A new Dodge Viper is allegedly on the way – and it could ditch its venerable V10 for a more ordinary aluminum block V8.
According to Car and Driver, Fiat Chrysler is quite keen on developing a new Viper to square off with the Chevrolet Corvette. The publication is rather confident in this bit of intel, even going so far as to say “trust us: A new Viper is happening.”
The next-generation of the American super sports car will retain its front-engine rear wheel drive layout, along with its cab-rearward design and elongated hood. Aluminum and carbon fiber will help keep the weight down, and front and rear independent suspension will ensure things stay hooked up through the corners. A convertible will be on the cards from the beginning, with the hardtop coming 2-3 years later.
Under the hood will be a new aluminum block V8. The entry-level model will likely be naturally aspirated, C&D says, and will develop around 550 hp. A supercharged version with up to or over 700 hp will arrive at a later date. That forced-induction engine is considered to be a next-generation version of the 707 hp Hellcat V8 currently found in the Challenger and Charger Hellcat and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.
In an effort to set itself apart from the competition, FCA is eyeing a manual transmission for the next-gen Viper. It’s not clear if the car will be manual only, or if it will have an automatic transmission option.
C&D predicts Dodge will show an early rendition of the new Viper at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show – which will mark the 30th anniversary of the Viper concept’s debut. It won’t be on roads until late 2020 as a 2021 model year vehicle, however, and we think that’s a rather optimistic prediction. Prices should start at around $90,000.
Maybe the Viper’s not dead after all. Although, if it doesn’t have an absolutely massive V10 up front, can you really say it’s a Viper?
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