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

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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