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RALPH GILLES TALKS POSSIBILITY OF DODGE VIPER COMEBACK

It’s Not Just The Business Case, But Also About “Technology”

Dodge Viper

A few days ago we wrote about the appearance of FCA design chief Ralph Gilles on the ever-informative show Autoline After Hours. And while the entire episode is worth your time, there is on section that talks about the possibilities of a next-generation Dodge Viper. We’ll cut to the chase – the 26-minute mark is where you want to fast forward, where Gilles answers the question of a caller.

“I get asked that probably every time I set foot outside my house,” opened Gilles. “I think in my lifetime I surely hope so.”

That’s not giving away much, and it may be just as likely that there are no plans to bring back the Dodge Viper.

“It’s all about the business case. I know for sure it will be a different technology, for sure… if we do… it will have to celebrate another step-function. A new thing in technology.”

Honestly, that could mean… anything. Anything that’s considered another leap in scientific knowledge for practical purposes could fall into this bracket, if Gilles is particular about his words. And considering how often he’s asked, we believe this to be the case. It perhaps doesn’t go as far to mean that a future Dodge Viper would be a hybrid or even fully electric, but it could. It doesn’t mean that the Viper could change its engine layout to rival the C8 Corvette, but it could.

The Dodge Viper 1 of 1 program allowed customers to paint their cars whatever color they wanted.

We’re not sure if the Viper faithful are looking for either change, considering that the Viper was about as raw-dog and as visceral of a driving experience as one could find on the market, for any price. After all, the Dodge Viper ACR stands as the penultimate front-engined American sports car with a pushrod V10, holding records at race tracks all over the country.

Moreover, with the Viper, it wasn’t just about doing it, but the way it did so. This barely-legal ruffian of a sports car that was endearingly uncompromising, and never tried to play the heart of the market, yet was noticed by everybody. Despite this legacy, the “business case” ultimately doomed the American supercar.

So, back to the remarks of the FCA design chief… We’ll turn it to you. What do you think he means? Moreover, what would you like to see in a new Dodge Viper? Sound off in the comments below.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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