Production of the Dodge Viper ended last year and the Conner Assembly Plant was permanently closed on August 31, 2017. There was never to be another Viper made. But, never say “never” because Dodge is apparently remaking one of America’s greatest supercars. “But trust us: A new Viper is happening,” says Car and Driver in an exciting new report. However, the new snake may have a little less venom than before.
The report says that the new Dodge Viper will replace the hulking 8.4-liter V-10 engine with a new Hemi V-8. That means less bite, with an estimated 550 horsepower, compared to the V-10’s 645 horsepower. Every past generation of Vipers had that powerful V-10, but the next one is expected to be an all-new aluminum-block engine that is said to be shared with other Fiat Chrysler cars. “A manual transmission will make it stand out against the increasingly automatic-only competition,” C&D said.
If you’re concerned about power don’t get too worried because there is a logical reason for the Viper to have a 550 horsepower — money. Dodge will follow the model of other American sports cars and offer a base model with 550 hp, and that would allow an SRT supercharged version with at least 700 hp. There could be multiple tiers so customers can customize their performance packages and allow Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to charge more for those upgrades.
On the plus side, the beautiful and aggressive design will likely be similar to previous Vipers. The report says the Viper will keep its front-engine rear-wheel-drive layout, space frame chassis, along with its cab-rearward design and signature long hood. But it will feature plenty of aluminum and carbon fiber to ensure it is not too heavy and to try to compensate for less power.
Dodge will offer a convertible Viper originally and the coupe arrives a few years after launch. The 2021 Viper could be in showrooms by late 2020 and prices will probably start at around $90,000. We might get a sneak peek at the brand-new Viper as soon as the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, which would mark the 30th anniversary of the Viper concept’s debut.