fiat influence, now might be the perfect opportunity for Chrysler [and Dodge division] to really knock one out of the park and deliver a car with broader appeal, yet one that doesn’t sacrifice its core raison d’etre.
Although Gilles didn’t give any specifics regarding the 2013 Viper, he recently instructed his design staff to take a ‘breather’ after styling 16 vehicles since 2009. The reason? A chance for them to get creative again, on cars like the upcoming Viper.
“We’ve been working so quickly and so fast that we’re not innovating like we used to,” he said.
He also mentioned that the new Viper won’t use Fiat engines and although it will be profitable; “sales volume isn’t important.” Chrysler expects to sell most new Vipers in North America, with just trickle likely headed for overseas markets, including Europe.
[Source: Automotive News]
Dodge brand CEO Ralf Gilles has confirmed that the Viper will return in 2012 as a 2013 model year car.
Dodge recently ceased production of its halo sports car, while continuing on with certain development aspects, eventually showing a concept car to dealers at a recent national dealer meeting.
Gilles commented that the new Viper, “is not based on anything else,” and that, “There won’t be a part of the car that’s untouched.” That being said, the new Viper may do away with the previous model’s 6.4-liter V10 engine.
Gilles didn’t rule out the use of an engine from it’s new parent company Fiat, which owns Ferrari, but said the next Viper won’t just borrow a powerplant. He did say that the long hood with the cabin near the rear of the car would change.
Previous reports had suggested the car would just be a version of the Alfa Romeo 8C (itself based on the same chassis as the Ferrari California and Maserati GranTurismo), and while there will be some similarities, the proportions will be different.
The goal, says Gilles, will be to make the Dodge brand’s new halo model more accessible. That being said, it will be easier to drive and more forgiving – including having, for the first time, stability control.
[Source: The Detroit News]