The unkillable supercar? Viper rumoured to make an emphatic 2020 return
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Last year, one of the world's most genuinely fearsome creatures — the Dodge Viper — kicked the bucket. Had a great fall. Died. Ceased to continue to exist.
Reasons for its death ranged from it failing to meet revised safety measures, to poor sales, to the closure of its dedicated assembly plant. But, few could deny that the writing had been on the wall for quite some time for the American supercar.
The Viper's certainly got a long history of trying to die, given that each big revamp has come off the back of a long campaign of silence and doubt. But, it appeared for all money that this 2017 'death' was the absolute final nail in the coffin.
But, maybe not, according to new reports.
Several publications in America, including Car and Driver, are reporting that a new model of Viper is in the works and expected to launched in late 2020.
Not much is revealed in terms of concrete details, but C&D is adamant that a new variant of the American classic is on its way to Dodge showrooms. They outline that the model will use a space-frame platform like its predecessor, and it'll continue to feature the Viper's signature long front bonnet.
What's under that bonnet is reported to change, however, with the V10 of old downsized to an aluminium-block V8 (a first for Chrysler and their love of the Hemi). Power is expected to be in the realm of 410kW at the base level, with fruitier cars said to be offered later on with a 522kW V8.
The publication also cite the 2019 Detroit Auto Show as the most likely debut event for the Viper — given it will be the 30th anniversary of its grand debut in 1989.
So, why dust off a Viper? Especially with Fiat Chrysler seemingly on struggle street. Well, you only need to look at what Ford have done with the GT, and what Chevrolet is currently doing with the Corvette.
The latter has grown in recent generations into quite the world beater; peaking with the current C7 Corvette. And for its next generation, it's again muscling in on new territory. The engine is moving from between the front wheels to being mid-mounted — plunging the Corvette into a whole new group of rivals, where effectively the Viper would have resided.
It would also fill a proper 'halo car'–void in Dodge's performance car division alongside the Dodge Demon and Hellcat drag-strip killers.
Car and Driver seem certain that a new Viper is coming, but no real evidence has been sourced to support the case. There have been stories in the past of projects like these being released via a controlled leak into the media, and maybe this is one of those instances. But for the rest of us, time will tell.