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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
Dodge has announced it will build just 50 “Final Edition” Vipers to celebrate the iconic super sports car during its last year in production. Of that 50, 20 will be Coupes, 18 Roadsters and just 12 wicked ACRs. Each car will feature a Graphite Clear Coat body with black center stripe outlined in red. Special six-spoke wheel will also be included, while ACR models will get five-spoke wheels. Both Coupe and ACR models will get a black windshield surround and all models will get unique badging. Inside, black leather interiors will get red stitching and red surrounds for the gauge cluster, as well as stainless steel screws in the center stack and Viper Final Edition floor mats. A numbered dash plaque will also come on every limited edition car, located on the shifter bezel.
All cars will come with Dodge’s 8.4-liter V10 engine with 600-hp and 560 ft-lbs of torque, enabling a sub- 4-second 0-60 mph time and a top seed of 202 mph.
Back in 2002, Dodge did produce a Final Edition Viper, so perhaps there’s still hope the Fiat/Chrysler alliance will result in an all-new Viper in the years to come.
GALLERY: Dodge Viper Final Edition Models
Official release after the jump: